“He is the heart of Manchester.”
Piccadilly Rats frontman Ray Boddington has died in hospital aged 77, bandmate Gaz Stanley has confirmed in a Tweet.
Gaz, who co-founded the group with Ray, said:
“RIP my best mate, my brother, my superstar.
“I will miss you forever.”
R I P MY BEST MATE MY BROTHER MY SUPERSTAR I WILL MISS YOU FOREVER GAZ ❤️ pic.twitter.com/XaKqCo1qj5
— PICCADILLY RATS (@GPiccadillyRats) April 18, 2019
The Manchester icon was hit by a tram on High Street in the city centre near the Arndale last Wednesday night (April 10).
Ray’s son Daniel Boddington said he had been hooked up to a life-support machine at Salford Royal Hospital while his family had been keeping vigil by his bedside. Now the family has confirmed to the MEN that he has died.
Speaking via Facebook last week, Daniel said:
“I know my dad loves you all, whether you hated him or loved him he always loves you all. He is the heart of Manchester because when we all thought life was shit, when we all gave up on things or had a shit day he was there to change your mind, make you forget and give you a big smile.
“He made you feel happy even for the seconds/minutes/hours that you were around him no matter the weather or day so thank you to my family friends and the people around the country for everything.”
The Piccadilly Rats can usually be found in Market Street performing rowdy cover versions in rat face masks and police hats. The lineup includes founders Gaz Stanley and the late Ray Boddington – plus a number of musicians they’ve picked along the way, including Tommy Trouble, drummer Alan Jones, and teenage bassist Robert Branch.
The group made headlines last year after they opened the main stage on day two of Park Life last year. The performance won them legions of new fans and lead to the buskers being asked to perform at more local gigs, including Turn It Up Festival.
During his time with the much-loved city centre buskers the Piccadilly Rats, Ray appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and Judge Rinder.
Also published on Medium.