THE man who has played children’s entertainer Tommy the Trumpeter for 25 years has told how he was overwhelmed at his send-off.
Ray Spencer said: “I was staggered by the response and by the number of people who turned up. I couldn’t have asked for a better send-off. It was a hugely emotional time.
“The supplement in the Gazette, the front page, the fact the circle is going to be marked by a permanent stone – I couldn’t ask for more than that.
“People were clearly touched, and the masks were a lovely touch.
“The great thing about the parties is that everyone who came to Tommy’s final one has been able to go away with something to say they were there.
“I am sad that it was the final party, but so glad that we went out in a blaze of glory.
“Whatever I do now in life, I couldn’t be more proud or more grateful to have been given this fantastic opportunity, and to have been able to have worked with such a fantastic group of people.
“I want to say, once again, a huge ‘thank you’ to the people of South Tyneside and further afield for all their support over the years.”