FANS of cancer-battling singer Joe Longthorne today launched a petition to have their hero royally honoured.
Members of the ever-popular entertainer's fan club are perplexed he has been overlooked in both the Queen's Birthday and New Year's Honours lists – despite them nominating him three times.
The die-hard supporters have now set up the petition which they say they will hand directly to Tony Blair at No 10 Downing Street.
They believe the singer's much-publicised charity work alone is deserving of recognition.
Fan Barbara Large, 56, said: "We have been nominating Joe to be on the honours list for two years but have got nowhere. It's now got to the stage where we have to take it further. In my opinion, I think he is the greatest talent this country has ever produced and while many other entertainers are being honoured, why is Joe constantly overlooked? We have already got 200 signatures on the petition and we want as many as possible before we take it to Downing Street. He deserves a knighthood but we would be happy if he gets an OBE, just as long as he is honoured."
Joe is due undergo a bone marrow transplant in Manchester on Wednesday after cancelling a planned a summer season at the Pleasure Beach Paradise Rooms.
Fans of Joe – who is currently in remission from lymphatic cancer – launched an international appeal for a suitable donor and it is believed the match is a German national.
Mrs Large, a foster carer from Barking, in Essex, said: "He is loved by so many people and his talent is enormous. He is so down-to-earth and approachable and his fans appreciate that. We think it's about time the powers that be recognise Joe.
"I saw him 32 times last year at Blackpool Opera House and around the country. We hope to send a delegation to London in October, so there is plenty of time to add names to the petition."
Joe Longthorne's close friend Tony Jo backed the OBE call.
He said: "Joe has raised millions for charity over the last 30 years. He is tireless in his efforts for a good cause. If anyone deserves to be honoured it's him."
* Fans can sign an online petition by logging on to www.joefanatics.com or write to the fan club at JLFC, Po Box 51, Ammanford, SA18 2WZ.