Jackson vigil at O2
PUBLISHED: 16:10 01 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:34 12 August 2010
DEVASTATED fans danced and sang Michael Jackson songs in a spontaneous tribute to the late star, writes Kate Nelson. Scores of dedicated MJ
DEVASTATED fans danced and sang Michael Jackson songs in a spontaneous tribute to the late star, writes Kate Nelson.
Scores of dedicated MJ lovers have been gathering outside the 02 Arena for days in an emotional final farewell to the King of Pop.
Office temp, Ellie Wooler, 28, of Merlin Grove, Beckenham, said: "I saw one girl fall to her knees when she saw all the pictures. Some people were saying that they felt like he was looking down on us.
"I have been here since Friday. I stayed all weekend and I'm staying all this week. I have made new friends here and we plan to come back and hold a vigil year after year.
"At first everyone was just in shock and then it turned to being very sad, with people holding hands and lighting candles. On Sunday people were walking past asking the fans to sing songs for them.
The fan, who first saw Michael Jackson live during his History tour when he performed at Wembley Stadium in 1997, said: He is indescribable to see live. He had such magnetism. It was like being in a trance. I didn't believe it when I heard he was dead. I ran upstairs to my mum who was in bed screaming 'he's dead, he's dead.'
"I just hope people let him rest in peace and stop bringing up things that were never proved against him. I hope there is a bit of respect."
Lifelong Michael Jackson fan Damian Cooper, who was born on the day Billie Jean was number one, says he is gutted he never saw the moonwalk live.
The 26-year-old from Blackheath had tickets for one of the 50 O2 concert dates but admits the long run of shows due to start on July 13 and stretching to March next year were probably too much for the star.
He said: "I'm gutted I never saw the Moonwalk live.
"He clearly wasn't in the best shape physically and mentally, I think he found himself in a situation he could never win.
"Hopefully people will remember him for who he was as well as his music. Yes he was eccentric but who wouldn't be if they had his life.
"So many artists, singers and dancers have been influenced by Michael Jackson and his work that he will continue to inspire further generations."