Tributes have been paid to “a ghetto kid with a dream” at the funeral for The Real Thing singer Eddy Amoo.
Friends and family of the soul singer, famous for hits including You To Me Are Everything, Can You Feel The Force?, and Can’t Get By Without You, gathered at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral on Friday to pay their respects.
Amoo, a father-of-four, died in Australia on February 23 aged 73.
His brother and bandmate Chris said in a eulogy: “He started from nothing. He was a ghetto guy, just like a lot of people in here today, the thing was he was a ghetto kid with a dream.
“That dream was to be successful in the music business and to be successful in life in general and I think we can safely say he achieved that dream.”
He described Amoo as his “right arm” and said: “He taught me everything I know and I think because of that closeness we had we achieved so much together.”
The Toxteth-born musician was remembered by friends including actors Paul Barber, who played Denzil in Only Fools And Horses, and Louis Emerick, who appeared in Brookside as Mick Johnson.
Speaking before the service, Emerick said: “He was one of those people who commanded greatness, never demanded it.”
Barber said: “He was the most generous and lovely person you would ever want to meet. He had a great sense of humour.”
Amoo’s brother, who broke down during the eulogy, told the congregation he and fellow bandmate Dave Smith would continue in honour of the singer and songwriter.
He said: “Dave, you know what he wanted me and you to do, we’re going to carry on, we’re going to finish what we started.”
In a eulogy given on behalf of Amoo’s wife Sylvia and his four daughters, his eldest child Dionne said: “Our dad was very much a family man and us girls were loved and nurtured.
“He worked hard but when he was home he played hard.”
A eulogy was also read by granddaughter Abbey French, speaking on behalf of his grandchildren and great-granddaughter.
She said: “You were everything to me, thank you for always caring, thank you for always being there.”
Hymns including Jerusalem were sung by the congregation and Amoo’s grandson Joe Gaudion performed a solo of Amazing Grace.
Words to the song Children Of The Ghetto, which was written by Amoo but went on to be performed by Mary J Blige, were printed on the back of the order of service.
The family had asked for no flowers at the funeral, but for donations to a new charity – The Eddy Amoo Foundation Trust for Aspiring Musicians.
In a statement released before the funeral, his bandmates said: “Eddy’s memory will live on through the music and the fans.
“We honour his incredible life on Friday 16, and will keep his energy and passion alive with our concerts.
“The foundation is set up in his name because he was very passionate about young musicians and wanted to give them the opportunities that are often denied to them.”