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World of music salutes regional writer who died aged 62

MArtin LillekerA regional music writer who first championed several big name acts has died aged 62.

Tributes have been paid by stars including Richard Hawley and Pulp drummer Nick Banks to Martin Lilleker, who has been described as an “unsung hero of Sheffield music”.

Born in nearby Rotherham, Martin spent much of his career working for The Star and the Sheffield Telegraph and also wrote two books on pop music in Sheffield.

Martin, pictured above, had lived with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease for five years and passed away on New Year’s Eve.

Richard, a past Brit Award nominee, described him as a “beautiful man” who had supported his career since the mid-1980s.

Speaking to the Telegraph, he hailed Martin as “a hardcore and uncompromising supporter of Sheffield bands and artists and deserves to be remembered with great respect and much fondness.

Nick added: “Martin was an unsung hero of Sheffield music. Local music needs champions, to bang the drum, to man the barricades. Martin was such.

“Without these lighthouses shining their lights into the dim and distant corners of gloomy rehearsal rooms or sparsely-attended gigs then no-one stands any chance of breaking out.”

Martin’s first book, Not Like A Proper Job (The Story Of Pop Music In Sheffield 1955-1975), was written with with co-author John Firminger, who called him a “gentle and friendly person”.

The follow-up, Beats Working For A Living (The Story Of Pop Music In Sheffield 1973-1984), came out in 2005.

There are now plans for a charity tribute album featuring tracks from some of Martin’s favourite Sheffield acts – and his own band, The Wealthy Texans.

Martin’s funeral will be held at 3.30pm on Friday 15 January, at Grenoside Crematorium, Sheffield. He is survived by wife Annie and son Thomas.

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  • January 8, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Sad to hear. I remember Martin from The Star back in the Eighties. He was a gentle, funny man with a huge knowledge of music, not just the local scene.

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