Pupils at Paul O’Grady’s former school pay tribute to ‘legend’

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Birkenhead has paid tribute to former student Paul O’Grady, who recently received the Freedom of the Borough award from Wirral Council.

The Freedom of the Borough award is the highest honour the council can bestow on one of its citizens and was previously awarded to the Hillsborough 97. The legendary entertainer received the award for his exceptional contribution to the borough.

As part of a heart-warming tribute, ITV visited St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School on 7 June to speak to pupils about Paul.

When speaking with ITV, pupils said they will remember Paul as a dog lover and legend.

One pupil shared how special it is that Paul attended the school. Another referred to him as a “legend” who was loved by everyone.

Other pupils commented on Paul’s famous work with dogs. One pupil said: “He has done a lot for dogs; he made their day.”

Alex Turner, headteacher at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, was thrilled that the school could pay tribute to Paul. He said, “We are honoured to be a small part of Paul’s heritage. Throughout his career, Paul contributed to the local community in many ways, and his legacy will live on in our hearts and memories.”

Born and raised in Tranmere, Paul O’Grady attended St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School between 1959 and 1966. At the time, the school was at another site before moving to the current site on Woodchurch Road, Oxton.

Throughout his 45-year career, the comedian and broadcaster featured on multiple shows including The Big Breakfast and Blankety Blank, before launching his talk show, The Paul O’Grady Show, in 2004. 

A huge animal lover, Paul advocated for animal rights and attempted to rehome over 80 cats and dogs during lockdown. The legendary ‘Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs’ show was an ITV fan favourite for many years.

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