Tributes as drummer to the stars loses cancer battle
TRIBUTES have been paid to well known drummer and scrap metal dealer Geoff Ward who has died, aged 84.
Geoff was introduced to drumming during his national service with the RAF and went on to become drum major in the regimental band.
He was a popular figure playing with bands such as the Jack Gill band, the Astorians, the Modenairs, Roger Reed and the Jim Armstrong band, touring clubs and venues including the El Rio in Macclesfield.
One of the highlights of his playing career was playing drums for vocal stars such as Matt Monro and Frankie Vaughan.
Geoff, of Marigold Close in Broken Cross, lost his battle with cancer on June 22.
Paying tribute his daughter Jackie Newton said: “Dad worked hard in his professional life, sometimes six and half days a week, but also in his music, playing every Friday and Saturday night. “Music was a huge part of his life. I remember being surrounded by it growing up
“As he got older dad stopped playing, which was sad. But we managed to get him to play at his 80th birthday party for what would have been one of the last times.
“He was self taught in everything he did and will be sadly missed by his family and all of his many friends.”
Born in Macclesfield, Geoff grew up on Henry Street with his brothers Ronnie, Terry and Sheila.
He married Francis in 1957 and they had three children Stephen, Jackie, and Gail. He had many jobs, including one as a cabinet maker where he learned how to build coffins.
But Geoff, who was also a keen golfer, found his niche running a scrap metal yard on Turf Lane for decades.
Jackie said her dad’s work and play were like two separate lives.
She said: “At work he would be dressed in a bobble hat and jeans and covered be head to toe in oil and grease. It was a polar opposite when he went out socially. He loved nothing more than getting dressed up and was very particular in his dress code, with everything colour co-ordinated. He was a snazzy dresser.”
Geoff’s funeral will take place at St Alban’s Church on Chester Road Monday, July 6 at 12pm and Macclesfield Crematorium before food at the Conservative club.
He also leaves partner Elsie Knight and grandchildren Darren, Simon, Wayne, Rebecca, Emily and Lewis.
●● Youngsters playing when Jasmine Park was first opened. Inset: Anna Dobson with husband Andrew and son Alex
●● Geoff Ward was a drummer for stars such as Matt Monro and Frankie Vaughan