A regional daily has produced a special supplement and helped launch a series of civic celebrations to celebrate the 40th birthday of pop star Robbie Williams.
The Stoke-based Sentinel has not only published a 16-page pull-out to honour one of the city’s most famous sons but has helped organise a number of special events across the city to mark the singer’s milestone birthday on 13 February.
Featuring exclusive interviews with Robbie’s dad Pete Conway and mum Jan Williams, the supplement also profiles his career with Take That and as a record-breaking solo artist.
It also details the fan-led, charity and civic celebrations taking place in Robbie’s city of birth, which includes guided bus tours of the star’s old stomping grounds, a charity tribute gig and a fans’ art exhibition.
The publication also explores Robbie’s relationship with the people of Stoke and there are numerous birthday messages from fans.
With Robbie being a global superstar, the souvenir has been produced as a Kindle book which his worldwide army of fans can buy on Amazon.
Sentinel editor Richard Bowyer said: “Robbie is one of the greatest pop stars of all time, he has done some amazing things for the local area and we are very proud of him.
“The exhibition is yet another fantastic way of celebrating not just Robbie’s 40th birthday but acknowledging his contributions and connections to Stoke-on-Trent.
“Over the years Robbie has given more than £5 million of his own money to worth causes in North Staffordshire, he also stepped in to help save Port Vale FC in 2006 and he is a patron of the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice in Trentham.
“This is in addition to his work with UNICEF and raising £11 million through the bi-annual Soccer Aid.
“All this is worthy of celebration and I’m enormously pleased that The Sentinel has been able to play a part in celebrating Robbie’s achievements in his home city.”
The exhibition also includes never-before-seen photographs of Robbie, plus personal memorabilia, including signed items, clothing and music industry awards, collected over the years by his parents.
Robbie himself has written a blog expressing his excitement and amazement that his newspaper and hometown have gone to such efforts to mark his birthday.
“As the weeks have gone on and the articles in The Sentinel have become almost a daily occurrence, it seems that things have snowballed,” he wrote.
“It all feels like it’s happening to someone else who comes from the same place I come from, someone who is far more deserving.
“When I catch my breath or still my mind for a moment, the magnitude of this great honour fills me with immense pride and a foreboding to not let you all down.”