Fans of Sir Cliff Richard in court to offer moral support

Lifelong fans of Sir Cliff Richard have been to the High Court to offer him "moral support" during his battle against the BBC over its coverage of a police search of his home.

Maria Darling and other members of the Shoulder To Shoulder With Sir Cliff supporters' group were in the courtroom as BBC reporter Dan Johnson gave evidence on Wednesday.

The 57-year-old, from Hatfield, Hertforshire, said she set up the group, which now has more than 1,400 members, in the hours following the police raid on the singer's home in 2014.

She said she and other group members had waited outside every day of the trial so far to catch a glimpse of their idol, but decided to be there while Mr Johnson gave his evidence so the 77-year-old entertainer knew his fans were behind him.

Sir Cliff Richard smiles to fans as he leaves court after the fifth day of his case against the BBC over its coverage of a police raid on his home in 2014 (Sian Harrison/PA)
Sir Cliff Richard smiles to fans as he leaves court after the fifth day of his case against the BBC over its coverage of a police raid on his home in 2014 (Sian Harrison/PA)

She said: "We are here to support him and wanted him to see some of his fans in the courtroom.

"We want it to be a little bit of moral support for him, to have us here.

"Members of the group from all over the world have sent him their love and they are all behind him 100%."

Referring to the case, she said she felt an "injustice" had been done, adding: "We just think it is so unfair what has happened to him."

Ms Darling said she has been a fan of the singer since she was six years old and has met him on a number of occasions.

She said she and other group members were organising a trip to Sir Cliff's winery in Portugal later in the year and that fans would have the chance to meet him.

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