OPINION: City great no ordinary Joe

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Sheffield has produced its fair share of music legends and global superstars over the years – but it all began with founding father, Joe Cocker.

The original working class hero was the embodiment of the Steel City itself.

Armed with a gritty voice and a determination to succeed, despite setbacks of all that life threw at him, he made it to the top, just like his huge hit says, Up Where We Belong.

And as the biggest names in showbusiness and others pay tributes following his death, it reminds us that our ‘lovely northern lad’, as Sir Paul McCartney put it’, was a giant of the music industry.

His cover of The Beatles hit A Little Help From My Friends reached number one.

He rubbed shoulders with McCartney and Harrison, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and such, his flailing arms and physical idiosyncrasies winning him fans as much as his voice did.

Not bad for a gas fitter from Crookes. He got his star on Sheffield’s Walk Of Fame but today The Star backs calls for an extraordinary tribute for the man who was no ordinary Joe.

It’s important we celebrate amazing talent to inspire our future greats.