Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody’s dad dies days before Christmas after battling dementia

Gary shared the heartbreaking news with his followers (Picture: Instagram)

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody has revealed his dad died just days before Christmas following a battle with dementia.

The singer and songwriter, 43, revealed the news to his followers, writing: ‘Just before Christmas my dad, Jack, passed away. We had his funeral on christmas eve with family and close friends.

‘I’m not posting about it to make anyone sad and that’s why I waited until after Christmas to say anything at all I just wanted to pay tribute to the man that taught me and gave me so much.’

Gary added: ‘He was the funniest man I’ve ever known. Even in the depths of his dementia he could still be as sharp and hilarious as ever at times. He was also the most social person I ever knew. He could talk to anyone.

‘I’m in introvert so I’m shy around strangers but he would walk into a room full of strangers and within ten mins know all their names and their stories and be having the craic with them all. It was a gift he never lost.

‘We would walk into a restaurant and as we were being shown to our table he’d be talking to everyone at every other table we passed: “what are you having there, that looks good” and he’d be standing there chatting while we’d already be at our table waiting on him probably rolling our eyes. Ha. What a legend.

‘All my friends that knew him loved him. The messages I got when they found out were of heartbreak but also each of my friends have been telling me stories of how my dad made them laugh and I’m so glad that all of people’s memories of him seem to be of happy times.’


Gary revealed that his mother and the family had looked after his dad when he became ill, and thanked his care home for their kindness over the final few months of his dad’s life.

He continued: ‘My mum Lynne looked after him in his illness for years and her strength in all this has been a mighty thing to behold. She is a titan.

‘Also my mum, my sister sarah (who is also a titan) and my awesome niece honey and myself would like to say a massive thank you to the staff at Oakmont Care Home for their wonderful care of him over the last eight months.

‘If anyone met my dad at an SP gig or feels like they know him through the songs I wrote about him (Soon, I Think Of Home, Lifening) then, if you like, please raise a glass to him the next time you have a wee drink and say “cheers big jack”. He would‘ve liked that.

‘I don’t know what life looks like without him, I can’t even comprehend it, but he’ll be in my heart and all my family’s hearts for the rest of our lives. I love you dad. There were none like you. Your son, gary.x’

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