A country musician who was a figure of the city’s music scene for 30 years has died.
Stu Page played country music at a range of venues across the city, including the Arabesque, Newton Hill Working Men’s Club, the Lupset Hotel, and pubs in Ossett.
He released several albums and had been performing right up until his death on Sunday, April 28, aged 59.
Mr Page was suffering from lung cancer, which doctors only discovered in December last year when treating injuries from a fall.
Chris Gill, of Gilly’s Country Music Club, said he had booked Mr Page twice a year since 1979.
And he hosted a special tribute event for the star last night, at Westgate Common Working Men’s Club.
Mr Gill said: “He seemed to decline so quickly, which was very sad. He was a great bloke, absolutely fabulous. He was just a happy lad who got on with everbody.”
Mr Page had his own band, The Stu Page Band, which won awards at the British Country Music Awards. The band had many members over the years, including Tim Howard, Andy Whelan and Terry Clayton.
Mr Page’s fans thought he had a forward-thinking approach to the genre which was not fully appreciated until years later.
Mr Gill said: “He tried new things, some of which didn’t always go down well.
“But people playing new country are all doing the kind of things Stu was doing 20 years ago. What a guitarist he was, and what a singer.”
Michael Stott, who writes for the UK Rock ‘n’ Roll magazine and has written books on local music, agreed that Mr Page was underrated.
He said he played a few gigs elsewhere in the country supporting stars from America.
Mr Stott, of Ossett, said: “I think he was a very original artist who could write his own stuff, but it never seemed to get him what he deserved. He had an almost cult following who were passionate about him, but it was a strong local embodiment rather than national acclaim.”
More recently Mr Page had a band called Wild Hogs.