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Sir Bobby Charlton, Paul O’Grady and Sinead O’Connor among those mourned in 2023

Footballer Sir Bobby Charlton, a key figure in England’s 1966 World Cup victory. died in October at the age of 86 (Martin Rickett/PA)
Footballer Sir Bobby Charlton, a key figure in England’s 1966 World Cup victory. died in October at the age of 86 (Martin Rickett/PA)

The Prince of Wales joined football royalty and fans to mourn former England footballer Sir Bobby Charlton after he died in October.

It came in a year which also saw the deaths of Paul O’Grady, Sinead O’Connor and Sir Michael Parkinson.

Here are some of the famous names mourned in 2023.


– Jeff Beck

The pioneering guitarist, who worked with the Yardbirds and the Jeff Beck Group, died after contracting meningitis at the age of 78.

Ozzy Osbourne was among the first to pay tribute, writing that it had been “such an honour” to know and play with Beck on his most recent album, while Sir Paul McCartney said he “played some of the best guitar music ever to come out of Great Britain”.

Classic Rock Roll Of Honour – London
Guitarist Jeff Beck died in January (Ian West/PA)

– Lisa Marie Presley

The singer, who was Elvis Presley’s only child, died aged 54.

She had been famous since the moment she was born, and married Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.

The Duchess of York joined celebrities in paying tribute to her, describing Presley as a “devoted friend” who she said would be “in my heart”.

– David Sutherland

The Scottish cartoonist, who drew some of the UK’s most beloved comic strips, died at the age of 89.

He was known for his drawings for The Bash Street Kids and Dennis The Menace.

Beano editor John Anderson described Mr Sutherland as “one of a kind, a genuine legend”.

– David Crosby

The US folk-rock musician, who starred in two famous bands, died aged 81.

The singer-songwriter rose to fame through LA-based band The Byrds before joining chart-topping supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Stephen Stills and Graham Nash led tributes to Crosby as they described him as the “glue that held us together as our vocals soared”.

Glastonbury Festival 2009 – Day Two
David Crosby, who played with The Byrds before joining Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, died aged 81 (Anthony Devlin/PA)


– Paco Rabanne

The fashion designer, whose real name was Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo, died at the age of 88.

Alongside French designers Pierre Cardin and Andre Courreges, he helped upset the status quo of Paris fashion, earning him the moniker of “enfant terrible”.

In a statement on Instagram, the House of Paco Rabanne said he will remain “a constant source of inspiration” while rival Giorgio Armani described him as a “true futurist”.

– Burt Bacharach

The composer of legendary pop songs including I Say A Little Prayer and Walk On By died at the age of 94.

The esteemed musician, who entertained millions with his melodies, wrote hundreds of songs from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Considered one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, he wrote hits for artists including Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Sir Tom Jones and The Carpenters.

– John Motson

The Prince of Wales hailed the commentator as “a legend whose voice was football” following his death at the age of 77.

Motson, known as “Motty”, became synonymous with English football during his distinguished 50-year career with the BBC.

William said he was “very sad” to hear of the death of the commentator – who covered 10 World Cups, 10 European Championships, 29 FA Cup finals and more than 200 England matches.

End of Year Review 2023
Tributes poured in after football commentator John Motson died aged 77 (Adam Davy/PA)

– Baroness Betty Boothroyd

The former House of Commons speaker died at the age of 93.

The ex-MP sat for Labour before becoming the first woman to be elected speaker in the more than 700-year history of the role in 1992, staying on until 2000.

Current Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle called Lady Boothroyd, who had worked as a professional dancer and appeared in pantomime in London’s West End before entering politics, “one of a kind”.


– Mystic Meg

The newspaper and TV astrologer, whose real name was Margaret Lake, died at the age of 80.

She became a household name through her prediction segment on the National Lottery and horoscope column for The Sun, and her name even became part of the English language with “Who do you think I am, Mystic Meg?” becoming a common answer to a tricky question.

– Jacqueline Gold

The Ann Summers founder died aged 62 following seven years of treatment for breast cancer.

The lingerie boss was made a CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.

Her sister Vanessa called her “a trailblazer, a visionary and the most incredible woman” following her death.

– Paul O’Grady

The TV and radio presenter, who rose to fame as Lily Savage, died “unexpectedly but peacefully” at the age of 67.

The Queen was left “deeply saddened” by the death of her friend while Sir Elton John and It’s A Sin creator Russell T Davies said O’Grady had been “ferocious in the fight against Aids” as they led tributes to him.

At his funeral in April, thousands lined the streets of the Kent village of Aldington, where he lived, as his coffin made its way to the church while Battersea dogs led a guard of honour in the dog lover’s memory.

Paul O’Grady funeral
Thousands lined the streets of Aldington in Kent ahead of the funeral of Paul O’Grady at St Rumwold’s Church (Gareth Fuller/PA)


– Nigel Lawson

The Conservative politician, who served as Margaret Thatcher’s chancellor, died at the age of 91.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called him an “inspiration to me” while former Tory leader William Hague said Lord Lawson was a “towering figure in politics”.

He had six children including TV cook Nigella Lawson and journalist Dominic Lawson, who used his Sunday Times column to pay tribute to his father.

– Paul Cattermole

The S Club 7 star was “unexpectedly” found dead at his home in Dorset at the age of 46.

He shot to fame with the success of hits such as Reach, Bring It All Back, S Club Party and Don’t Stop Movin’ before launching a successful solo career.

The band, who called him “our beloved son and brother” in a tribute, had to delay their reunion tour in light of the death with some band members pulling out.

Paul Cattermole death
S Club 7 singer Paul Cattermole died ‘unexpectedly’ in April at the age of 46 (S Club/PA)

– Gareth Richards

The comedian, who was a colleague of Frank Skinner, died following a car crash at the age of 41.

Skinner struggled to hold back tears during his radio show before Richards’ death was announced, saying his friend had been in a “very big road accident”.

– Dame Mary Quant

The fashion designer, who was credited with popularising the miniskirt in the 1960s, died aged 93.

Her clothes were popularised by famous faces including models Pattie Boyd and Twiggy as well as singer Cilla Black.

Boyd recalled on Twitter how Dame Mary made her and her former husband George Harrison’s wedding coats as she described the designer as a “true icon” who was “daringly creative”.

– Barry Humphries

The Australian entertainer, who kept generations amused with satirical characters including Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson, died at the age of 89.

Comedians Rob Brydon, Ricky Gervais, Matt Lucas and Dara O Briain were among those remembering the “true great”, who had many colourful alter egos.

After moving from Australia to London in 1959, he became a staple on the West End comedy circuit and his career spanned seven decades.

Barry Humphries’ Farewell Tour announcement – London
Barry Humphries was best known for his character Dame Edna Everage (Tim Goode/PA)

– Len Goodman

The former Strictly Come Dancing head judge died at the age of 78.

He won various dancing competitions including the British Championships in Blackpool in his late 20s and was later head judge on the flagship BBC show from 2004 until 2016.

The Queen, an avid fan of Strictly, said she was “saddened” by the death of the ballroom dancer, who was described by others as the show’s “leading man” who was “always a gentleman”.


– Martin Amis

The author, whose novels Money and London Fields made him one of the most renowned literary figures of his generation, died aged 73.

He published 14 novels, a memoir, two collections of stories and eight collections of non-fiction works over his lifetime.

The official Twitter account of the Booker Prize described him as “one of the most acclaimed and discussed novelists of the past 50 years” following the news of his death.

GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2010 – Press Room – London
Martin Amis was described as ‘one of the most acclaimed and discussed novelists of the past 50 years’ following his death at 73 (PA)

– Rolf Harris

The disgraced entertainer died from neck cancer and “frailty of old age” at the age of 93.

The Australian-born TV presenter was a family favourite for decades before being convicted of a string of indecent assaults in June 2014, including one on an eight-year-old.

He died almost two weeks before his death was confirmed to the PA news agency by a registrar at Maidenhead Town Hall, with newspaper reports claiming he had had a secret funeral.

– Tina Turner

The singer died aged 83 after a long illness and a lifetime as one of rock’s most famous voices.

The American-Swiss musician – born Anna Mae Bullock – had a career that spanned six decades and gave the world classic tracks such as River Deep – Mountain High, Proud Mary, Nutbush City Limits and The Best.

Sir Mick Jagger called her “inspiring, warm, funny and generous” as he led tributes to the star, while Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood called her the “queen of rock and soul”.

Tina Turner in concert – Dublin
Tina Turner died at the age of 83 after a long illness (Niall Carson/PA)


– Silvio Berlusconi

The controversial and colourful former Italian prime minister died at the age of 86.

The career of Italy’s longest-serving premier, who was also a media mogul, was marked by scandals over sex-filled parties and allegations of corruption.

Downing Street said he had made a “huge impact” on Italian politics while Sir Tony Blair said he found the “larger than life” figure “capable, shrewd and, most important, true to his word”.

– Glenda Jackson

The actress-turned-Labour MP died peacefully at the age of 87 following a brief illness.

The screen star won an Oscar for best actress in 1970 for Women In Love and again three years later for A Touch Of Class, later giving up acting for politics and serving 23 years in the Commons.

She had recently finished filming The Great Escaper alongside fellow double Oscar-winner Sir Michael Caine, which tells the true story of a Second World War veteran who escaped his care home to attend a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France, before she died.

Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2017 – London
Actress-turned-Labour MP Glenda Jackson died peacefully at the age of 87 in June following a brief illness (Matt Crossick/PA)

– Alan Arkin

The Hollywood actor, who won an Oscar for his role in Little Miss Sunshine, died at the age of 89.

During his long career, he worked with directors Tim Burton in fantasy romance Edward Scissorhands, Ben Affleck in historical drama Argo and Mike Nichols in satirical black comedy Catch-22.

He also received Academy Award nods for The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter and Argo.


– Meg Johnson

The soap stalwart died aged 86 after battling dementia “for the last few years”.

The “kind and wonderful” actress, who had played Pearl Ladderbanks in Emmerdale since 2003, was hailed by the show as a “kind and wonderful lady” who was “full of warmth” and “always with a twinkle in her eye”.

– Jane Birkin

The Anglo-French singer and actress died at the age of 76.

Birkin was an influential figure across music, film and fashion, most notably for her collaboration with the late Serge Gainsbourg and lending her name to the Hermes Birkin designer handbag.

Following her death, French President Emmanuel Macron called her a “French icon” while mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo described her as “the most Parisian of the English”.

Jane Birkin – Heathrow Airport – London
Singer and actress Jane Birkin lent her name to the Hermes Birkin designer handbag (PA)

– George Alagiah

The BBC newsreader died aged 67 following a long battle with cancer.

The Sri Lankan-born journalist reported from war zones as a foreign correspondent before becoming a familiar face to millions as an anchor on BBC One’s News At Six.

His colleagues at the broadcaster led tributes to him, with Nick Robinson calling him a “brilliant journalist” and a “lovely man”, while Fiona Bruce said he was “that rare thing – a first-rate journalist and an all round lovely human being”.

– Sinead O’Connor

The Dublin-born singer was found unresponsive at her south London home and pronounced dead at the age of 56.

She was propelled to international stardom in 1990 with her version of ballad Nothing Compares 2 U, which topped the charts around the world.

Throughout her career, which spanned 10 solo albums, she spoke openly of her struggles with her mental health and was said to have helped change Ireland because of her criticism of the Catholic Church.

Sinead O’Connor death
Irish singer Sinead O’Connor was pronounced dead after being found ‘unresponsive’ at her south London home (Brian Lawless/PA)


– Jamie Reid

The artist behind the Sex Pistols’ signature album covers died at the age of 76.

His most notable work was the artwork for the British punk band’s classic 1977 song God Save The Queen which featured a young Elizabeth II with the record title plastered across her eyes and mouth.

– Sir Michael Parkinson

The veteran broadcaster, who was considered the king of British chat show hosts, died aged 88 following a brief illness.

David Bowie, John Lennon, David Beckham and Muhammad Ali are just a few of the famous people he interviewed during a long and illustrious career.

Close friends and contemporaries including Sir David Attenborough, Dickie Bird and Sir Michael Caine hailed him as being “beyond region or class” and “irreplaceable”.

Sir Michael Parkinson death
Veteran chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson died in August aged 88 (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

– Mohamed Al-Fayed

The controversial former Harrods owner died at the age of 94.

Following the death of his son Dodi Fayed alongside Diana, Princess of Wales in a car crash in Paris in 1997, the businessman repeatedly claimed they were murdered in a plot by the British establishment.

He set about building his empire, which also included Fulham FC, on arriving in the UK from Egypt in the 1960s but lost repeated bids to obtain British citizenship.


– Mike Yarwood

The comedian, famed for his impressions of politicians and other celebrities in the 1960s and 1970s, died at the age of 82.

He was famous for mimicking Harold Wilson and Edward Heath as well as the then Prince of Wales.

Rory Bremner, well-known for impersonating more modern political figures, hailed Yarwood as the person who “kicked the door down” for impressionists to become big names, adding that “if it hadn’t been for him … I don’t think I would have become an impressionist”.

Mike Yarwood death
Impressionist Mike Yarwood, pictured with former prime minister Sir Harold Wilson, died in September aged 82 (PA)

– Professor Sir Ian Wilmut

The scientist who led the team which cloned Dolly the sheep 27 years ago died at the age of 79.

He was part of a team at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh which successfully cloned Dolly in 1996.

Prof Wilmut was hailed as a “titan of the scientific world” and “household name”.

– Sir Michael Gambon

The actor, best known for playing Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, died peacefully in hospital aged 82.

The Dublin-born star of stage and screen, who won four TV Baftas, was also known for his extensive back catalogue of work across TV, film, radio and theatre over five decades.

JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe led tributes to the star, who was hailed as a “wonderful man” and an “outstanding actor”.

Cocktails with the cast of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows : Part Two – London
Actor Sir Michael Gambon, best known for playing Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, died peacefully in hospital aged 82 (Sean Dempsey/PA)


– Francis Lee

The former England striker died at the age of 79 following a lengthy battle with cancer.

He joined Manchester City from home town club Bolton Wanderers in 1967 and spent eight years with the squad as well as playing for the national side where he won 27 caps.

Following his retirement from football he entered the business world before becoming Manchester City chairman from 1994 until 1998.

– Bill Kenwright

The theatre and film producer died at the age of 78 surrounded by family and loved ones.

Sir Ian McKellen led tributes to Kenwright, who was also chairman of Everton FC, saying that showbusiness “will be dimmer now he has gone”.

– Sir Bobby Charlton

The England and Manchester United star died at the age of 86 after a fall at his care home.

Hailed as one of the country’s greatest ever players, he was a key figure in the Three Lions’ 1966 World Cup victory.

The Prince of Wales joined football royalty and around 1,000 fans for the Manchester funeral of the Red Devils star, who made 758 appearances for the club.

End of Year Review 2023
England and Manchester United star Sir Bobby Charlton died at the age of 86 after a fall at his care home (PA)

– Matthew Perry

The Friends star was found dead at his Los Angeles home aged 54.

He was one of the most familiar faces on television in the world during the 10 series of Friends, in which he played Chandler Bing.

His family, friends and co-stars paid tribute to the actor, who has been described as “the funniest man ever”.


– Terry Venables

The former England manager and player nicknamed El Tel died aged 80 after a long illness.

He won two caps for England and managed the side when they reached the semi-finals of Euro 1996, as well as playing for Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers.

Former England captain Gary Lineker led tributes to Venables, calling him the “best, most innovative coach that I had the privilege and pleasure of playing for”, as well as “vibrant”, “charming” and “a friend”.

End of Year Review 2023
Former England manager and footballer Terry Venables, who was nicknamed El Tel, died aged 80 after a long illness (Tim Ockenden/PA)

– Henry Kissinger

The former US secretary of state who dominated foreign policy for much of the 1970s died at the age of 100.

After fleeing Germany, where he was born, for the US in 1938 due to Nazi rule, he became a national security adviser and then secretary of state, where he was controversial.

He made numerous visits to the UK where he dined with Diana, Princess of Wales and had breakfast with Margaret Thatcher.

– Shane MacGowan

The Pogues frontman died aged 65 after being discharged from a Dublin hospital where he had been receiving care for an infection.

From the 1980s, he led the Irish punk band who are best known for their hit festive song Fairytale Of New York, which was released in 1987.

His wife praised him as the “love of my life and the most beautiful soul and beautiful angel”, while Irish president Michael D Higgins said it had been a “great honour” for him to present the singer with a lifetime achievement award.

British Summertime Festival – London
The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan died after being treated in hospital for an infection (Laura Lean/PA)

– Alistair Darling

The former chancellor, who steered the UK through the 2008 financial crisis, died at the age of 70.

In his long political career he went from a left-winger to a more centrist cabinet minister before leading the campaign to stay in the Union in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

Tributes flooded in from across the political spectrum, with fellow Scot Gordon Brown, who was prime minister during Mr Darling’s time at the Treasury, calling him a man of “unimpeachable integrity”.


– Professor Benjamin Zephaniah

The poet and author died aged 65 just weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

His family described the dub poet, who had dyslexia and left school aged 13 unable to read and write, as a “true pioneer and innovator”.

His friend Sir Lenny Henry led tributes to him, saying his “passion for education for all was tireless”.

Benjamin Zephaniah death
Poet and author Professor Benjamin Zephaniah died just weeks after a brain tumour diagnosis (Yui Mok/PA)

– Ryan O’Neal

The Hollywood star died “peacefully” at the age of 82.

He starred in Love Story, Paper Moon and alongside Barbra Streisand in What’s Up, Doc?.

Streisand said he was “funny and charming, and he will be remembered”.

– Tom Wilkinson

The actor, who played Gerald Cooper in The Full Monty, died suddenly at his home aged 75.

Robert Carlyle, who starred alongside him in the 1997 comedy film, said he will be missed as “one of the greats of not only his, but of any generation”.