Hundreds attend George Michael memorial

Hundreds of George Michael fans have paid tribute to the iconic singer at the first public memorial for the pop star.

Over 350 people attended the service at St James the Apostle Church in Hertfordshire for a Service of Thanksgiving for the singer who died on Christmas Day.

Following the service on Sunday, fans went to the Three Crowns Pub in Bushey, where George and band-mate Andrew Ridgeley decided to form their band Wham! in 1981.

George Michael, seen with Wham partner Andrew Ridgeley in 1985. Credit: PA

The day was organised by the George Michael Appreciation Society, which was created after his death.

The service included several of George's greatest hits including Jesus to a Child and Wake me up before you Go-Go.

The late singer's private funeral took place on March 29 at Highgate Cemetery.

A copy of the Order of Service. Credit: PA

Speaking after the service, society founder Tracey Wills, 45, from Bushey, said: "When I first heard the news about his death I was in tears and on Boxing Day I thought I wanted to do something pay my respects.

"We had a service at the church to light a candle and after that I thought it would be good to set up a Facebook group as a way to remember him.

"It's just grown from there and I can't believe how it's taken off.

The singer sold over 100 million albums throughout his career. Credit: PA

Tracey said she was surprised by the amount of support received including from people who travelled from across the world.

"We've had people from all over the country and we even had some from Malta, Spain and Switzerland.

"Today was important because I felt the fans wanted the chance to say goodbye with a service or funeral.

"Obviously the family had a private funeral, but the fans wanted to say goodbye too.

The society are also holding a disco at George's former school, the Bushey Academy, to raise money for the 1st Bushey Heath Scout Hut, where he performed his first gig as a teenager.

The Three Crowns pub where Wham! were formed. Credit: PA

Also at the wake were Fabi Gomez and her wife Swana Kappler who had travelled all the way from Switzerland for the service.

Ms Gomez said: "He has been a huge part of my life and I wanted to say goodbye. But there was no public funeral for him.

"We heard about today and it was going to be a public service and we thought it would be a lovely way to say goodbye to him and we decided to come.

"I have always been a fan of his ever since Wham! Today was a great way to say goodbye to him," she added.

The Wham! singer was 53 when he died of natural causes. Credit: PA