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Former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas paid tribute to his father following his death aged 72, admitting the last weeks have been a “tough time”.
Dougie James, a soul singer who found success in the 1970s, died last month. As well as Ryan, 36, he was father to former Emmerdale star Adam, 32, and Adam’s twin brother, Scott.
He found success with his band, Dougie James And The Soul Train, touring with the Jackson 5.
Ryan, who is engaged to Towie’s Lucy Mecklenburgh, shared a lengthy tribute alongside a photo of his father holding him as a young boy.
He wrote: “You are the reason I’m proud to be a Thomas, since being a young child I’ve always been in awe of you, growing up watching you on the stage to people stopping me in the street saying ‘are you Dougie James’s son?’ is something I love more than you will ever know.”
Earlier this year, the family took part in ITV documentary Absolutely India: Mancs In Mumbai to learn more about their Indian heritage.
Referring to that show, he added: “Last year feels even more special now because me & my brothers got the chance to show you off to the nation we will never forget that.”
Following his father’s funeral on Friday, Ryan thanked those who came to share their respects.
He said: “Just wanted to take this time to thank every single person for coming out to the Chapel on Friday one of the hardest days of my life but it’s times like this you realise how important your friends and family are.
“We were overwhelmed with the amount of people who turned up to show there respect he really was loved in Manchester, there were moments at the chapel I’d feel myself looking at all the people with a big smile on face thinking “that’s my dad!!!!” so glad I got to show you off one last time.
“I’ve not had chance to reply to everyone’s messages but I want you to know your love & support has really helped me get through this extremely tough time thank you.”
He concluded by describing his brothers as “the best gift you ever gave me”.
Both Adam and Scott, who appeared on Love Island in 2016, have previously shared tributes.
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