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ALVIN'S LAST WISH WAS TO RETURN TO WALES; Heartbroken widow says rocker considered himself an honourary Welshman.

Byline: ROBIN TURNER Reporter robin.turner@walesonline.co.uk

IT is the image that will be in Alvin Stardust's widow's mind as she lays him to rest in Swansea next week.

This image from Wales on Sunday's archives is of Welsh actress and choreographer Julie Paton's wedding to her glam rock lover at St Thomas' Church in Swansea.

The couple remembered the day so fondly that it was the 72-year-old London-born rock legend's dying wish to be returned to the same church for his funeral.

On that day in October 1992, crowds had gathered to watch the 50-year-old rock star, who was dressed in a dinner jacket and white bow tie, wed his 23-year-old Port Talbot-born bride, who was a vision in a white veil and gown.

Now 44, heart-broken widow Julie said: "Alvin and I were married at St Thomas' Church. "It was Alvin's last wish that he be returned to the place where he felt his heart belonged, he considered himself an honorary Welshman and will wait there for his beloved wife to join him."

The couple bought a home in St Thomas soon after their wedding and stayed there to be with Julie's family when they were not touring.

Of the decision to buy the Swansea house, Stardust said: "I was born in the East End and both my mother and father were from big families so I had a lot of uncles, aunts and cousins and that has all gone now.

"So when I met Julie's family they were like an extension of that family I grew up in. I loved it."

The funeral of the singer (born Bernard Jewry) who died last week after suffering matastatic prostate cancer will take place on Wednesday at the church overlooking Swansea Docks and the new SA1 development.

Swansea-based male voice choir the Gwalia Singers, who sang at the Surrey christening of the couple's daughter Millie, whose godfather is Sir Cliff Richard, will perform at the funeral service next week.

Choirpublicity officer Adrian Crowley said Mrs Paton had contacted the choir to request them to sing at the funeral. He said: "Julie asked us to sing at his funeral - we don't do that as a rule but we feel an exception can be made. Julie said that as a result of their marriage Alvin always felt half-Welsh.

"He wanted his funeral in Swansea and the Gwalia Singers to sing the hymn Calon Lan, which he loved."

Alvin, who found fame in the glam rock era of the 1970s with songs like My Coo Ca Choo, Jealous Mind and Red Dress, met Julie when the two were starring in the musical Godspell in the 1990s, with Julie becoming his third wife.

A large crowd gathered to watch Julie marry Alvin at St Thomas' which was built in 1886 and which stands close to the street where singer and entertainer Sir Harry Secombe grew up.

After next week's funeral service Alvin will be laid to rest at a ceremony in Swansea Crematorium.

CAPTION(S):

Alvin Stardust in his glam rocking heyday

Alvin Stardust and Julie Paton look blissfully happy on their wedding day at St Thomas' Church in 1992

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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 2, 2014
Words:528
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