(FROM HULL DAILY MAIL)
08:00 - 20 December 2007
One of Hull's most famous sons returned to the city last night to thrill fans and help raise funds for floods victims.
Joe Longthorne may have graced the stage of grand venues such as the London Palladium, but he was just as comfortable performing at the New Walton Club in west Hull.
Joe, who was born and raised in Hessle Road, took to the stage last night for a concert in aid of city floods victims.
Money raised last night, hoped by organisers to run to thousands of pounds, will be donated to the Hull Flood Fund.
As well as the cash raised, Joe told the Mail he wanted to return to his home town and perform to help those worst-affected by the flooding in June.
Joe, 52, has an impressive tour record and an army of fans.
For those lucky enough to buy a ticket for last night's performance, Joe's trademark rapport with the crowd and soaring voice went down a storm.
Fan Christine Sizer, of Beverley High Road, north Hull, told the Mail how Joe had been friends with her sister and used to babysit for her when they were young.
"I have always been a fan of his," she said. "He is brilliant and it is incredible to think about what he has gone through.
"He has a great voice and he is a great comedian.
"He is a really lovely man. Doing this concert just shows he is still a Hull person."
Barbara and Keith Anderson, of Welwyn Park Avenue, north Hull, have also been fans for many years.
Mrs Anderson said: "I think it is wonderful he is doing this concert. It shows he is a proper Hull lad."
And Ron and Betty Hales travelled from Gilberdyke to watch the show.
They told the Mail they regularly go to see their idol perform in Blackpool, where he now lives.
Mr Hales said: "What Joe is doing with the flood fund, there are not many artists who would do this for people.
"For him to give these proceeds to flood victims is marvellous."
The event was organised by Joe's nephew Keith Holiday.
He told the Mail because of his work in the recycling industry, he had seen many people devastated by the floods.
He said: "I thought it would be good to do something to raise funds and cheer the people of Hull up in time for Christmas.
"Some people in the city have been left with nothing, so whatever we can raise will be a bonus."