A BRITISH jazz and blues legend will return to Leigh to play a rare homecoming gig as part of a Centurions player’s testimonial.
Iconic singer and keyboardist Georgie Fame, who was born in Leigh and went on to international stardom with his band The Blue Flames, will play an intimate night of jazz and rhythm ‘n’ blues at the Leigh Sports Village (LSV).
Georgie, who was born Clive Powell but was given his stage name as an up-and-coming musician by impresario Larry Parnes, became a household name in Britain through 1970s TV series The Price of Fame and has also performed with many of the world’s best-known blues, jazz and rock artists.
He will return to his hometown as part of the testimonial celebrations for Leigh Centurions player Steve Maden, who spoke of his pride at having one of the town’s best-known exports headlining an event for him.
Steve, from Abram, said: “I’m very lucky and honoured. Not many people can say they’ve had a testimonial and Georgie Fame has been involved.
“He’s from Leigh and he’s known around the world, especially if you’re into that kind of music.
“This is going to be the biggest event in my testimonial year, I don’t think I will beat this in the 12 months.
“It’s going to be brilliant and it’s good for Leigh too. It could bring in people who perhaps aren’t massive rugby fans and with it being at the ground it might encourage them to come back again.”
The night also promises to be a celebration of the town’s musical talent as young Leigh singer Zoe Unsworth will support as a special guest.
Georgie started out as a musician in the 1950s rock and roll scene but came to notice when he and his band became the house group at London hotspot The Flamingo Club.
Since then he has enjoyed a hugely distinguished musical career including appearances with big bands and orchestras, writing a musical and working alongside stars such as Van Morrison and Eric Clapton.
Along the way he also became the first person from Leigh to have a number one hit single and topped the UK chart on three occasions.
Although his appearances in the borough have been few and far between in recent years, he has performed at fund-raising events in Leigh and will help Steve celebrate his 10 years in a Centurions shirt.
Steve, 32, said: “If you’d said to me back in 2003 that I would get a testimonial I’d have laughed, but it’s good being involved with where we’ve come from.
“I started playing at Hilton Park and it’s good to see where we are now with the facilities we’ve got. I think it’s only going to get bigger and bigger.”
Georgie Fame will play at the LSV on Friday May 29 for Steve Maden’s testimonial, with doors at 7.30pm.
Tickets are £20 and on sale at the stadium ticket office.