Popular Doncaster busker Jonny Walker dies suddenly

A musician who was a familiar face on the streets of Doncaster has died suddenly at the age of 37.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 15th March 2018, 2:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th March 2018, 2:10 pm
Busker Jonny Walker.
Busker Jonny Walker.

Leeds-based musician Jonny Walker, who busked in cities all over the UK is understood to have passed away after an accident, but details have not been released.

The father-of-two from Beeston was a regular in Doncaster town centre and will be a familiar face to many.

He spent three days in high-dependency care at Leeds General Infirmary before his death was announced this week.

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He was filmed performing alongside young South Yorkshire busker Alfie Sheard in Doncaster - with the latter becoming a social media sensation after footage of him went viral.

He swapped the streets of Doncaster to performing in front of millions of people on the Ellen DeGeneres Show after shooting to fame on Youtube.

Jonny touched hearts when he joined in a duet with Irish street sleeper Bernard Davey on New Year's Eve two years ago.

The pair were filmed singing Ella Fitzgerald's Summertime outside the Trinity Centre in the city in a video which went viral on social media.

Jonny was also the director of the Keep Streets Live! campaign, fighting for the rights of buskers and homeless people all over the country.

He travelled around more than 50 towns and cities to perform, including Liverpool, York, Chester, Huddersfield and Whitby.

Thousands of tributes from fans as far afield as the USA and New Zealand have poured in on Jonny's official Facebook page.

Matt Davis commented: "Awful. What an utter tragedy. His kids go to the same nursery as mine. Always a smile on his face dropping them off. Would do anything for anyone."

Ainsley Wills added: "Much as we disagreed on many things, I am devastated to hear about Jonny's death.

"He was an awesome musician, a fighter of justice and an all-round decent chap that has left far too soon. My heart goes out to his family and friends and the musical community that knew him."

Amanda Lawrence wrote: "So shocked and saddened by this tragic news.

"The Red Hat Ladies will miss you Jonny. You brought much joy into our lives.

"You also sang at my retirement party and my family send condolensces to yours.

"My young grandson loves your CD you gave him and is learning to play the piano now, playing some of your songs. Your music and memories live on.

"A wonderful, kind and talented man who will be greatly missed by so many."

A statement posted on behalf of Jonny's family read: "It is with great sorrow but immense thankfulness for a passionately lived life, that after three days in the Critical Care Unit at Leeds General Infirmary, Jonny died peacefully surrounded by family.

"During the coming days, his family ask that you allow them time to grieve. Details of opportunities to celebrate and remember Jonny's life will follow in due time."