NEXT week people will come together in Leigh to celebrate Pete Shelley, lead singer of the Buzzcocks, on what would have been his 69th birthday.

The evening, at Leigh Library on Wednesday, April 17 will be a triple celebration, with the launch of the new book ‘Sixteen Again’ by Paul Hanley, the unveiling of a new memorial lyric bench and garden and a performance from BUZZKOCKS, a tribute band.

Pete, the singer/songwriter and guitarist for the punk rock group, died in December 2018 and since then a campaign has been running to help create a memorial in his hometown of Leigh.

The lyric bench project was developed from a partnership between the ‘Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign’ and Wigan Council.

Fans were asked to select their favourite lyric written by Pete, with organisers receiving an overwhelming response with hundreds of suggestions.

Leigh Journal:

Pete’s family chose 17 lyrics from the suggestions which have been put on a bench made by Leigh-based metal fabricator, Weldfast. The bench will sit outside Leigh Library and will be revealed in the evening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

A spokesperson for the ‘Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign’ said: “It’s great to continue the story of Pete Shelley in his hometown of Leigh and we hope that Pete continues to serve as a visitor attraction for his hometown, culture and heritage which is very important.

“We hope the lyric bench will be thought-provoking and people that don’t know Pete Shelley will go on to research the lyrics, the songs and the man himself, it’s a great story of a local lad from humble beginnings who went on to worldwide successes.”

After this will be a book launch and signing session with author and drummer of The Fall and House Of All, Paul Hanley. Paul’s new book, ‘Sixteen Again’ looks at how Pete Shelley and Buzzcocks changed the Manchester music scene, combining interviews and biographies.

Paul said: "I am honoured to be in Pete’s hometown on what would have been his birthday.”

A memorial garden will also be revealed on the evening in memory of both Pete Shelley and Paddy Mitchell, a well-known member of the Leigh community.

Paddy died in 2023 and was a huge supporter of the ‘Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign’ as well as a friend to Pete. The memorial garden will sit in a raised planter behind the lyric bench and will be filled with flowers along with memorial plaques paying tribute to and remembering Pete and Paddy.

The event begins at 6pm on Wednesday, April 17, when Paul Hanley will officially cut the ribbon to the gardens. For more information and to buy a ticket for the event, you can visit the website.