Tributes flood in after death of Oldham legend Wayne Bentley

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 22 September 2021


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Tributes have been pouring in following the death of one of Oldham's most popular entertainers - Wayne Bentley.

Wayne - affectionately known as 'Mr Loveboat' - has been a hugely recognisable face on the Oldham pub scene for a number of decades.

He died last Friday.

Wayne's great friend Mal McAndrew announced the news.

In a Facebook post, she said: "So sad to have to write this.

"On Friday 17th at 10 30pm Wayne, a true oldham legend and entertainer, passed away surrounded by his music.

"He has suffered a long time with the dreaded disease but as always, done his bookings and even charity concerts.

"He will be sadly missed by you all.

"He was with his family and myself.

"I would like to thank Caring Hands palliative care and district nurses who did an amazing job.

"Please all raise your glasses and have a drink for the one and only Mr Loveboat. 

"Good night and god bless my friend - fly high with the angels."

Unsurprisingly the tributes have poured in since Wayne's death.

Another popular local DJ, author and promoter Carl Spiers said: "Simply the best."

Peter Morris wrote: "Unbelieveable, gutted, great guy, was looking forward to seeing him again performing. RIP legend."

Kay Southern said: "RIP Wayne - always loved watching Mr Loveboat.

"I have so many fond memories."

Carl Radcliffe posted: "Such sad news.

"Our thoughts are with you all.

"He'll be singing all the way, bless him.

"He was a absolute legend and and a true gentleman. RIP Wayne."

Hayley Hilton said: "So so sad to hear this news.

"What a lovely lovely man Wayne was.

"I will always remember him by his warm, friendly nature and of course his charisma and charm on the stage.

"He will surely be missed."

South Wales native Wayne entertained local audiences with his near faultless and energetic cover versions of popular chart tracks for many, many years.

His trademark swagger and boundless enthusiasm thrilled local audiences for well over 20 years.

It’s actually half a century since Wayne decided to go his own way.

He fronted Wayne and the Comets in Wales when still a raw teenager - but being part of a group wasn’t for him.

Since going solo Wayne boasted a long and respected history in the music business.

He might not have enjoyed major commercial success, but he was certainly big news in and around Oldham.

He always commanded a good-sized following whenever he featured locally, and once recalled with the utmost pride how “fantastic” it felt to see his two recorded albums - “This is My Life” and “We’re in This Love Together” - selling like hot cakes in town 15 years ago.

Wayne was a good, honest, hard-working vocal entertainer who cared passionately about his audiences, wherever he might have been performing.

I interviewed Wayne for the Chronicle in 2015 - you can read and listen to the result here

A benefit night in memory of Wayne has already been scheduled to take place at the Dog Inn in Chadderton on Sunday afternoon, October 31.

More details on that will be posted on Facebook nearer the time.


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Listen to Wayne Bentley singing live and watch the stills of a 2008 performance at the Dog Inn in Chadderton


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