Peterborough remembers ‘good man’ and ‘wonderful spirit’ Peter Boizot
The life of one of Peterborough’s greatest sons was celebrated at a moving memorial service in the city this afternoon (Friday).
Peterborough Cathedral was filled as hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the life of Peter Boizot. Peter was known in Peterborough as the founder of Pizza Express, a former Cathedral Chorister and King’s School pupil, and for his work as owner of Peterborough United, The Broadway Theatre and The Great Northern Hotel, and the congregation came from all walks of life - business, sport, charity, politics, faith and education - and from across the country showing the impact Peter had made in so many spheres of society. Leading the tributes was Peter’s sister, Clementine Allen, who described the entrepreneur as ‘a good man.’ She said she was ‘gobsmacked’ to see so many people at the Cathedral, and added: “Peter certainly didn’t do grey. He knew how to blaze a trail. He knew what he waned and he made sure he got it. He was a fantastic person with the most wonderful smile.” Mrs Allen also told the gathered congregation of Peter’s love for books - and how she got the nickname ‘Wendy’ because of his love of the character in Peter Pan. She said: “He was a modest man. He was a good person.” His friend Mike Gelardi, who worked with Peter at Pizz Express, spoke of Peter’s generosity, with his support for causes at home, but also for the money he raised to help Venice. He said: He was known for his support of so many causes. He raised more than £1 million for the Venice in Peril fund, and supported others here in Peterborough and elsewhere, including the upkeep of this beautiful cathedral. He had a wonderful spirit and a passion for life.” Peter’s love of music, and his passion for hockey were also celebrated at the service. Pianist Anna Paola giving a special performance in his memory, while Guy Mayers told of his passion for the sport, including the time he set up a match between a Soho restauranteurs team and a ‘scratch’ team of his friends - and rather than serve oranges at half time, players were given champagne. Following the service, Mayor of Peterborough cllr Chris Ash said Peter was a remarkable man - and said the city should have a lasting tribute to his legacy. He said: “He was one of the great characters of this city. It would be nice idea to have something here to remember him by.” Posh chief Executive Bob Symns added: “He would have loved this (service.) He was one of the original entrepreneurs. What he did for this city was phenomenal - let alone what he did for the club. He believed in the club, our academy and centre of excellence. He save the club, and made it so it could be the club today. He will be greatly missed in the city.”The