A POPULAR Bromsgrove man, whose son tragically died at the Hillsborough stadium disaster, has died at the age of 79.

George Brookes, from Sidemoor, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 4.

George was a well known character in Bromsgrove who involved himself in various entertainment, sports and charity activities.

For decades he organised charity fund-raisers that were covered in the Advertiser, and generated thousands of pounds for a wide variety of charities.

For a spell he served as co-ordinator of the Worcester Council of Entertainment that showcased the different clubs around the area.

He was a keen singer, who was in a band and was known by his stage name Johnny St Claire.

George also used to judge karaoke evenings held at the Dog and Pheasant.

Around five years ago he auditioned for the X Factor, managing to get through the early rounds. He also auditioned for the original television talent show Opportunity Knocks, but got through just as it was cancelled.

A keen Birmingham City fan, he was also a referee and head steward at Bromsgrove Rovers Football Club.

His son, Andrew, was 26 when he was killed at the FA Cup semi-final staged at the Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield, in 1989.

The Hillsborough tragedy claimed 96 lives and is the worst stadium disaster in British history.

A fresh inquest into Mr Brookes' death - and the deaths of the other 96 victims - was ordered last December and is due to start on Monday, March 31.

His daughter, Louise, said: "My dad was one of those who didn't really talk about Hillsborough - he found it difficult.

"But he always fully supported all the families and their fight for justice and the truth."

For a number of years he played darts for the DDS and S club, and helped run the Bromsgrove Darts League. He donated two trophies in memory of Andrew, which are played for annually by town darts players.

Louise said: "He was well known and was involved in so much in Bromsgrove.

"People have called him a legend."

George's funeral is being held on Friday, March 21. The service is being held at 2.45pm at Redditch Crematorium and people are being invited to a gathering taking place afterwards at Millfields Social Club, in Millfield Road.