Leslie Cheung's spirit burning brightly five years after his death

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 March, 2008, 12:00am

Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing has been dead for five years but the love from friends and fans is still alive as thousands - including more than 1,000 from overseas - are expected to join a series of anniversary events starting on Saturday.

The singer-actor jumped off the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Central on April 1, 2003.

Fans coming to the city this week included 400 from the mainland, 200 from Japan and some from Canada and the United States, said Lee Wai-hung, spokeswoman of fan club Red Mission.

Some of the mainland fans were from remote villages or provinces as far away as Heilongjiang and Xinjiang , Ms Lee said.

She said it would be the biggest gathering of overseas fans in Hong Kong for memorial events for Cheung, affectionately known as Gor Gor. And these were only those who had asked the fan club to reserve tickets to memorial concerts.

'The actual number is expected to be bigger as many of them do not seek help from us,' Ms Lee said.

'It is very moving to see so many of them coming to Hong Kong for the occasion because a lot of them have to save up for a long time to pay for this trip.'

The memorial spirit will peak on April 1 - the fifth anniversary of Cheung's suicide - with a charity concert entitled 'Miss You Much Leslie' at the Coliseum.

Concert organiser Florence Chan Suk-fan said more than 10 of Cheung's singer friends, including Jacky Cheung Hok-yau and Eliza Chan Kit-ling, would perform.

It was also reported that Tony Leung Chiu-wai, who worked with Cheung on the movie Happy Together, and Joyce Cheng Yan-yee, daughter of late comedienne Lydia Sum Tin-ha, whom Cheung thanked in his suicide note, would turn up.

Ms Chan said tickets were sold out in two hours and tickets to an extra March 31 show would go on sale tomorrow.

She said the concerts would be followed by more in September and the money raised would go to charity.

Separately, independent singer-songwriter Joey Lo is organising a free concert for Sunday at the Avenue of Stars to pay tribute to his idol.

Angel Leung On-kay, director of Skymelody, which is handling the production of the concert, said: 'Compared to the concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum, this is a very down-to-earth show initiated by fans.' She said a candlelight vigil would be held during the concert.

Fans may also lay flowers at the wax statue of Cheung at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong and at the Ice House Street outdoor area of the Mandarin Oriental.

In his memory

March 29-April 2 Golden Gateway Cinema, Tsim Sha Tsui: Retrospective of three of Cheung's classics, including Days of Being Wild

March 30 8pm-10pm, Avenue of Stars: Tribute concert initiated by singer-songwriter Joey Lo

March 31 8.30pm, outdoor area, Cultural Centre: Screening of a collage of footage of Cheung

March 31/April 1 8pm, Coliseum: Miss You Much Leslie concert, featuring more than 10 performers, including Jacky Cheung Hok-yau. March 31 tickets go on sale tomorrow at Urbtix outlets; April 1 tickets already sold out.

March 31-April 2 Mandarin Oriental: Flowers dedicated to Cheung will be welcomed during this period