Rock band stage crew member dies in Keighley

Keighley News: New Model Army stage crew member, Ronnie James, who has died aged 44 New Model Army stage crew member, Ronnie James, who has died aged 44

The lead singer of rock band New Model Army has paid tribute to a former stage crew member found dead in Keighley.

It is believed Ronnie James, 44, was found to have died of natural causes at his home in West Bank Close.

Mr James toured with New Model Army during the 1980s working as stage crew on many international tours, said the Bradford band’s frontman, Justin Sullivan.

“He was a really good and popular member of the crew back in the 80s, and it’s obviously very sad news,” added Mr Sullivan.

“I used to bump into him at things a couple of times a year – a really great bloke who always prided himself on being a proper Yorkshireman.”

Writer and artist, Joolz Denby, has worked closely with the band throughout their career and knew Mr James – who was also known as Andy Ralph – very well.

“We had loads of great times and I have great memories of Ronnie, whom we used to call ‘The King of Yorkshire’,” she said.

“He had long, dark hair, twinkling eyes and a humorous gaze, as if he was always about to say something really funny.

“Ronnie went on tours with us to Scandinavia and Germany and absolutely revelled in it, although we used to take the mickey out of him because wherever we where, he insisted on a full English breakfast every morning!

“He was just a really friendly, nice guy, and he will be really missed.”

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