Man from Abbey Rd cover dies at 96

Paul Cole, the man visible behind John Lennon as the Beatles walk across the Abbey Rd crossing for the sleeve of their best album, died last week at his home in Florida.

The retired salesman is standing on the pavement, just behind the Beatles, having a good stare. Over the years, the picture has been reproduced in books, on posters, coffee mugs, T-shirts and hundreds of other places.

“I just happened to look up, and I saw those guys walking across the street like a line of ducks,” Cole remembered. “A bunch of kooks, I called them, because they were rather radical-looking at that time. You didn’t walk around in London barefoot.”