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Colin Campbell funeral: Stonebridge actor famed for Leather Boys role sent off by a fleet of Ace Cafe bikers

PUBLISHED: 15:45 22 March 2018 | UPDATED: 07:38 23 March 2018

Bikers from Ace Cafe in Stonebridge following the funeral cortege for actor Colin Campbell (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg)

Bikers from Ace Cafe in Stonebridge following the funeral cortege for actor Colin Campbell (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg)

Jonathan Goldberg

With a roaring hum, a fleet of bikers joined the funeral cortege of a much loved actor from Stonebridge.

Colin Campbell (Picture: Denise Campbell)Colin Campbell (Picture: Denise Campbell)

Colin Campbell, whose best known role was the lead in The Leather Boys, was led to Kensal Green cemetery by fansfrom bikers’ hangout Ace Café in Stonebridge yesterday afternoon.

Family and friends, including his eldest grandchild, singer Shola Ama, came to pay their respects to the 81-year-old great-grandfather, who died on March 1.

Daughter Denise Campbell told the Times: “It was fantastic. The Ace riders were so lovely, so sweet, genuine fans of my dad. They kept saying: ‘Thank you for having us,’ but no, I told them: ‘Thank you for coming.’”

The youngest of four, Mr Campbell was born in Twickenham, starring in his first big theatre show aged 11.

He was called to service with the Royal Signals in Colchester from 1955 to 1957 where he became a keen boxer.

On his return, he and his wife Greta had a daughter, Denise, followed by two sons.

Among his many television appearances, Mr Campbell starred in A Family at War, Rough Justice, Nuns on the Run and comedy You’re the Worst just last year.

But his image also made its way into a generation of 1980s record collections: a still from his Leather Boys performance was used on the cover of The Smiths’ singles Ask (albeit in Germany) and William, It Was Really Nothing (albeit only on CD).

Ace Cafe bikers following the funeral cortege for actor Colin Campbell (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg)Ace Cafe bikers following the funeral cortege for actor Colin Campbell (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg)

Ms Campbell added: “My dad was unique, very much a free spirit and very funny.”

A eulogy, written by granddaughter Aphra Campbell and read by her cousin Stephanie, was read out in moving tribute to Colin, who lived in Barry Road.

They said: “He was fiercely independent and was rebellious by nature until the very end, even on his 81st birthday, he had a disagreement with a nurse about his hair and what to wear.

“He especially loved eating cake alongside a cuppa tea, and we would bring him lots of it. Grandad was acting until his very, very last breath. But we’re not sure if he ever did break a leg.”

Ace Cafe bikers swoop into Kensal Green Cemetery following the funeral cortege for actor Colin Campbell (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg)Ace Cafe bikers swoop into Kensal Green Cemetery following the funeral cortege for actor Colin Campbell (Picture: Jonathan Goldberg)

Mark Wilsmore, owner of the Ace Cafe on the North Circular, said: “It was a sad day but turned into a wonderful day. The Leather Boys was filmed at the Ace Cafe and Colin, Rita Tushingham, stars of that era came to our grand re-opening in 2001.

“Since that time Colin came here quite a bit and came to know quite a few of our patrons.

It’s particularly sad as he lived locally, enjoyed the company of those here and he was part and parcel of the heritage of the Ace Cafe, captured so well in the film.

“He was an absolute gentleman, a lovely chap.”

Actor Colin Campbell with children Denise, Ian and RobertActor Colin Campbell with children Denise, Ian and Robert

Colin is survived by long-term partner Ingrid, three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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