Memorial planned for Marmalade singer Dean Ford

Former frontman to have a memorial plaque placed on a bench in his home town

Dean Ford (far left) and Marmalade

An appeal has gone out to friends and family of Dean Ford, a member of the pop group Marmalade, to attend an event in his memory.

Dean, whose real name was Tom McAleese, was born in Airdrie but grew up in Coatbridge and loved spending time in Whifflet Park.

The request for the tribute came from his sister, Liz Carson, who now lives in South Africa.

She said: "Tom was born in Airdrie in 1945 but spent most of his childhood and early adulthood in Whifflet Coatbridge. When he became a professional singer he would often fly back to see our mother in Calder Avenue; so needless to say, both of us enjoyed many happy times in Whifflet Park.

"He passed away suddenly on 31 December 2018 in Los Angeles and the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser put a front page story on his life. He was a big celebrity in Coatbridge when his songs were top of the hit parade.

"It's lovely to think there will be a permanent memorial in a place that meant so much to him.

"We don't have many family members left In Scotland, only a few cousins, but I'm sure if some Marmalade fans are still around and maybe pals of Tom's from his Coatbridge days they would be interested in being there for the dedication.

"Local activist Jim McGinty and family friend Sandra Corbett have been instrumental in getting us to this point and I can't thank them enough."

A date has yet to be set for the dedication event and fans of the group along with Tom's former friends and family are being asked to get in touch with North Lanarkshire Council's Community Partnership Team.

Please email Matt Costello, Community Partnership Manager: communitymatters@northlan.gov.uk  to express interest in attending the dedication event.

Once a date has been set, it will be publicised through the local media and social media channels.

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