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Cardboard cutouts made of ‘King of Sheffield’ as wife creates huge shrine

Written by on 02/12/2020

The grieving widow of a man dubbed the “King of Sheffield” has spoken out after creating a huge Christmas-themed shrine by his graveside.

There was a huge outpouring of grief after Willy Collins, 49, suddenly died while he was holidaying in Spain earlier this year.

An extravagant funeral saw the bare knuckle boxer laid to rest in a gold coffin with a Rolls Royce procession and a horse and carriage appearing on the day.

Dozens of mourners attended the funeral at Shiregreen Cemetery and now, several months after his death, a poignant shrine has been created at the graveyard by the family to remember the Collins patriarch.

Willy’s wife Kathleen said: “It took nearly four days to do it and it’s still not finished. We keep adding to it every day we go and we make sure we visit him every day.

A picture of Kathleen and Willy in the shrine created at Shiregreen Cemetery

“He’s loved very much and missed more than anything in this world. He was our everything and he definitely was our king.”

The shrine includes two life size cardboard cutouts of Willy, pictures of Willy with his family and also a variety of Christmas-themed trinkets.

“It’s a place for us to go and feel closer to him,” Kathleen said. “Also because of the grandchildren it’s nice for them as it’s a bit like a Santa’s grotto.”

The ‘King of Sheffield’ Willy Collins dies

Paying tribute to her husband, Kathleen added: “My husband meant the world to us all. He’s all I have ever known and it’s very hard as it’s coming up to his birthday when he would have been 50.

“It’s also hard as this is out first Christmas without him – it’s heartbreaking for us all.”