Tributes paid to popular York busker Harry Sydney

York Press: Tributes paid to popular York busker, 47 Tributes paid to popular York busker, 47

MUSICIANS in York are mourning one of the city’s most flamboyant and well-known characters who has died aged 47.

Stephen Anthony Swaine, who was known by his stage name Harry Sydney, died of a heart attack.

Singer Harry was a much-loved figure and was often seen busking in the city centre, immaculately dressed, and performing in pubs around York.

Originally from Bradford, he moved to York about five years ago and made the city his adopted home.

Fred Robinson knew Harry since he arrived in York and the pair ran a jam night together at the Inn On The Green in Acomb.

He said: “Harry was a great character and I will miss him like mad.

“He was a good bloke. He would do anything for anybody and he loved the city of York.”

Harry’s girlfriend Sally Cook has described him as a loving man and “a bundle of fun.”

A lover of old-fashioned crooners, Harry styled himself on Frank Sinatra and enjoyed the attention his flawless appearance would attract.

“Harry was into the crooners and I am into country music, so we are opposites but he was a great friend. He was a great character, and very professional about his music.

“I saw him in Acomb club two weeks ago. He was dressed up to the nines, and I was in my jeans. He said I looked like I had come off a building site, and I said he looked like a Christmas tree.”

Harry, who would have turned 48 on Christmas Day, spent part of his life as a holiday camp manager and was proud of that background, Fred said. His musical career also saw him work as an entertainer in a Kirk Hammerton care home, and in hotels and venues around the country.

Last Wednesday, Harry’s friends ran their regular jam night at the Inn On The Green in his memory and plan to hold more events to remember him, and Fred is writing a song to remember his friend. Harry should have been there on Wednesday, everybody was heartbroken,” he said.

Comments (6)

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8:25am Tue 24 Dec 13

smudge2 says...

Nice character but a heavy smoker..RIP Harry.
Nice character but a heavy smoker..RIP Harry. smudge2

1:05pm Tue 24 Dec 13

Pedro says...

Are you sure 47 wasn't his show business age?
Are you sure 47 wasn't his show business age? Pedro

12:50pm Wed 25 Dec 13

GustavMahler1911 says...

47 was his real age Pedro. I've known him since 1975 when we started out at Middle School together. He was a complicated and at times infuriating man. He was also my best friend. He certainly made an impression and in the main it is positive as reflected in this article. I am proud to have known him. Season's greetings and best wishes to you all :-)
47 was his real age Pedro. I've known him since 1975 when we started out at Middle School together. He was a complicated and at times infuriating man. He was also my best friend. He certainly made an impression and in the main it is positive as reflected in this article. I am proud to have known him. Season's greetings and best wishes to you all :-) GustavMahler1911

2:27pm Wed 25 Dec 13

Ickidee says...

I had the privilege of counting Steve as one of my closest friends for almost thirty years. He was a proud man, life-loving and full of humour. He had an ability to wind up the easily wound up, and was always keen to poke a finger in the eye of the idiocies of life. Above all, he was a gentleman.

All the best, Steve. We're going to miss you. Life is suddenly a bit duller.
I had the privilege of counting Steve as one of my closest friends for almost thirty years. He was a proud man, life-loving and full of humour. He had an ability to wind up the easily wound up, and was always keen to poke a finger in the eye of the idiocies of life. Above all, he was a gentleman. All the best, Steve. We're going to miss you. Life is suddenly a bit duller. Ickidee

4:58am Fri 27 Dec 13

jumbojet says...

A great singer, I used to sit in Parliament Street and listen to him for hours, he could have fronted a 18/20 piece big band at any time. I never knew you me old son, but you knew your music. RIP.
A great singer, I used to sit in Parliament Street and listen to him for hours, he could have fronted a 18/20 piece big band at any time. I never knew you me old son, but you knew your music. RIP. jumbojet

11:02am Tue 31 Dec 13

ManilowMagic says...

Steve was the last Entertainments Manager I had the pleasure to work with and I wish I had known him earlier in my career as I learnt more in the last with him than in all previous years. I was shocked by his early departure from our world - all I can think of is the lyrics to a song made famous my Sinatra (Steve's hero who passed away while we were working together)...'Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars...' I hope he is enjoying playing among the starts now..x
Steve was the last Entertainments Manager I had the pleasure to work with and I wish I had known him earlier in my career as I learnt more in the last with him than in all previous years. I was shocked by his early departure from our world - all I can think of is the lyrics to a song made famous my Sinatra (Steve's hero who passed away while we were working together)...'Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars...' I hope he is enjoying playing among the starts now..x ManilowMagic

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