Sixties Manchester-born pop star Wayne Fontana dies at the age of 74

Sixties Manchester-born pop star Wayne Fontana dies at the age of 74

Sixties pop star Wayne Fontana has died at the age of 74 at a hospital in Greater Manchester.

The Manchester-born singer had his first UK top five hit in 1964 with Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, reports the BBC

The singer was best known for the 1965 hit Game Of Love with The Mindbenders.

The band were one of three Manchester groups, including Freddie and the Dreamers and Herman’s Hermits to have consecutive US number one hits in spring 1965.

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He later had a further solo hit with Pamela Pamela in 1967.

Fontana was also among the performers at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970, but struggled to sustain his solo career as the decade went on.

After Fontana left the group in 1965, The Mindbenders recorded their biggest hit, Groovy Kind Of Love.

A statement from management agency Chimes International said on Thursday: “Chimes Int’l on behalf of the family of Wayne Fontana regret to announce he passed away this afternoon at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport.

“His long-term partner was by his side. Known for his 1965 hit Game of Love. Family asks for privacy at this time.”

Broadcaster Tony Blackburn paid tribute to Fontana on Twitter, writing: “So sorry to hear about the passing of great 60’s icon Wayne Fontana.

Singer Wayne Fontana, front, with his backing group The Mindbenders

“He was a lovely guy and gave us some great songs.

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“As Sounds Of The Sixties has been recorded already for tomorrow, we will do a tribute on Saturday week’s show. R.I.P. Wayne.”

Herman’s Hermits lead singer, Peter Noone, wrote on Facebook: “Wayne Wayne don’t go away.

“After 59 years of friendship, laughter, tears, jail cells and lost brain bells [sic], we have handed over our lovely lead singer Wayne Fontana to the big band in ROCK AND ROLL HEAVEN.”

Born Glyn Ellis, Fontana reportedly took his stage name from Elvis Presley’s drummer, DJ Fontana.

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