South Yorkshire’s Tony Capstick was a real character

Tony Capstick 1981
Tony Capstick 1981

He was one of South Yorkshire’s most colourful characters - an entertainment all rounder who helped to put our region on the map.

If he had still been with us, singer, comedian, actor and broadcaster Tony Capstick would have been celebrating his 71st birthday next Monday.

Tony Capstick 1982

Tony Capstick 1982

Sadly, the much-loved star of both television and radio died in 2003 at the age of 59 - but his legacy in the local world of entertainment remains.

The first son of Joe and June Capstick, Tony spent much of his childhood living and growing up in the village of Swinton where he discovered a love of folk music which would lead to him becoming a regular on the local clubland scene for much of the 1970s.

His first album, His Round, came in 1971 and several others followed - although it wasn’t until 1981 that he received a national taste of fame, a double A-side single The Sheffield Grinder/Capstick Comes Home climbing all the way to number three in the UK singles charts.

Capstick Comes Home, recorded with the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band was a humorous pastiche of the infamous Hovis bread adverts which were popular on TV at the time.

Mexborough Station and yard'The signal box with a young Tony Capstick (Far Laft)

Mexborough Station and yard'The signal box with a young Tony Capstick (Far Laft)

He was also a prolific television actor, taking on a series of bit-part roles, particularly in the soaps, appearing many times in both Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

However, in this part of the world, he is probably best remembered for his long-running show on BBC Radio Sheffield, enjoying a thirty year stint at the station.

But in January 2003, he was dropped, a string of drink-driving offences and an incident where he pointed a loaded gun at a taxi driver’s head proving the final straw.

Sadly, the star, who also played a long running role as a policeman in Yorkshire sitcom Last Of The Summer Wine, had fought a long battle with alcohol, one he succumbed to just nine months after his axing with his death on October 23, 2003.