tmndn1971 – 22nd April, 2017
Billy was a great writer. Superb books from Kate’s Story to his last. I really enjoyed reading about his brilliant life. My condolences to all your family. He's a great loss to us all.
I wrote to Mr. Hopkins probably 7-8 years ago and said how much I enjoyed the books but they had put me off writing a similar book about my own upbringing in Manchester because his books were so good. I never expected a reply because how many authors actually write back to their fans. I received a marvellous, warm and very encouraging email from him that I printed too and framed. I am still writing my own account, 7 years on, maybe one day I will finish it but I will never forget the email he sent me.
So sad but what a warm and friendly person he seemed to be. We need more Billy Hopkins in this world.
I came across the Billy Hopkins books and his stories about life in Ancoats. So accurate and so moving and so reminiscent of my own life and background in Salford.
I have only just found out that Wilf died in 2012. I had just realised that I had never sent any of his books to my sister in America and was looking for copies I could buy on line when I found your page. Thank you for putting it up. Wilf was an important part of my life and his books will allow him to live on hopefully for many years to come. My best wishes to you and yours. Love to any remaining Hopkins family members.
I have just finished reading "Whatever Next", I thoroughly enjoyed it, reading how Billy first became an author. I had read all his books up to that one and I have "Tommy's World" to start today. They are all brilliant and I have no doubt that the final one will be up to his excellent standard. He certainly persevered with "Our Kid", and what a bonus for his readers that he did.
I have just looked
him up online and was sorry to see he has passed away,
My father was in the trenches in the first world war and I regret not asking and recording his experiences of his youth.
It was such a pleasure reading Billy Hopkins’ books. You felt you were right there on the scene. Couldn’t put the books down as they were so very interesting. Sorry you had to go Billy. May you rest in peace. Thanks x
I first read Kate's Story about 2 years ago and read it about 5 times, it was then that I noticed that there were other books. So I ordered them online and read Our Kid and when I was finished I could not wait to read the next one. I am on the last few pages of High Hopes and have Going Places sitting on my desk here at work waiting to be read. I can only imagine what life must have been like during the war in Europe. I looked up where he lived and grew up, on Google Maps. I'm sure it looks very different now but would love to take a trip to see for myself when I retire (I am in my early 50's). He has given me inspiration to start writing my own book, as I read somewhere he said that you are never too old. I wish I had met him in person. God Bless his wife, children and grandchildren. Thank-you.
My Dad has been writing ‘his story’ since my mum passed away in 2013. Dad was born in 1930 in Manchester and brought up in Hyde Street. My aunt recently loaned him “Our Kid” and he has loved reading it but now tells me he does not need to write his own story because Billy Hopkins has already written it. He knows every street, was on every bus mentioned and was at the centre of the conflagration Billy witnessed during the Blitz.
I have persuaded Dad to keep on writing but thought I would look Billy up and how sad I am that I am too late to put them in touch.
Dad said there was a Bobby Hopkins living on Hyde Street, I wonder if there is any connection.
for bringing my Dad’s memories back so vividly.
Thanks Billy for bringing my Dad’s memories back so vividly.
He really takes you on a journey through his life! Never really want his books to end.
Thank you for sharing your life.
I remember meeting
Billy (Wilf) many years ago in
Like him I lived in
Your cousin, David,
visited us two years ago and did promise to return. In my youth Joan and I were
very close. I have just got Tommy’s World from the library and look forward to
reviving old memories of
I purchased an audio book by Billy and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wrote him a letter and he replied back. When his book Tommy’s World was about to be released, he called me to see if I would be interested in purchasing it. Naturally, I said “yes”. The book arrived and was signed inside and a few book markers, also signed were included. I have only just been able to read the book after all this time! and have just looked at purchasing the rest of his collection. I am so sad that he has passed away as he had such an interesting life, much better than we have now I’m afraid. I will purchase the rest of his books and read them in his memory. May peace be with you Billy and your family. You were a great story teller.
So sad to hear that Billy Hopkins has passed away…RIP Billy.
I looked up the site tonight as I had just been recommending his books to my sister as I have read them all and was telling her how fantastic they are, that he was from Cheetham Hill and is still alive and living in Southport. So sad to hear of his passing; he was a fabulous author and I think I am going to have to read his books all over again. I've never parted with Our Kid!!
I have never written to any authors of books that I have read, but this is very different. I managed to buy 5 of the Our Kid series and have thoroughly enjoyed them. His way of writing makes you feel you can see what is happening, and that you were there. I have been to the UK numerous times and it helped to picture the locations of the stories.
He was a gifted man and I just wanted to convey how much pleasure he has given me with his stories. I’m sad of his loss and would have loved to pass this on personally.
I have just found and read "Our Kid" - a wonderful, inspiring, moving and laugh-out-loud story. What an exceptional man … if only there were many more like him, our world would be a better, happier place.
Have just finished reading "Anything Goes" and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great family reading, and one most parents can probably relate to.
I have received many of Billy’s books (with pens and bookmarks); thank you for that. He gave me so many hours of pleasure reading about your family and giving me an insight to how my family would have lived in Ancoats in days gone by. His stories of life in South Africa were very interesting too.
My condolences to the family on the loss of a wonderful father and story teller. What a great legacy he has left for you and the rest of us from that area and beyond.
A wonderful author who gave pleasure to millions of people. On reading his books I've laughed and cried and would love to have met the man in person. RIP, You lovely man.
I would just like to say how much l have enjoyed reading all the series but l am waiting for Tommy's World. I'm sure it will add to my enjoyment. I bought my first book in a charity shop and ended up searching and buying each on eBay. Wonderful factual and personal stories based on facts that I recognise. I wish I could say thank you to your father, obviously a man of character.
My Mum read most of the series and enjoyed them immensely…as did I. They are part of my keep and re-read collection and always will be. Thank you Mr H. Bless you.
I have read and enjoyed Billy’s books over the last few years and have just found his last one Whatever Next – it is most interesting and enjoyable. Best wishes to you and Your family. RIP Billy.
Ken Miller – 18th March, 2015
I was just starting
to read "Whatever Next" because somebody had seen my complements to
Billy on the cover on the book - I did not realise he had past on to his
greater rewards! Sad to know Billy has gone! Billy's books were magic and had
me - in my mind - walking down Butler Street to my uncle Walters
grocers shops in Butler Street and Woodward Street. God will have used
Billy's talents in His kingdom I am sure - and one day - I hope to see him to
say thanks for many happy hours reading…
Good luck and God bless you and yours.
JHN Durham – 18th March, 2015
Brilliant author. Read all his books. Enjoyed every one of them.
Margaret Neumann – 14th February, 2015
I am half way through Billy's book, Our Kid; and wanted to see what else Billy had wrote. So sad to hear he had passed away. I have little knowledge how life was back then, since been a 70's child, but find Billy's story very interesting. I will certainly read the other books now. Billy's family must be so proud of him; and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him, and enjoyed reading his books.
My thoughts are with Billy's family
Vicki Dawkins – 30th December, 2014
Have just read Anything Goes and was so impressed thought I'd check on-line to see what other books were available by the author only to find he had passed away. My most sincere condolences to Billy's family. Whilst I did not grow up in the same area I was born in 1956 and could relate well to the stories about his children growing up. My children would probably shudder but it made me think back to my childhood and "the good old days"! Will most certainly be reading his other books and possibly even forcing them onto my children! RIP Billy.
Carol Marano – 11th December, 2014
Rest in Peace Mr Hopkins. My Dear Friend deeply admired your work, as do I. You shall always be remembered with love and reverence.
Kate McKeating-Beard, Belfast – 6th October, 2014
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed these books, they gave me so much pleasure. In particular Anything Goes, which I read in one day. Billy and his family will always be remembered as long as the books exist. With so many fans I’m sure that will be for a long time.
Royston Howe – 22nd August, 2014
Just starting to read Billy’s books. Wonderful insight into life in those times. I was born in the 40's. So true to life. Brings back memories, good and bad.
God bless and rest in peace Billy.
Jean Dunsmore, Wimborne – 18th August, 2014
So sad to have just found out about the passing of Billy Hopkins. Just loved all his books and will keep passing them on to friends to read.
Ella Delancey – 18th August, 2014
I was really sad to hear of the passing of Billy Hopkins. I had always meant to write to him directly, to let him know how much I enjoyed all of his books. I first read ‘Kate’s Story’ on holiday in Cyprus when I was about 8 or 9. I’m 23 now, and this book remains my favourite book. I still have the original copy, it is dog-eared and falling apart - I had to buy a new one! I can’t think how many times I have read it, and still enjoy it anew each time. How brilliant that Bill has left such a legacy in his books, and has touched so many people, including me.
Rita Walker, Morecombe – 14th August, 2014
I was so sad to learn of the death of Billy. I have now read all of his books except Kate’s Story which I look forward to with great pleasure since it's sure to be as good as the rest. I am from Miles Platting so am familiar with the places mentioned in the stories. I also think that since they all seem very well researched; the books could be read as history lessons - very pleasant ones! You must be very proud of your father.
Kate Skeffington – 14th August, 2014
I just wanted to say that Billy Hopkins has been my favourite author for years, after my auntie introduced me to Our Kid. I loved all the books and couldn’t get enough. I have read all books about three times over and currently working my way book through the series again. I love reading his books and I can’t put his books down when I’m reading them. They are all amazing and I’m so glad he shared his stories with us.
Matthew Boggan – 21st January, 2014
I just wanted to drop a quick note to say how much I enjoyed your Billy’s books. I have just been on holiday and don’t tend to read much, but I had just read Fergie’s autobiography and needed another book. I bought ‘Our Kid’ from a little book exchange on a tiny Thai Island, Ko Lipe. I loved ‘Our Kid’, couldn't put it down and read it in a couple of days. I then went back to the same little shop and found ‘Anything Goes’.
I logged on back home to email Billy, but saw that he had sadly passed away. Sorry about Billy, but thanks to all your family for inspiring him to write such good books!
Dr Gabriel A. Sivan – 31st January, 2014
Please accept my belated condolences on the death of Billy Hopkins. I last heard from him way back in July 2010 and had no idea that he had passed away. Several of his books are in my library and I much enjoyed reading these half-autobiographical accounts of his boyhood in Manchester and later experiences. I know that Billy's many readers will cherish his memory. "May his soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life".
Philip Porter – 25th March, 2013
I have just finished reading all 7 books, and feel as though Billy is a member of my family. The way he puts things across is just brilliant. Things in the book bring back so many memories of life in my childhood in the 50s and 60s. I love learning about what life was like in the 1800s and early 1900s, it makes me realise how well off we really are today. Thank you Billy, rest in peace you deserve it, and best wishes to his family especially his wife, Clare (Laura).
Jim Welsh – 25th March, 2013
Very fond memories of Wilf … a major influence in my life and career. I’ve not long returned from work in a university in SE Asia and I was still distilling some of the words of wisdom that Wilf passed on to me all those years ago in Malaŵi.
I’m glad that Wilf continued to distil his knowledge and humanity into a productive writing life in UK. Did he still wield a wicked tennis racket?
Thanks, not just for the memory but for all that wonderful advice given so openly all those years ago in Malaŵi.
Karen Roberts – 21st February, 2013
It takes me usually a while to read a book, but Billy’s books I whizzes thro on my first, which was Kate’s Story. I thought about seein if I could write to you and say thanks for a fabulous story. I was given Our Kid which made me realise what a character you are and again thought about writing a letter, then High Hopes & Going Places now just finished Anything Goes, my favourite! Now onto Tommy’s World and realised I now need to write to you. Got the courage to come onto a PC and find I was a little too late, so sorry to all your family and glad I found your books. Thank you and please take a well earned rest now with your mam and dad x
Jackie – 20th February, 2013
Just read Tommy’s World and couldn’t put it down. I have just started Whatever Next, as it was the only one I could get; the other titles are on order. What a brilliant author. He brings the books to life and I believe I am right there with him. GOD BLESS YOU and may you REST IN PEACE.
Colin Upton – 19th February, 2013
I met you in Urmston at St Clement’s Church Hall. We discussed your time working at Kelloggs in Stretford where I also work. We had a grand chinwag. RIP.
Tony Clarke – 30th January, 2013
Thank you, Billy.
Rhona Wilson – 29th January, 2013
I have never read a book so moving in my life. I couldn’t put them down. His memory will live on in his books, so sadly missed, an author of tremendous talent, his books so hard to put down. His memory will live on in his books. Rhona Wilson
Billy Mac – 27th January, 2013
His memories, like the man, will stay in our memories forever.
Beata – 17th January, 2013
I’ve just found out this sad piece of news. I read all Billy’s books and recommended them to everybody. I am Polish, a teacher of English. Five years ago, I wrote an email to Billy and received a very personal and cordial answer. One of my most favourite authors and a person I highly admired is now looking at us from above.
Rest in Peace, dear Billy.
Ula – 11th January, 2013
Just finished reading ’Going Places’ and have just found out you have indeed done it again - gone to a wonderful place - heaven. Thank you for the hours of pleasure when reading your books.
Martin Gamble – 6th January, 2013
I have just found out about Wilfred. Such a sad loss. I have read every single one of his books and felt I was there. Never before have I read books of Billy’s calibre. Enjoy your rest.
Jackie Norris – 21st December, 2013
I have only just found out that Billy has died. I have read every single book that he has ever written, over and over again on some occasions. I was on his email list whenever he brought a new book out including Big Mama. He will be sadly missed. May he rest in peace.
Paul Entwistle – 8th December, 2012
Fantastic writer. Going to Kindle all your books. RIP. X
Jane – 2nd December, 2012
Have just read Whatever Next, not realising there were more books. I loved every minute of it. After finishing it, I logged on to the Internet only to learn this wonderful author has died. My condolences to all the family. I will be now reading all the other books in the correct order. A great loss to the literary world. x
Ben Grange – 29th November, 2012
I am very sorry to hear that Billy has passed away. I emailed him back in 2009 to tell him how much we enjoyed ’Our Kid’. I found this book absolutely captivating and told him of my father’s boyhood in Clayton at a very similar time to Billy and received a lovely email message in return. Rest in Peace.
Luke Harlow – 25th November, 2012
I have lost count of the amount of times I have read the family series of books. Each time a new book came out, it gave me the opportunity to read from the beginning once again, especially when Kate’s Story and then Tommy’s World where published as it offered an unmissable opportunity to start the books from the beginning once again and delve into the world of Hopkins legend that we have all come to love.
Condolences to the family. Billy may be gone, but will never be forgotten as his stories are carried in the hearts of all who have read his wonderful books.
Thank you Billy.
John Nugent – 24th November, 2012
Oh how I have enjoyed reading about Billy. I am up to his marriage to Laura. Getting the rest today! My family’s origins are from Ancoats and it is fascinating learning about the area that my parents knew. Billy you have given me so much enjoyment. Many thanks. My condolences to the family.
Maggie Deming – 24th October, 2012
God Rest your soul, Billy. You lived a long and amazing life and we will always cherish your stories forever. God Bless Mate.
Brooklyn NY USA
Alison Sharkey – 21st October, 2012
Oh, I was so sad when I heard of your passing, but what a great life you had. I had never read a book at the grand age of 34. I was going on hols and went into Woolworth’s to buy magazines and seen Kate’s Story. OMG! I could not put it down. I then came home and I read all your books. You did not only give me the fantastic pleasure of your books; you gave me the love of books. I THANK YOU BILLY HOPKINS (AS I KNOW YOU) AND TRY TO BEHAVE YOURSELF WHEREVER YOU ARE XXX
Gerald Sharkey – 21st October, 2012
So sorry to hear Billy has passed away. His books helped when I was down. I told him this, and he was so kind, he emailed me back. Thank you and rest in peace, Billy.
Brian McDonald – 20th October, 2012
Rest in peace my friend. I’m sure there is a publisher up there. Meanwhile I will read all your delightful books again.
Alma – 12th October, 2012
Sorry to hear of Billy’s passing. He was a wonderful Man and Author and was kind enough to send my husband a signed copy of one of his book for a Christmas gift. Billy will be sadly missed and leaves a hole in my life. May I pass on my regards to Billy’s family, friends and to readers of his books.
Eugenie C Smith – 11th October, 2012
It was been my pleasure to have known Wilfred for several years. We had so much in common, not only as fellow writers, but the fact that we both lived in Africa in the 1960’s and have written books about our experiences there. I read every one of his books, sometimes twice over. I shall miss ‘Billy Hopkins’ a great deal. With sadness … Eugenie
Ian, Manchester – 8th October, 2012
Sorry to hear of Billy’s passing. His books have brought many hours of enjoyment over the past few years. Rest in peace.
Kath Nicol – 2nd October, 2012
Although we never met I felt that Billy was a part of my life. Before the war, I lived in Salford and then in Swinton. His books made me feel homesick. Perhaps, one day some of his books will find their way into schools and become required reading for many students. Big Mama left a deep impression on me and I think it should be studied by people wanting to get into politics and/or the diplomatic service. My sincere condolences to Wilf’s family who must miss him dreadfully.
Rachael Prince – 30th September, 2012
Three generations of my family are currently reading your books, and we each laugh, cry and are intrigued the same. I suspect many generations to come will enjoy them just as much! My Nan and I were just checking whether there were any more to come and find you have passed on. We are so very sad but hope you rest well because your legacy and energy will live on forever. Love to your family, as their heart is where you live now x
Sue White – 28th September, 2012
How sad. I have just been reading all your books, which I really loved. Thought I would look you up and email you to say how much I enjoyed them. So, over Rainbow Bridge, I hope the message gets through. Sue
Alan Hurdle – 26th September, 2012
Really enjoyed all your books especially as I was born near to your wife, Laura’s, birthplace (Rusholme) and went to school and worked in the area the books are set for 37 years (Clayton) so the places you describe in Manchester are very familiar to me. R.I.P. Billy and thanks for the stories.
Jimmy Mc – 25th September, 2012
RIP Billy. Loved your stories.
John Christer – 16th September, 2012
Just halfway through Tommy’s World. Read all the other books. I can honestly say, I have not read better books. He has left a vacuum in many peoples’ lives. He feels like one of my family. He will be sadly missed.
Kevin Williams – 16th September, 2012
I have only just heard of Wilfred’s passing; so sad to hear. His books were fantastic and having read them all, "Our Kid" 4 times and Kate’s tale 3 times, I feel that I knew him and his Family so well. A truly remarkable tale of a Great man. God Bless.
Michael Coleman-Hill – 10th September, 2012
I first read Billy Hopkins’ books a few years ago and am now about to start the series all over again. RIP Billy - you were and still are, an inspiration.
Trevor Bunn – 6th September, 2012
He has inspired me from beyond the grave. What a wonderful chap he must have been to know!
Jean Carter – 4th September, 2012
I have really enjoyed reading these wonderful books. Humorous, touching and very, very interesting. RIP Billy Hopkins
Tammy Pullara – 4th September, 2012
After recently discovering Billy’s books and reading 4 of them in a fortnight I am saddened to hear of his passing away. It’s almost like losing a good friend. RIP Mr Hopkins.
Joan Dykes – 3rd September, 2012
I have read most of the books and really enjoyed them. Bless your family and rest in peace.
Kath Proud – 2nd September, 2012
I had "High Hopes" sitting in my bookcase for a long time and to be honest didn’t fancy reading it. When I did I couldn’t put it down and have subsequently downloaded all the books onto my Kindle and have really enjoyed them all. Thank you for the laughter – rest in peace.
P. Johnston – 31st August, 2012
Thank you for the hours of enjoyment reading your books. God bless you.
Mary Nash – 31st August, 2012
I wish I had found you sooner. God bless.
I will miss looking forward to the next
Steve Whatman – 30th August, 2012
Sorry to hear of your loss. I have enjoyed reading all of his books and was looking forward to the next one. RIP
Julie Young – 27th August, 2012
How sad but must have had such a wonderful life doing what he was good at, teaching/writing and having a lovely home life, even before Billy, as he seemed to loved very much.
Pauline Challen – 25th August, 2012
Have just finished Whatever Next and makes me want to try to write about my memories of growing up in the fifties.
Diane Shaw – 23rd August, 2012
How very sad I am to learn of the death of Billy Hopkins. The reason for me going to his website is that I have only today 23/Aug/21012 discovered Billy’s wonderful books & I was hoping to ask him some questions, as I am writing my own biography & found Billy an inspiration of words. To your dear family, my heart goes out to you all who ever you are & where ever you may be. A very bright light has gone out of your lives, but in words Billy will always Brightly Shine! God Bless You Billy, I am so sorry we did not get to converse, but I am sure I am going to get to know all about you when I sit & enjoy reading every single one of your books. You are an Inspiration & I will definitely finish writing my book with a dedication to you inside.
Yours, Diane from the Isle of Wight
Clive Willcocks – 20th August, 2012
So Sad. Such a great loss. My thoughts are with his family. Have just finished reading Big Mama. What a great book, like all the others. Wish there could have been loads more like this.
Barbara Williams – 18th August, 2012
Sorry to hear of Billy’s death. I have read all of his family series and wept and laughed over them. I know all the places he wrote about as I was born in the same area. My thoughts are with all his family.
Kirsty – 17th August, 2012
I am currently reading these books and I love them. The down to earth telling is full of love for his family. Thank you.
Sharon Roberts – 13th August, 2012
Many thanks for the pleasure your books have given me. I have read them many times. My thoughts go to your family. x
Andy Glynn – 7th August, 2012
I was very saddened to hear of Billy’s death. What an absolute diamond of a man. I have read the first 2 books (so far) and I am completely hooked. I am 45 and grew up in Manchester and lived in The Bridge Inn on Fairfield Street, next to Piccadilly Station, from 1969 – 1975. My Father grew up in Moston and my Mother, Harpurhey. I just get it and so far I’ve laughed, cried and cringed. God Bless you, Billy. May you rest in peace.
Suzanne Smith – 5th August, 2012
R.I.P. Billy. I have so enjoyed reading about your life. x
David Harvey – 4th August, 2012
Billy’s books I have read so far are a sheer delight. I have not read them all but started off with ’High Hopes’ & am following the rest through in sequence; then will backtrack to the earlier ones. Many Thanks, Billy - RIP.
A Devoted Fan – 1st August, 2012
It’s with great sadness I’ve read that you have past away, Billy. Through your wonderful books you took me back to my childhood; to the back-to-back houses of Manchester. I’ve read all your books and have written to you thanking you for transporting me back in time. You replied which such a lovely letter, I still have it, 8 years later. You wrote back saying you were hoping there was one more book in you. It’s sad that your health didn’t allow you to write it, but your work will stay with me forever and I envy the people who are just starting to read your work. What a journey; what a Man. RIP Billy.
Colin Smith – 30th July. 2012
What a sad loss to the many readers who have derived so much pleasure from the pen of this lovely man. No, I didn’t know him, or even of him, until my late wife introduced me to "Our Kid." That I, a confirmed hater of non-fiction, should read this book and then nearly fall over myself to obtain the remainder of the series proves, to me at least, just how brilliant this man, this author was.
Julie in KL – 30th July, 2012
I’m saddened to hear of Billy’s passing. I absolutely loved reading his books. Heartfelt wishes to his family.
Pamela Halkyard – 30th July, 2012
What a lovely man. Enjoyed the books so much. RIP Billy Hopkins. You will not be forgotten.
Jennifer Reilly – 29th July, 2012
What a talented Author. What joy and laughter he has brought to so many. RIP
Lona – 24th July, 2012
Have enjoyed all your books and finishing "Whatever Next!" made me want to read the 6 previous again.
Gaynor Waddingham – 24th July, 2012
I loved Billy’s books so much and made every member of my family read them - they all loved them too. Such an amazing writer and I’m sure an amazing man too. He will be sadly missed. Thanks for writing such wonderful stories.
Lidia – 21st July, 2012
Rest in peace Billy Hopkins, and rest assured that your wonderful books will be the delight of generations. I have thoroughly enjoyed the first four and I’m now reading Going Places, living the excitement of buying his first home in Regina Park. You are very much alive in those pages. Having followed the story of Kate since she was an eleven year old girl, I have to say I am truly inspired by this amazing woman. My respects and condolences to his family.
Henry Walsh – 18th July, 2012
R.I.P Our Kid, from a Collyhurst kid.
Mary Bell – 17th July, 2012
God bless Billy, brilliant man. What a pleasure to read his books. Inspiration.
Janice – 17th July, 2012
My sincere condolences to the family of this wonderful, vibrant writer.
Kim – 15th July, 2012
Just came to the website to see if Billy had written anything new for me to read. My condolences to the family.
Sheila Humberstone – 14th July, 2012
So sad. Lovely man and a really good author. I loved all his books. He will be greatly missed.
Terence Reeves – 13th July, 2012
I was shocked and surprised to hear that Billy had died. The world is a poorer place without him.
He gave so much pleasure with his books, which will continue long into the future, his humour came through on every page as well as his caring love for his family.
He appeared to love a challenge and the excitement of making a
few quid with his many schemes like the airship shares outlined in his book
He (like many brought up in the catholic church in those days) tried to work out the complications and tariff for ’Days in Purgatory’. How we laughed at his calculations for that and his concern.
When, by chance I wrote to congratulate him on the first of his books ’Our Kid’ that I had read. I was so surprised at his immediate answer to me and went on to find out that we had both worked at the University in Malaŵi, but at different times.
We struck up a bit of a friendship and exchanged many emails, he encouraged me to write a book, having read of my past, persuading me to self published ’African Harvest’. Without Billy it would never have happened, he gave me belief in myself and joy from our exchanges and from his books that I will always treasure.
God Bless you Billy,
Thomas Lamb – 12th July, 2012
Another Collyhurst kid that’s gone to heaven. R.I.P Wilf
Jacqui M – 12th July, 2012
I was so sad to hear of his death, but what a fantastic legacy he has left future generations of his family. No need to trawl through ancestry sites, it’s all there in print, beautifully written. I have loved all the books. God Bless
Michael Lally – 10th July, 2012
R.I.P Wilfred. Yet another of the Lally dynasty passes on.
Wilfred was my cousin and ironically I was about to get in touch with him to ask a few question I hoped he could answer about our Uncle Matthew and Aunt Cecilia.
Michael and Jill Lally and family
Carole Blakemore – 10th July, 2012
All Billys books were compelling reading to me I cound’nt put them down. The first one I read " Our Kid" I laughed and cried whilst remembering my own chidhood days growing up in Collyhurst . Rest In Peace dear Billy your books gave us all so much pleasure .
Julie McKenna – 9th July, 2012
My husband read Our Kid and loved it. So I thought I will read this book and see why he was laughing so much. Well, that was me addicted! Just couldn’t put the book down. I loved all the books Billy wrote but in all honesty my favourite was Kate’s Story. She was an inspiration to all women and I’m sure her family were very proud of her. I too, was born in Collyhurst and have very fond memories of the place. I look around Collyhurst and the surrounding areas that Billy wrote about and it makes me smile. Thank you so much Billy for giving so many people the pleasure of reading your books. You are an inspiration to all the people of Collyhurst. Thank you! R.I.P Billy, you are a star. GOD BLESS. xx
Emma Renyard – 9th July, 2012
I had the great fortune to meet Wilfred when he accepted an Honorary Degree from UCP Marjon. He was truly remarkable, and we will remember him fondly. He was an inspiration to our graduates and his talk had everyone in the congregation "laughing out loud". I know that Wilfred would appreciate the modern use of LOL. He told me off once when I said I had sent him a letter in the post for wasting postage and not sending a pdf. I knew him only briefly, but will remember him always - rest in peace Wilf!
Alison & John McCartan – 5th July, 2012
Me and my husband started reading the Billy Hopkins books only 4 months ago when my sister gave me Kate’s Story to read. I then passed it on to John and then we got all the rest of the books from the library and we could not put them down. John has now read them all and I am on my fifth one. We have enjoyed them so much and then found out Billy had died just recently and felt sad that there will be no more books to read. What a fantastic writer. We have been passing the word on to get more people we know to read them. We are going to have a day out to Manchester to look at some of the places he mentions because they bring back so many memories. You must all be very proud of what he achieved, we feel we know him just from reading his books. I am 54 and was born in Openshaw and also lived in Bradford, Manchester and Miles Platting and went through some similar situations that Billy found himself in. May his books continue to give so much pleasure to lots more people. I just don’t know what I am going to read once I have finished the 7th book! xx
Patricia Lowe – 3rd July, 2012
So very sad to hear about Billy’s death. I am 63, live in the Manchester area and loved everyone of the books. I could imagine all the locations and found myself taken back to my own childhood.
Peter Horsted – 1st July, 2012
I feel like I’ve lost a friend. I really love Billy’s books and his adventures. So sad to hear he passed away. RIP.
Maureen Bristow – 28th June, 2012
Just discovered his books. They are a light in my lonely nights.
John Jafari – 25th June, 2012
I could feel the space and time you pictured in your books, the ones I read and then I sense I belonged there.
Sheila Wood – 25th June, 2012
A man who never forgot his roots. RIP xxx
Maria Steele – 24th June, 2012
Thank you Billy, for many happy hours of reading. To relate to so much in your books was wonderful. From an ex-Collyhurst girl. God Bless you and your family. xx
Mel – 24th June, 2012
RIP Billy. My Grandad introduced me to your book ’Our Kid’ when I went over to Cyprus to stay with him for a while. I loved it and when I came home I ordered the rest one by one and then passed them on to my Grandad. We both really enjoyed them all and admired you greatly. Well done for bringing me and my Grandad closer together through a mutual interest of your books ;) xx
Mary Jones – 24th June, 2012
R.I.P. Billy Hopkins. I have read his books over and over again and I can’t begin to tell you what great pleasure I got from reading them. I now read them to my 7 year old grandson, who is enthralled by them. We live in Blackley now, but I was brought up in Collyhurst/Harpurhey so I can relate to many of the stories. In one of Billy’s books the Sawyers Arms is mentioned. I worked at that very pub for 5 happy years. xx