Bay City Roller Alan Longmuir was recognised as one of Scotland’s most successful popstars and hailed a legend as mourners gathered at his funeral service yesterday.
Hundreds of people turned out to say a final Bye Bye Baby to the band’s founder member as he was laid to rest close to his home in Bannockburn.
The Edinburgh-born musician died in hospital on July 2 at the age of 70 surrounded by loved ones after being flown home from Mexico where he had contracted an illness weeks earlier.
Widow Eileen and family including younger brother Derek, the drummer with whom he started the teenage band that would inspire “Rollermania” in the seventies were amongst the mourners.
A tartan-clad piper was the only nod to the band’s trademark look – which Alan famously rebelled against when he first quit the band.
Their fellow founder and original lead singer Gordon “Nobby” Clark also turned out to join family and friends for the emotional service.
Others who attended included Alan’s friend, the Scottish songwriter and producer John McLaughlin, as well as the cast of I Ran With The Gang, a popular stage show about Alan’s life.
Mourners had gathered at Allan Church, where they took pews to the Bay City Rollers ballads including Angel Baby and When Will You Be Mine.
Minister Rev Jim Landels described Alan – who had worked locally as a plumber – as “well known, well liked and well loved”.
Alan’s stepson Nik Rankin told the congregation: “120 million records – that’s more than Lionel Ritchie, the Doors and George Michael.
“He didn’t tell stories about the Bay City Rollers because he didn’t think it was important, but he’d always tell us how when he started off he was raging that he could no longer go to Ryries.
He added: “You’d forget how famous Alan was until watching the telly and he would say something like ‘I went ice skating with her’, and it was Cher.
Liam Rudden, who wrote I Ran With The Gang, also paid tribute to his friend, mentioning his “humility, his quiet dignity and his wonderful sense of humour”. He described him as “pop star, husband, gentleman, legend, family man, icon, friend... and plumber from Edinburgh.”
He said: “It was easy to forget that there was a time when he was one of the most famous faces on the planet – a time when he couldn’t walk down the street without bodyguards and when he was met by armies of screaming fans wherever he went, anywhere in the world.”