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Pacemaker Les, 76, loses battle with brain cancer; FRIENDS PAY TRIBUTE TO GROUP'S BASS GUITARIST.

Byline: PADDY SHENNAN ECHO Writer paddyshennan@liverpoolecho.co.uk @PaddyShennan

TRIBUTES have been paid to Les Chadwick, one of the original members of Gerry and The Pacemakers, who has died at the age of 76.

Les, who was diagnosed with Stage Four brain cancer four weeks ago and had started undergoing treatment, died peacefully, in his sleep, on Boxing Day.

Gerry Marsden formed his recordbreaking band with his brother Fred, Arthur McMahon and Les, in 1959.

They became the first act to reach number one in the UK Singles Chart with their first three singles - How Do You Do It?, I Like It and You'll Never Walk Alone - which were released in 1963.

Les, who played bass guitar, remained with the band until it split up in 1966 (Gerry returned with a new line-up six years later), and emigrated to Sydney, Australia, in 1973, where he set up an employment agency with his wife, Angela. Friend Roy Corlett, former programme organiser for Radio Merseyside, last saw Les four years ago. He and his wife, Ruth, visited him on the Central Coast, on the northern outskirts of Sydney, where he had been living with his daughter, Leigh, following the death of his wife.

Roy said: "We grew up together in the same part of Aigburth; Les lived on Burdett Street and I lived on Tramway Road. And we both went to the local primary, St Michael in the Hamlet, and later to the Liverpool Institute.

"Les was always very laid-back and easy-going and we had a lovely chat about the old days when I last saw him.

"He was in a skiffle group, The Blue Mountain Boys, and it was great seeing him go on to be successful in the Pacemakers." Author and broadcaster Spencer Leigh added: "Through Roy, I interviewed Les for Radio Merseyside and he was a friendly and affable guy.

"Gerry Marsden saw he had talent and took him on, but they were very different characters. They got on fine, but Gerry was a real showman and you can't have two people like that in the same group or you will have problems.

"Les got his head down and got on with the work, but he got tired of touring - he was fed up with being in Aberdeen one night and Brussels the next.

"He had very fond memories of his time in the group, but was glad when it was over."

CAPTION(S):

Gerry and the Pacemakers - Les Chadwick, right,with Gerry Marsden on guitar, Fred Marsden and Les McGuire; and, inset, left, Les with friend Roy Corlett and Roy's wife, Ruth, four years ago Main picture: NCJ-TOPIX

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Author:PADDY SHENNAN ECHO Writer paddyshennan@liverpoolecho.co.uk @PaddyShennan
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 31, 2019
Words:441
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