Boy is back in town as tributes to Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott unveiled
The Boy is Back In Town – so proclaims a plaque to Thin Lizzy legend Phil Lynott at the hospital in West Bromwich where he was born 70 years ago.
Staff were overwhelmed when almost 80 people turned up for the unveiling – including four Japanese superfans who flew in just for the weekend to be at the ceremony.
Devotees also travelled from Spain, Sweden and Scotland to pay tribute to the rock star.
Musician 'H' from tribute band Dizzy Lizzy and writer Sean Meaney, who led the campaign to have the musician honoured in his home town, unveiled the plaque in the ante-natal clinic to loud cheers.
A statue to the frontman, who died in 1986 at the age of just 36, was also unveiled in West Bromwich town centre made by Black Country sculptor Luke Perry.
Speaking at the event, Mr Meaney, who helped raise £8,500 to pay for the memorials, said: “The generosity of fans was overwhelming, and I want to thank them for getting us over the line with a couple of weeks to spare.
“They proved that 33 years after his untimely passing, the legacy of Phil Parris Lynott is alive and well.”
Mr Meaney read out a message from the musician’s daughters, Sarah and Cathleen Lynott, who referred to the birth of another music legend, Robert Plant, on the same day in the same hospital exactly a year earlier.
“There was obviously something in the water at that time,” they said, adding: “We are really proud of all our dad achieved and are so grateful for this recognition, and to everyone who keeps his memory alive.”
Scott Gorham, one of the twin lead guitarists for the band, also sent a message: “Philip’s music and lyrics have stood the test of time and will be enjoyed by generations to come.
“It is an honour that his musicianship and his contribution to the music industry is being recognised and celebrated in this way.”
Making an 11,500-mile round trip to pay homage to their music hero were Japanese tribute act G-Scars, visiting for just two days before flying home.
Speaking through interpreter Rie Inoue, they said: “Thin Lizzy were cool, and they are still very popular in Japan.
“It was important for us to be here and recognise the place where Phil was born.”
Musician Sergio Martos, 41, also made a special journey from his home town of Barcelona.
He said: “My uncle was a huge fan and introduced me to his music when I was eight. Phil was a big influence on me.
“I have my own band and write my own songs but on certain nights I will do a Thin Lizzy night.
“I was the first in Spain to play a full Thin Lizzy set 18 years ago.”
Although Lynott was brought up in Dublin and became one of Ireland’s greatest rock stars, few people know that he was born in Hallam Hospital, now Sandwell Hospital.
He went on to conquer the music world with his own brand of rock, which included hits like The Boys Are Back In Town and Whiskey In The Jar.
Mr Meaney also paid an emotional tribute to Lynott’s mother Philomena, who died just two months ago, and the work she did to make sure her son’s legacy was in good hands.
“She would be saying if she was here today ‘Thank you for loving my son’s music’,” he said.
He also thanked the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust for their efforts in getting the emerald green plaque to the hospital on time.