THE funeral cortege for Smokie legend Terry Uttley is to pass through his home town of Ilkley.

Terry, a founder member of the Bradford rock band, died in December, aged 70, after a short illness.

His daughter Holly said the family had been overwhelmed with tributes and messages from fans around the world. The funeral will be a private family ceremony but the cortege is planned to go along The Grove in Ilkley on Friday, January 21 between 10.15am and 10.20am for fans and others who knew Terry to pay respects.

"Dad lived in Ilkley for 40 years and knew so many people. We wanted to give him a 'final hurrah' so that people could pay their respects, if they wish," said Holly. "We've been totally overwhelmed by all the tributes. People have been saying how kind and lovely he was."

Terry died just four weeks after the death of his wife, Shirley, 76. The couple had two daughters, Holly and Lisa, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

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Smokie was founded more than 50 years ago when Terry was at St Bede's School in Heaton with Alan Silson and Chris Norman. They played local clubs and after signing with Mickey Most's RAK label had success in the 1970s, with hits including If You Think You Know How To Love Me and Oh Carol.

Smokie split in 1981 but reformed in 1986 for a fundraising concert for families of those who died in the Bradford City fire. When singer Chris Norman left he was replaced by Alan Barton, who died in 1995 when Smokie's tour bus crashed in Germany. The band later continued with frontman Mike Craft.

Smokie sold over 30 million records worldwide and were hugely popular across Europe and the Far East. They were made honorary citizens of Seoul as the first Western band to sell a million singles in South Korea. They toured Mongolia and China and played at the Kremlin for Russian president Vladimir Putin. "Dad wrote about his travels in his autobiography, Life Beyond Alice," said Holly. "He was so proud of Smokie. Other bands asked him to do stuff with them too over the years.

"He was a working-class lad from Allerton and went on to travel the world.

"He was always on the road. When lockdown came it gave him time to spend at home and he started walking around Ilkley and discovering places he didn't know. He couldn't get over how beautiful it was."

Terry grew up in a rugby-loving family and was a shareholder of Bradford Northern. His father was a touch judge for Bradford Bulls and at his funeral, Bulls players carried his coffin.  

Smokie hosted an annual gala dinner dance at Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for the Annette Fox Leukaemia Fund.

"It was a big part of his and our mum's life, and he was looking forward to doing it again," said Holly.

"He was also re-focussed on the band, after a break. We miss him so much, but we are so very proud of his wonderful life."