Sunderland takeaway owner George Ng's funeral cortege pauses at his Chinese restaurant to pay last respects
A final goodbye has been said to a popular takeaway owner as his community turned out to pay its last respects.
The guard of honour was created by friends and customers of George Ng outside the business he founded more than 20 years ago.
His children Nigel, 25, and Julie, 32, and wife Peng, 50, arranged for his funeral cortege to pass by the Fountain Garden, as they said it had been his “heart and soul.”
The 60-year-old died of a suspected brain haemorrhage after he collapsed while performing at the autumn festival celebration for the Chinese community at the Gateshead Hilton late last month.George came to Sunderland in 1973 when he and dad Jimmy and brother Danny moved from near Hong Kong to start a new life.
Son Nigel, who worked with him to run the Unicorn Dance performance art group, had been with George when he took ill.
He was rushed to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle after a doctor in the audience gave him first aid, but medics were unable to save him.
There has been an outpouring of love for the chef since the sad news of his death spread.After the procession passed the family-run takeaway, it went on to Pennywell Community Centre, where a Buddhist ceremony was held.
George, who worked with his dad Jimmy and brother Danny as they ran the Lotus Garden in High Street West until the launch of his own business in 1993 when his father retired, was then laid to rest at Mere Knolls Cemetery.
Julie told the Echo ahead of the funeral: “He was a very respected man.
“My father knew a lot of people and he was very much loved.
“They were so very shocked when they heard what had happened.
“He was a good man and has left us with lots of memories and he has left a huge mark on our hearts.”
Nigel added: “We really appreciate the kindness we have seen as people have paid their respects to our father.
“We can’t believe how many people knew and loved him.”
Leading members of the Chinese community in the North East have previously spoken of how George was a kind and hardworking man who helped celebrate traditional Chinese culture.His family closed the takeaway as they grieved following his death, but plan to reopen on Monday.