Sheffield mourns ‘unsung hero’ of music world who took Chris Wilder to first football matches

An ‘unsung hero’ of Sheffield’s music scene, who helped ignite his nephew Chris Wilder’s love of football, has sadly died.

Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 2:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 2:10 pm

Colin Wilder gave many acts including The Sherlocks their first break while landlord of The Black Bull at Aughton, in Rotherham, where he also hosted a long-running open mic night.

The talented guitarist and vocalist later became an ‘indispensable’ assistant to Sheffield singer-songwriter John Reilly, front man of Boy on a Dolphin, and set up his own label, Art Music Ltd.

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Colin Wilder has been described as an 'unsung hero' of Sheffield's music scene

He took nephew Chris Wilder to his first top flight football matches at Anfield, and the Sheffield United manager was at his bedside near the end with Colin’s wife Dot and children Kevin and Paula.

Social media has lit up with tributes following his death, aged 69, last Friday, June 26.

John Reilly described him as ‘one of the unsung heroes of the Sheffield music scene’, whose ‘infectious, cheeky smile, sense of humour and passion for music made him a huge favourite with Sheffield gig-goers’.

“I am feeling lost. Colin was always by my side giving me unconditional support. In the future I will never get used to looking side stage and him not being there to help if anything goes wrong,” he added.

“I will miss his laugh and our conversations as he drove on the long journeys to and from gigs. He became family and it was an honour to know him. It is a comfort to see the hundreds and hundreds of positive messages coming from the vast amount of people whose lives he touched along the way.”

The doting grandfather-of-five lived in Aston but was born in Liverpool and got to witness his beloved Reds end their title drought the night before losing his long battle with heart disease.

Before taking over The Black Bull, his various jobs included running a sports shop, a chippie and a couple of other pubs.

With numbers at the funeral still limited due to coronavirus, Colin’s family have asked people to pay their respects by lining up on Main Street, Aughton, between The Black Bull and the Robin Hood pub, and applauding as Colin sets off on his final journey on Friday, July 10, at 1pm.