Farewell to Wakefield Jazz club enthusiast ‘Bootleg Eric’

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A supporter of Wakefield Jazz Club who barely missed a gig in 30 years has died.

Tributes have been paid to Eric Parkin, who was well known among performers at the College Grove venue.

Mr Parkin, who was married to Sheila and lived at Ashdown Road, died after being taken to Pinderfields Hospital following a short illness. He was 84.

Alec Sykes, who founded the jazz club with his wife Faith in 1987, said Mr Parkin was a familiar face over the three decades.

Mr Sykes said: “He was one of our main supporters and he just loved Wakefield Jazz Club.

“He started off by offering, one evening, to do the sound. At that time I knew nothing about sound.

“He was just a lovely bloke. Everybody liked him. He got to know the musicians extremely well. He was a real gentleman.

“He treated everybody in a friendly manner and if he could do anything to help them, he would.”

Mr Parkin would ask musicians for permission to record their gigs at the club. One recording of original material when the club was ten years old earned him the nickname ‘Bootleg Eric’ - also the name of one of the tracks on the CD.

Mr Sykes said: “He was chuffed. If anybody called him bootleg Eric after that he quite enjoyed it.”

Mr Sykes said it was hoped a new home could be found for hundreds of tapes of recordings which remain.

A funeral will be held at Wakefield Crematorium, Standbridge Lane, on Thursday, May 25, at 1.40pm.