More than 350 people attended Eastbourne Pier owner Abid Gulzar’s annual charity BBQ bash on Sunday - but there was one guest missing.
Mr Gulzar was taken to hospital the previous day after an accident at the venue for the BBQ - the Boship Lions Farm Hotel at Hailsham.
He cracked three ribs but that didn’t stop the crowd - led by mayor Pat Hearn - singing happy birthday to him from his hospital bed down a mobile phone.
The mayor thanked Mr Gulzar on behalf of the guests for his hospitality once again and former MP Caroline Ansell also brought her family along for the afternoon.
Mr Gulzar said, “I am so sorry I was not able to be there in person. Believe me, I would much rather have been there than in a bed at the DGH.
“But of course my main priority is always to put on an event that families and everyone can enjoy - and I am sure my staff ensured that was the case once again on Sunday.
“The weather was just beautiful and I am sure everyone had a good time. I am just sorry that I couldn’t be there.
“Sorry but not sad because I know that people would have been having a good time - and that is what I always hope for.”
Attractions included a singer, the Sea Gypsies belly dancers, horse riding and children’s bouncy castles.