Liz Dawn funeral: Coronation Street stars say final goodbyes to Vera Duckworth

Ajay Nair, News Reporter

Coronation Street stars have paid tribute to "true inspiration" Liz Dawn at her funeral.

Former on-screen colleagues of the star, who played Vera Duckworth on the long-running TV show for 34 years, arrived at Salford Cathedral to pay their respects on Friday.

The 77-year-old's funeral saw a whole coachload of actors from the ITV series arrive ahead of the service.

Flowers spelling the word "Mum" were placed on and around the coffin in the hearse, which arrived at the cathedral shortly before 2pm.

The wooden coffin was blessed before being carried in, with family members following behind.

Among the guests were Samia Longchambon, who plays Maria Connor, and her husband, professional ice skater Sylvain.

Alan Halsall, whose character Tyrone Dobbs was taken in by Vera and husband Jack on the soap, arrived with wife Lucy-Jo Hudson, who played Katy Harris in the show.

In a joint tribute, Longchambon and Halsall recalled Dawn's generosity when they joined the cast of the soap as teenagers.

"Liz was undoubtedly a wonderful, kind, funny and considerate person, and someone whose generosity knew no bounds," said Longchambon, who was tearful as she spoke.

Halsall remembered the star's dedication to her family and her husband, Don.

"Liz was a true inspiration and was always so generous with her time," he said. "And she never expected anything in return."

Other Coronation Street actors who attended included Helen Worth, who plays Gail Rodwell, Jack P Shepherd, who plays David Platt, and Chris Gascoyne, who plays Peter Barlow.

They joined former stars included Ken Morley, who played Reg Holdsworth, Bruce Jones, who played Les Battersby, and Alison King, who is due to return as Carla Connor.

Among those paying tribute on Twitter was Antony Cotton, who plays barman and factory worker Sean Tully.

He wrote: "Weatherfield has closed for the day, as we say goodbye to our friend Liz Dawn. I'm wearing rainbow striped socks for her. She'll like that x"

Dawn's death comes after she was diagnosed with lung disease emphysema and was written out of the show in 2008 at her request.

She died last week at her home, surrounded by family.

The actress, a former Woolworths shop girl from Leeds, shot to fame after joining Coronation Street in 1974.

In her role as the wife of on-screen husband Jack, played by the late Bill Tarmey, she captured the hearts of millions of viewers, becoming one of the show's best-loved characters.