Wales

Alvin Stardust's funeral held in Swansea

Alvin Stardust's coffin leaves St Thomas church in Swansea Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Alvin Stardust's coffin enters St Thomas' Church in Swansea

The funeral of 1970s singing star Alvin Stardust has taken place in his adopted home of Swansea.

The London-born entertainer died of metastatic prostate cancer last month at the age of 72.

Born Bernard Jewry, the singer is best remembered for hits including My Coo Ca Choo and Jealous Mind.

His former manager Lord Michael Levy, whose firm Magnet Records signed Stardust, paid tribute saying "there was no finer gentleman".

The singer's coffin was carried into St Thomas' Church to one of Stardust's favourite songs When You Wish Upon A Star from the Disney film Pinocchio.

Male voice choir the Gwalia Singers performed his favourite hymn Calon Lân, before Lord Levy read a eulogy to the star.

He told the 350 mourners: "I stand here as the creator of the persona of Alvin Stardust.

"But Alvin, you made yourself into such a great artist around the world."

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Media captionReverend Steve Bunting said Stardust and his wife were "part of the Swansea community"

The performer's eldest son Shaun Fenton paid tribute to his father who he said "created champagne moments and lifetime memories again and again".

Stardust's band mates poured themselves a glass of whiskey around his coffin before toasting the star.

A champagne cork was then popped to mark his habit of having a glass of the drink at the end of a show.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Reverend Steve Bunting led the cortege through the streets towards the church
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Around 50 members of the Harley Davidson Owners' Club prepare to escort the singer's coffin
Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The singer's coffin was carried into church to the song When You Wish Upon A Star

The funeral was held at the same church where Stardust, who grew up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, married his third wife, Swansea-born actress and choreographer Julie Paton.

The couple met in the 1990s, when the singer was starring in the musical Godspell.

They bought a house in St Thomas and lived there when he was not touring.

His first wife Iris Fenton, 68, who attended the service, spoke fondly of the singer.

She said: "I dumped Paul McCartney to go out with Shane. We were a double act doing all the clubs as Shane Fenton and Iris - the personality pair.

"We were a singing and dance act. But I can't sing and he couldn't dance. But we had a fabulous marriage and we kept close afterwards.

"It shows what sort of man he was to have all three wives here. Everybody loved him."

After the service, around 50 members of the Harley Davidson Owners' Club escorted the singer's coffin from the funeral to Swansea Crematorium.

The riders, who grew up listening to his music, came from as far afield as Bristol and Pembrokeshire at the request of Stardust's daughter Sophie.

Image caption Lord Levy (centre), who is now a Labour member of the House of Lords, read a eulogy at the service
Image caption Unmistakeable with black leather gloves - and bouffant hairstyle - in the mid 1970s

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