Slideshow: Farewell to Sheffield personality Peter Stringfellow

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One of my most surreal moments in Sheffield was seeing Peter Stringfellow in the  city centre, deep in conversation with Michael Palin.

They were bathed in bright light and I realised they were being filmed for TV.

Peter Stringfellow introducing The Beatles at the Azena Ballroom, Gleadless. Picture: Steve Bush

Peter Stringfellow introducing The Beatles at the Azena Ballroom, Gleadless. Picture: Steve Bush

On his website, Peter recalled bumping into his fellow famous Sheffielder another time: “In the distant past during his Oxford University years he booked one of the groups that I was managing called the Sheffields, of course, that was my name for them, and they were originally called the Vampires.

“Michael remembered all this and that their two records were written by Tony Hatch…neither one of them was a hit! I think they were ahead of their time… bit like myself and Michael.”

In the 1960s, he certainly was a man of his time, who famously pulled off the coup of signing The Beatles to play in Sheffield in 1963, at the Azena ballroom in Gleadless.

The image of the 22-year-old Pitsmoor lad in a phone box doing a deal with Brian Epstein just before the band shot to fame is straight out of a movie.

Bsack to wWere it all began: outside the old Black Cat Club building, City Road in October 1994

Bsack to wWere it all began: outside the old Black Cat Club building, City Road in October 1994

His story has it all – the former potted meat factory worker and tie salesman who, through cheek, charm and a sharp business brain went on from promoting some of the biggest music stars of the day in his city Mojo and Black Cat clubs to becoming a global nightclub impresario.

In later years, the flamboyant blond-haired figure was a mainstay of the gossip columns, flaunting a champagne lifestyle and string of glamorous young partners.

He came in for a lot of flak for exploiting women in so-called ‘gentleman’s clubs’.

But many Sheffielders will remember him fondly as one of the city’s big personalities.