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Tributes paid to popular York busker Harry Sydney
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.
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