Tribute night for ‘Little Ronnie’, the 5ft comedian from Whitburn

Ronnie Hendry with David Miliband
Ronnie Hendry with David Miliband
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A “LITTLE” man with a big love of life cruelly cut short by cancer will be honoured with a fund-raising night.

Though he stood less than 5ft tall, the true measure of the man came with the enormous tributes paid to Whitburn Social Club stalwart Ronnie Hendry.

“Little Ronnie” – as he was known by many of his pals – died in August at the age of 63 after battling lung cancer for more than six months.

Now friends will raise a glass to the much-missed Ronnie with a charity night at the club on Saturday.

Parents Francis and Ron, who Ronnie lived with all his life, will be the evening’s special guests.

Organisers are hoping to raise £2,000 for Macmillan Nurses, who offered Ronnie support in the final months of his life.

Ronnie, from Parry Drive, Whitburn, worked for years as a labourer in the shipyards of Sunderland and spent six months attempting to become a jockey.

But he was never happier than in the company of his extended family at the North Guards club.

Friend Joe Brettell, one of the organisers of this weekend’s evening, is hoping for a big turnout.

To date, more than 100 tickets have been sold and it is hoped more will be sold before the weekend.

Mr Brettell said: “Ronnie got his 25-year service award from David Miliband MP and was part of the club for over 30 years.

“He was the character of the village.

“Everybody knew him as Little Ronnie.”

An auction and a raffle will be held at the Saturday spectacular – called the Ronnie Hendry Memorial Night.

It will feature comic Terry Joyce and singer Karen Curtis.

Items on offer on the night include a Lionel Messi shirt and a Sunderland shirt, provided by Mr Miliband.

The tribute night gets under way at 7pm.

Tickets are £3 on the door or can be bought by calling Joe Brettell on 529 3543.