MADNESS frontman Suggs discovered his heroin addict Scottish father had died – by reading his own Wikipedia page.
Suggs – real name Graham McPherson – has spent years searching for his father, William Rutherford McPherson.
Scots-born McPherson Snr father walked out on him and his family shortly after he was born in Hastings, East Sussex, in 1961.
Suggs regrets not getting the opportunity to meet his dad again before he died (Credit: livepict.com)
After seeking advice, the 51-year-old checked the internet encyclopaedia which has over 22million entries.
He said: “I was scrabbling about, going to records offices and the British Library.
“Then one day my mate said, ‘Have you ever looked yourself up on Wikipedia?”
“I looked myself up and there it all was. It said that my father had died in 1975, aged just 40. The thing is this website knew more about my life than me and my whole family combined.
“My dad had died in Birmingham, so I contacted the records office and a nice man there pieced things together for me.
“He had remarried so there was a glimmer of hope that he had turned his life around. But it was all a bit of a mess.
“He didn’t have any kids, which put paid to the chance that I might have stepbrothers or stepsisters.
“When his death certificate arrived it was a real shock.”
Suggs found out that his dad had injected paraffin into his eyes and was sectioned before his death.
He regrets not getting the chance to reunite with his dad.
The father-of-two said: “I didn’t think too much about him when I was younger. He had disappeared and had been in a lunatic asylum, as they used to call them.
“The shame was that he died when I was 15, when I was just starting in the band. If he been around a couple more years then my profile might have led him to get in touch and we
could have met up but it wasn’t to be. I missed having a father figure so I was determined to try and be around for my kids.
“They would ask what happened to their granddad. When they were old enough to understand I told them that he was mixed up with heroin and ended up in asylum.”
The singer’s father’s fate features in his Fringe Show, “Suggs: My Life Story in Words and Music.”
He said:”I went through the trauma of finding all this out and I try to express that sincerely.
“There is the notion of fate and that life can take you in different directions at a whim. Fortunately I took the path of having a lovely family and being successful.
“But my dad went down a different path altogether.”
A GOOD Samaritan who confronted a thug harassing people at a bus stop has told how his cheek was smashed and he suffered anti-English abuse.
Malcolm Brown, a 66-year-old retired merchant navy captain, said he had to be held back after he was punched in the face and called an “English b******”.
Malcolm, who is originally from Hull, East Yorkshire, and has lived in Scotland for 47 years, needed surgery for a broken cheekbone after the attack.
Police are appealing for witnesses after the racist attack
The assault, which was witnessed by Malcolm’s wife Ann, happened shortly before 10pm at a temporary bus stop in the Edinburgh’s Western Approach Road on 3 August.
Malcolm and his wife had been enjoying a performance of China’s Three Tenors opera at Usher Hall earlier in the evening before the assault.
He said: “This hooligan started on a guy at the other end of the queue, there were about 30 of us.
“He started offering a drink of his Irn Bru, then he started cursing and swearing when the guy refused.”
Malcolm said he was used to foul language from his time in the merchant navy but said “this was out of order”.
The grandfather of three continued: “I just told him to shut your mouth, go back in your hole and leave decent people alone.
“Then he lashed out at me for being English.
“He just kept calling me a f***ing English b******.”
“I made the mistake of turning away and then he hit me. He got me on the right side of my face.
“The other people at the bus stop had to hold me back.”
He added: “My wife was shocked, she was standing there next to me.”
It took Malcolm several days to realise he ahd been badly hurt, and a visit to the hospital later confirmed he had a fractured cheekbone.
He had to attend St John’s Hospital in West Lothian for surgery to have a plate fixed in his face.
Mr Brown says he is ready to challenge hooliganism when he sees it but hasn’t experienced such an attack before.
He said: “I will speak up if I think it’s bad. But it seems to be more common these days.
“It’s the first time this has happened, hopefully it will be the last.”
The thug then brazenly stood at the bus stop and chatted on a mobile phone, and got on a bus after Mr Brown left.
Malcolm, who raised his son and daughter in Edinburgh, said: “I’ve probably lived here longer than the guy who did it. It won’t affect me. I’ll still go about the town if I have to.”
But Malcolm does not believe anti-English racism is a major problem. He joked: “It’s the Auld Enemy isn’t it?”
Police described the attacker as mid-20s, around 5ft 10ins and wearing a white shell suit top, light coloured bottoms and white trainers.
A few days after the attack on Friday, August 3, Mr Brownwent to hospital where it was confirmed he had a fractured cheekbone.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.
Officers are particularly keen to speak with two elderly women who later boarded a double-decker bus at the same time as the suspect and were at the bus stop at the time of the assault.
Detective Sergeant Dave Pinkney of Lothian and Borders Police said:
“The victim, who is English, stepped in to prevent other people at the bus stop being harassed by the suspect and has suffered a painful injury to his face as a result.
“We are now keen to speak with anyone who was in the queue at the time and remembers seeing this confrontation.
“Similarly, anyone with any other information that can assist with our enquiries, or who can help us identify the male responsible is asked to contact police immediately.”
Nicholson street Oxfam manager David Hendrie with some of the comics
A COLLECTION of 5000 comic books spanning four decades has been donated to a charity shop in Edinburgh.
The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, left staff at an Oxfam bookshop stunned when they turned up at his flat to pick up the donation and realised its sheer size.
Shop manager David Hendrie, 28, said:
“Shock was the overriding emotion, and
“how on earth are we going to get these back to the shop’? We had to make two trips in the car.
“This is an incredibly generous donation and just stunning in terms of the sheer quantity of comics. Volunteers have been working hard to sort and price them. “
He said he hoped the donation would raise thousands of pounds when it was sold in the shop in the city’s Nicholson Street.
The complete collection will go on sale during a special late opening of the shop next Friday from 5.30pm, and a comic fair will take place at McDonald Road library the next day where remaining comics will be sold.
The collection includes a complete series of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One and comics from the
“Silver Age’ of the Justice League of America comics.
The donor, from Gilmerton, said he was offering the collection as he was moving aborad.