Coronation Street actor Bill Roache has given his thanks for messages of support sent following the death of his wife Sara.

The 76-year-old soap veteran fought back tears as he paid tribute to his ‘perfect wife’ during her memorial service on Tuesday.

More than 250 people including fellow Corrie actors and stars from the worlds of sport, politics and showbusiness gathered at St Bartholomew’s Church in Wilmslow, Cheshire, to pay their respects to the 58-year-old.

On Thursday, Bill said the couple’s children, William and Verity, had drawn ‘great comfort and strength’ from the dozens of cards and messages sent by well-wishers.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been in touch to express their condolences and offer their support,” he said. “The memorial service was such a memorable day and exactly what we wanted it to be – a celebration of Sara’s life.

“The feeling of love and affection in the church was amazing. Knowing that so many people were touched by Sara’s death and have offered their help and support means a great deal. Thank you.”

Sara died unexpectedly at the couple’s home on February 7, but the cause of death has not been released.

Delivering the eulogy Bill, who has played Ken Barlow in the soap for nearly 50 years recalled meeting the ‘beautiful, vibrant girl’ 35 years ago, saying she became a perfect wife and mother.

He applauded her selflessness, saying she ran the family home and though a successful actress – appearing in Corrie and a host of other productions – she was most successful as a wife and mother.

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