London: Thousands of people are expected to arrive in Cambridge for the funeral of British physicist Stephen Hawking on Saturday. Cambridge University is working with the police to supervise the area around Great St Mary’s Church where the service is scheduled to take place, Xinhua news agency reported.
There will be no public access to the church because the funeral has been designated as a private service for family, friends and colleagues. It is not known how big the crowds will be, but given Hawking’s worldwide fame, sources in Cambridge are predicting large numbers. “The funeral service will be attended by his family, invited friends and colleagues,” the university said in a statement.
“This is a private service and no-one without an invitation will be allowed entrance to the church before or during the funeral service. “Police, council officers and event control officers will be on hand to assist the public in the areas concerned.” Hawking died at his home in Cambridge on March 14 at the age of 76, defying the predictions of doctors that he would pass away 50 years earlier.
Hawking, a legendary figure in the modern history of physics, is known for his work on black holes and relativity and has authored several best-sellers on science, despite being bound to wheelchair after contracting a motor neurone disease in 1963 at the age of 21.