Chesterfield legend Brian Ashley passes away

Brian in his heyday.
Brian in his heyday.
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Chesterfield legend Brian Ashley has passed away.

The 77-year-old - who was better-known as Brian the Singing Miner - died peacefully this morning.

Brian became famous in the 1980s as the lead singer of the band 'Brian The Singing Miner And The Flying Pit Props', packing out clubs across the area.

His 1989 version of Spanish Eyes was even said to have been the number one selling single in Chesterfield when it was released.

Brian was a big Spireites' fan.

In a statement, Chesterfield FC said: "We are all saddened to hear of the death earlier today of Brian the Singing Miner - one of the club's well-known fans.

"One of his final wishes was to come to see his beloved Spireites play. Brian was brought along by his carer to see Chesterfield play one last time on Saturday.

"The club's thoughts are with Brian's family and friends at this difficult time."

On the band’s Facebook page, Chris Cuttriss said: “Brian was a fighter and a tough cookie. He entertained millions.”

He added: “Brian was involved in the rescue at the Markham Colliery disaster in 1972. He brought together many people who had a few years before ‘been at war’ with each other over a bitter struggle and strike.”

Tributes also flooded in on the Derbyshire Times' Facebook page.

Diane Jones said: “RIP Brian. You brought a smile to a lot of people.”

Vondra Redfern said: “RIP my dear friend Brian. Never forgotten.”

Margaret Barnett said: “The best entertainer I’ve ever watched.”

Ian Pyatt added: “He packed Aquarius out to the rafters and rode in on a donkey. Never laughed so much then or since. RIP old miner.”