Page last updated at 20:30 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 21:30 UK

Save Your Love singer Renato dies

Renée and Renato, 1984
Renee and Renato topped the charts for four weeks in 1982

The male half of singing duo Renée and Renato, who had a UK Christmas number one single in 1982 with Save Your Love, has died at the age of 69.

Former Italian waiter Renato Pagliari, of Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, died in hospital last week after surgery for a brain tumour.

The crooner also sang on the Just One Cornetto TV advert for Walls.

Renato, who was born in Rome, is survived by his wife Maureen, son Remo, daughter Amanda, and three grandsons.

Villa fan

The singer, who settled in the UK as a young man, entered the TV talent show New Faces in 1975 and caught the attention of songwriter Johnny Edward, who had written Save Your Love.

The song was eventually recorded in 1982 and became that year's Christmas number one single and topped the chart for four weeks.

By the time it topped the charts, Renée - real name Hilary Lester - had already joined another band.

The duo did attempt follow-up hits - Just One More Kiss and Jesus Loves Us All - but they flopped.

Renée later returned to private life but Renato still occasionally sang at his son's restaurant in Tamworth, Staffordshire, called Renato's.

Renato supported Aston Villa Football Club and during the early 1990s was asked by the then manager Ron Atkinson to sing Nessun Dorma at half time during a match.

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