The story of The Sunsets

By SFC Media time Sun 05 Apr History

The news that Danny Ings and Jack Stephens have become an instrumental duo has reminded the club historians of the three young Saints who formed a band in the late 1960s. Their story, as told by Duncan Holley in his recent book, Days Like These, is reproduced, with permission, below:

On 17th August 1968, Southampton’s Reserves drew 2-2 with Arsenal in a Football Combination Cup game at The Dell, with goals from Fred Kemp and Ray Ames.

But three of the team – goalkeeper Gerry Gurr, centre-half Dave Paton and centre-forward Mick Judd – had not finished entertaining the public.

Relocating, for the evening, to the After Eight nightclub, above a parade of shops and next to a gym off Shirley High Street, they would swap their football kit for waistcoats and flares, not to mention flamboyant neck-ties.

Gerry, Dave and Mick – along with an Irish musician, Tony Cattoire – were the club’s house band, performing under the name of The Sunsets. (Pictured at the top of the page. Left to right: Dave Paton, Mick Judd, Tony Cattoire and Gerry Gurr)

Gerry, who had been playing since the age of eight, was the lead guitar, Mick was on drums and Dave was the main vocalist.

If you’ve ever heard his broad Scottish brogue, you might wonder how Paton could be an intelligible vocalist. “He was more comprehensible when singing,” Gurr insists, “than when speaking – like Roy Orbison.”

All three players had by now made their first-team debut and, although their moonlighting was of no obvious harm to their football, they assumed that manager Ted Bates was oblivious to it – until the day in November 1969 when he told Gurr that he had “just sold your singer” – to Aldershot.

Not known for his wry humour, Ted offered to audition as Dave’s replacement. The manager in a pop band? Whatever would the directors have said?

Gerry played 49 competitive games for the Saints before a shoulder injury ended his career prematurely. Or so it seemed – until a successful operation enabled him to resume goalkeeping with Fourth Division Aldershot in 1971.

Things went well and Second Division Portsmouth wanted to sign him. Having initially said they would not stand in his way if a bigger club came calling, Aldershot reneged on the agreement.

Gerry, now 25, had lined up some gigs in the Far East and declared that he would quit football unless he was allowed to join Pompey.

Aldershot called his bluff, so Gerry was soon on a plane to Thailand, his footballing days behind him. It proved a good decision, as he made a successful career in the music business.

And after Liane (professional name, Lee Ann) had auditioned to sing with him, he would both marry her and become her musical director.

The Pluto
The Merlin Hotel in Kuala Lumpar promotes its house band, The Pluto, with Gerry Gurr standing in the middle 

To obtain a copy of DAYS LIKE THESE, signed by Matt Le Tissier, Franny Benali and/or Sam Gallagher, visit hagiologists.com.

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