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Last Updated: Friday, 13 June, 2003, 23:42 GMT 00:42 UK
Merseybeat star 'ferry' honoured
Gerry Marsden
Gerry Marsden has done charity work for years
The leader of one of the bands that defined the 60s Merseybeat sound has been awarded an MBE for his charity work.

Gerry Marsden said he was "over the moon" to have received the honour, following his support for numerous charities across Merseyside and beyond.

Marsden - who penned classics like Ferry Cross the Mersey, with his Pacemakers - has raised funds for the victims of the Hillsborough and Bradford City fire disasters.

His wife of 38 years, Pauline, said she was "so, so proud" her husband had been honoured.

She said: "Gerry was over the moon when he found out he was being put forward for this.

We can't wait to celebrate with him and let everyone know
Pauline Marsden
"He has worked very, very hard so he deserves it. He is thrilled to bits."

Marsden, who is currently on tour in Australia, is patron of Claire House, a children's hospice on the Wirral, and supports a number of cancer charities including the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

After the Bradford fire disaster in 1985, he re-released the football anthem You'll Never Walk Alone, and then Ferry Cross the Mersey in 1989 following the Hillsborough tragedy.

Mrs Marsden said the family were planning a big party to celebrate when her husband returns from his tour.

Beatles manager

"He just never stops working. We can't wait to celebrate with him and let everyone know, as it has been kept secret up until now," she said.

Born in Liverpool in September 1942, Marsden made his first public appearance aged just 13 as a member of Liverpool's Florence Institute youth club.

In 1962, Beatles manager Brian Epstein signed up the Pacemakers and their first three releases - How Do You Do It, I Like It and You'll Never Walk Alone - reached number one in 1963.

The group split in 1967 and Marsden pursued a solo career before the band reformed in 1974 to tour the world - a tour they repeated in 1993 to mark 30 years of Gerry and the Pacemakers.





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