Tributes to chart-topping Sheffield singer – as family hunt missing gold disc

Tributes have been paid to a chart-topping Sheffield singer – as his family appeal for help to find his missing gold disc.

By Robert Cumber
Monday, 21st January 2019, 11:18 am
Updated Monday, 21st January 2019, 11:19 am
Glen Dale (middle, front) with fellow members of the Fortunes

Glen Dale was a founding member of the Fortunes, who in 1965 reached number two in the UK with You’ve Got Your Troubles, which topped the Canadian charts and made the US top-10.

Glen, whose real name was Richard Garforth, lived for much of his life in Eckington, just over the border from Sheffield in Derbyshire, and became a hugely popular attraction on the Sheffield club circuit.

Glen Dale (middle, front) with fellow members of the Fortunes

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He sadly died on Sunday, January 13, aged 79, at Ashgate Hospicecare in Chesterfield, after a short battle with heart disease.

His son, David Garforth, said he was ‘unbelievably proud’ of his father, not just for his undoubted talent but for his incredible generosity.

“Dad never let his fame go to his head, unlike some people,” he said.

Glen Dale in his later years

“He would help anybody, and all the messages we’ve had since he died say, as well as having a truly great voice, what a genuinely lovely guy he was.

“The whole family’s unbelievably proud of him, and we all miss him massively.”

David has appealed for help to find the gold disc his father was awarded in honour of You’ve Got Your Troubles achieving over a million sales.

Glen Dale on stage early in his career

He said each of the band members was awarded a disc, which was presented at the London Palladium, possibly by the Queen, but Glen’s remained with the band when he left in the late 60s.

David has managed to track down a super-fan who named his son after Glen and told how he bought the disc from the Fortunes fan club before selling it at a record fair in Chesterfield three or four years ago, but he says the trail has gone cold after that.

“It would mean so much to me and the rest of the family if we could find Dad’s gold disc,” he said.

Glen Dale (second from left) with fellow members of the Fortunes

“It was one of Dad's dying wishes to have it back in the family, so we’d love to be able to track it down and buy it back for him.”

Born in Kent in 1939, Glen initially enjoyed success as a solo singer before teaming up with Rod Allen and Barry Pritchard to form the Fortunes in 1963.

You’ve Got Your Troubles was their biggest hit but they enjoyed further success with Here It Comes Again, which reached number four in the UK, and This Golden Ring, which made the top-20, before Glen left.

He became a big draw on the club scene and moved to Sheffield after meeting his first wife Janice during a gig at The Blue Bell pub in Hackenthorpe.

David recalled how his dad won ‘countless’ Clubland awards, with fans often ‘queuing round the block’ to see him during his heyday, and had a few top-50 hits as a solo singer.

Glen moved to Tenerife with his second wife Eleanor, who died in 2003, and he lived and performed there during the late 80s and 90s, before returning to the UK and settling in Eckington.

Glen Dale on stage with the Fortunes at the London Palladium

He had three children, David, Jane and Lee, and four grandchildren. In his later years, he performed a number of charity gigs in aid of his granddaughter, who has cerebral palsy.

His funeral will take place at Eckington Church on Friday, February 1, at 3pm, and his family have asked for donations to the charity Scope in lieu of flowers.

Anyone who knows where Glen’s gold disc may be is asked to email David Garforth at [email protected]