North Finchley street legend Horace smiling in last known photo

Street legend Horace smiling in last known photo

Horace posed for a photograph by mother-of-two Esther Hodges on Friday

Flowers were placed outside McDonald's in High Road, one of Horace's regular haunts

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

Street “legend” Horace White is seen smiling in one of the last pictures taken of him before his sudden death.

The 54-year-old collapsed outside Whittington Hospital, in Archway, on his way to an appointment yesterday (Monday).

Doctors fought for almost two hours to save the popular man but he was pronounced dead overnight.

A Facebook page remembering the overwhelmingly famous figure has received nearly 5,000 ‘Likes’, while an online petition to have a bench installed in his memory has gathered 2,000 web signatures.

An extremely well known face around the North Finchley area, Horace was best known for wishing people the “best of luck” as he hung around outside shops in the High Road for more than three decades.

Mother-of-two Esther Hodges had not seen the enigmatic character “for years” before bumping into him in Sainsbury’s in the High Road on Friday.

She said: “He said hello and remembered my name and everything. I asked him ‘can I please take a picture of you?’ as I hadn’t seen him in so long.

“I’m so glad I did because the next thing I hear on Monday was that he had died – I couldn’t believe it. He was an icon, a gentle giant.

“The last thing he said to me before I left was ‘best of luck Mrs Hodges’.”

Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced later this week.

Did you know Horace? Leave your tributes below.

Comments (8)

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6:14pm Tue 25 Sep 12

nicki jayne says...

can't belive the sad news off the very own finchley legend horris its only the other month u wanted a kiss from me lol and sitting there drawing all my kids pictures and only a few days ago i saw u ive known horris since i was a little girl and i know its not going to be the same without him round finchley and hearing his big voice shouting to people THE BEST OFF LUCKreally cant belive it the finchley ledgend gone but never forgotten.r.i.p horrisxx
can't belive the sad news off the very own finchley legend horris its only the other month u wanted a kiss from me lol and sitting there drawing all my kids pictures and only a few days ago i saw u ive known horris since i was a little girl and i know its not going to be the same without him round finchley and hearing his big voice shouting to people THE BEST OFF LUCKreally cant belive it the finchley ledgend gone but never forgotten.r.i.p horrisxx nicki jayne
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Wed 26 Sep 12

Lorraine C says...

I've lived in Finchley all of my life and known Horace since he was a teenager and he never seemed to look any different.
He was once known as Stanley but suddenly that changed, I don't know why?
As a teenager, I worked a a few shops along from WHSmiths and so saw him on a daily basis and he called me Miss Meyer, which never changed, even though I've been married for 27years :-)
I only learned yesterday, that he knew both my children by name too!
I find it heartwarming that, although we only had brief encounters with this Jolly character, he seems to have been a common denominator for a whole community, spanning the generations too!
I shall miss him shouting at the top of his voice. THE BEST OF LUCK! RIP Horace! x
I've lived in Finchley all of my life and known Horace since he was a teenager and he never seemed to look any different. He was once known as Stanley but suddenly that changed, I don't know why? As a teenager, I worked a a few shops along from WHSmiths and so saw him on a daily basis and he called me Miss Meyer, which never changed, even though I've been married for 27years :-) I only learned yesterday, that he knew both my children by name too! I find it heartwarming that, although we only had brief encounters with this Jolly character, he seems to have been a common denominator for a whole community, spanning the generations too! I shall miss him shouting at the top of his voice. THE BEST OF LUCK! RIP Horace! x Lorraine C
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Wed 26 Sep 12

Denize & Gary says...

An amazing character, have known Horace for years and he still remembers certain people that I used to hang out with from the past when out if the blue he will just ask by name after them. He will be sadly missed in North Finchley, but am glad to of met him and his crazy ways.
"The best of luck" will be a phrase that everyone will remember.
Remembering you Horace.
Love and light
Denize & Gary xxx
An amazing character, have known Horace for years and he still remembers certain people that I used to hang out with from the past when out if the blue he will just ask by name after them. He will be sadly missed in North Finchley, but am glad to of met him and his crazy ways. "The best of luck" will be a phrase that everyone will remember. Remembering you Horace. Love and light Denize & Gary xxx Denize & Gary
  • Score: 0

7:40pm Wed 26 Sep 12

Blake Knight says...

I have Lived in the Barnet 25 years and have known Horace just as long,. Im shocked as i was only chatting with him a week or so ago asking how he was and how life was treating him giving him a coffe from the coffe Republic next to his favourite hot spot Mc' D's. Horace has always been friendly and had time to chat to everyone drawing people pictures for thoes that had time for him. He never asked for money or anything from anyone, even when he was wearing his ski jacket in the summer months.
People used to wind him up by calling him Stanly, this was what his wife used to call him before she passed away in the house fire of 89. It was always a sore point for him as i always knew that he felt responciable and this is why he used to shout at people passing by in cars, if only they had know the truth! Would they have said it to him still? A wonderful character with a lions heart, Horace you will be sorely missed my friend and may the heaven kingdom welcome you and grace you with the same light you have brought to all our lives... “THE BEST OF LUCK!!!!”
I have Lived in the Barnet 25 years and have known Horace just as long,. Im shocked as i was only chatting with him a week or so ago asking how he was and how life was treating him giving him a coffe from the coffe Republic next to his favourite hot spot Mc' D's. Horace has always been friendly and had time to chat to everyone drawing people pictures for thoes that had time for him. He never asked for money or anything from anyone, even when he was wearing his ski jacket in the summer months. People used to wind him up by calling him Stanly, this was what his wife used to call him before she passed away in the house fire of 89. It was always a sore point for him as i always knew that he felt responciable and this is why he used to shout at people passing by in cars, if only they had know the truth! Would they have said it to him still? A wonderful character with a lions heart, Horace you will be sorely missed my friend and may the heaven kingdom welcome you and grace you with the same light you have brought to all our lives... “THE BEST OF LUCK!!!!” Blake Knight
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Wed 26 Sep 12

Dholmes29 says...

I was there outside the hospital when he collapsed.. It was heartbreaking.. I never knew the guy but to hear this news is so upsetting. I'd like to send my thoughts to his family. R. I. P horace x
I was there outside the hospital when he collapsed.. It was heartbreaking.. I never knew the guy but to hear this news is so upsetting. I'd like to send my thoughts to his family. R. I. P horace x Dholmes29
  • Score: 0

10:27am Fri 28 Sep 12

Miss Matthews says...

Going back to the days outside Budgens in East Finchley you were Finchley. You brought me hundreds of drawings & clippings, protected me from harm. Sitting in the old North Finchley Bus terminus to then spending most of your time back & fourth, 30 odd yrs of knowing you, from East to North. You are the King of Finchley. May you RIP my lovey. Sleep well, night night ****
Going back to the days outside Budgens in East Finchley you were Finchley. You brought me hundreds of drawings & clippings, protected me from harm. Sitting in the old North Finchley Bus terminus to then spending most of your time back & fourth, 30 odd yrs of knowing you, from East to North. You are the King of Finchley. May you RIP my lovey. Sleep well, night night **** Miss Matthews
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Fri 28 Sep 12

tanyaspensley says...

Finchley will not be the same without Horace welcoming everyone and wishing them "the best of luck" at the top of his voice! I was hugged and kissed on many occasions by Horace and he always asked me to be his girlfriend. At Christmas he would always dress as Santa too and looked like he was carrying gifts with all his cases. His permanent smile, friendship of 30 years and presence will be missed. Best wishes to his family and I wish Horace "The Best of Luck" and R.I.P. love Tanya
Finchley will not be the same without Horace welcoming everyone and wishing them "the best of luck" at the top of his voice! I was hugged and kissed on many occasions by Horace and he always asked me to be his girlfriend. At Christmas he would always dress as Santa too and looked like he was carrying gifts with all his cases. His permanent smile, friendship of 30 years and presence will be missed. Best wishes to his family and I wish Horace "The Best of Luck" and R.I.P. love Tanya tanyaspensley
  • Score: 0

6:48pm Sat 29 Sep 12

jessicafeldman says...

Horace was such a lovely man he always smiled at me when I walked past him and I always said hello and took time to go and say hello to him and just talk to him. A lovely guy taken too soon the good ones die first which is terrible. My mum knew him back from when she was at school aswell as my uncles.

My thoughts really go out to his family and does is anybody arranging a memorial for him maybe near where he used to hang out possibly a bench with his name on would be lovely.

R.I.P Horace sleep well

Love Jessica ****
Horace was such a lovely man he always smiled at me when I walked past him and I always said hello and took time to go and say hello to him and just talk to him. A lovely guy taken too soon the good ones die first which is terrible. My mum knew him back from when she was at school aswell as my uncles. My thoughts really go out to his family and does is anybody arranging a memorial for him maybe near where he used to hang out possibly a bench with his name on would be lovely. R.I.P Horace sleep well Love Jessica **** jessicafeldman
  • Score: 0

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