Tributes as drum­mer to the stars loses can­cer bat­tle

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

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

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