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Norwich Star Wars club's founder to have Darth Vader tribute at funeral

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 October 2019

Lee Nelson (left), together with Richard Walker (right) and daughter Natalie Walker (centre). PIC: Supplied by Lee Nelson.

Lee Nelson (left), together with Richard Walker (right) and daughter Natalie Walker (centre). PIC: Supplied by Lee Nelson.

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The founder of a Norwich Star Wars club who used to dress up as Darth Vader will have the Sith Lord leading his funeral procession as part of a "fitting tribute" to the father-of-three.

Darth Vader, left, leads a superhero walk around the city with other members of the Norwich Star Wars Club member. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDarth Vader, left, leads a superhero walk around the city with other members of the Norwich Star Wars Club member. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Richard Walker, 69, co-founder and president of the Norwich Star Wars Club UK, died at his Mile Cross home surrounded by family and friends, including his wife Sandra, also 69, after losing his fight with prostate cancer in the early hours of Sunday, September 29.

Mr Walker helped to unite Star Wars fans across the galaxy after founding his World Wide Star Wars Flag of Friendship which was later endorsed by the franchise's creator George Lucas.

And now his family have revealed the intergalactic space saga will be a central theme at his funeral at St Faiths Crematorium on Saturday, October 19.

Mr Walker's son-in-law Lee Nelson, 42, said Darth Vader will be leading the grandfather of six on his final journey to the crematorium in what he described as a "fitting tribute".

Richard Walker, left, and wife Sandra (right) in front of the Star Wars Flag of Friendship. PIC: Supplied by Lee NelsonRichard Walker, left, and wife Sandra (right) in front of the Star Wars Flag of Friendship. PIC: Supplied by Lee Nelson

Mr Nelson, 42, said: "When Richard first started trooping he was Darth Vader but as he got older he had to give it up."

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He said one of the Star Wars group will be walking in front of Mr Walker's coffin, while other members of the group will also be in attendance.

Mr Nelson said: "We don't know whether they will be wearing costumes or not but definitely Darth Vader will be leading the procession.

"Star Wars was such a big part of his life, it's what he would've wanted.

"We believe he would've wanted this. When he did stuff, he always did stuff big.

"Richard was a larger than life character - wherever he went he made friends."

Mr Nelson said they had received messages from Star Wars fans around the world following Mr Walker's passing and did not yet know quite how many people would be attending the funeral service.

Mr Walker, who was an avid Norwich City fan, set up the Norwich and District Star Wars Collectors Club, as it was formerly known, shortly before the release of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in July 1999.

A collection for Priscilla Bacon Lodge, which helped Mr Walker and his family before he passed away, will be held at the funeral which takes place at 11am on Saturday, October 19.

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