Is this the way to Ivanhoe, Tone?

Conisbrough legend Tony Christie returns to the Ivanhoe Club - 50 years on!
Conisbrough legend Tony Christie returns to the Ivanhoe Club - 50 years on!

HE HAD to ask the way to Amarillo – but world superstar Tony Christie won’t have any trouble finding the door of the first gig on his new nationwide tour...

For he’s decided to come home to Conisbrough Ivanhoe Working Men’s Club – the scene of his first ever pro gig, 50 years ago!

As a special “thank you” for letting him film a music video there, the Conisbrough-born legend decided to celebrate his half-century in showbiz with a charity concert at the Ivanhoe Road club on Wednesday, March 16.

And he’s giving half the cash from the £25-a-ticket show to the repair fund at St Peter’s Church – where his brother is a church warden.

Tony told the Times: “I promised the club I would give them a big show because they let me use their concert room for the video and they had all the inconvenience of that.

“And, it was where I played my first ever paid gig. It was 50 years ago this year, and although I can’t remember the exact date. I was on the bill with Lynne Perrie and Norman Collier.”

The gig will feature his nine-piece band to provide his trademark big band sound – but he admitted it will be a struggle to fit all the musicians into the 250-capacity club.

He said: “I want to do a full live show but I can’t fit all the rigging in.

“I’m still bringing the band, although we’ll have to take over the snooker room as a dressing room to put them all in!

“I’m sure it will be a giggle.”

The 67-year-old said he was happy to be returning to his old stomping ground.

He said: “My mum and my brother live here, and I try to pop back to see them when I can.

“I’m expecting to see quite a familiar crowd at the club, and maybe even some old school friends.

“I want as many local people as possible to be able to go – as this gig’s for them.”

“Half the money’s going to the Teenage Cancer Trust, of which I’m a patron, and the rest is going to the church because I’ve heard about the hooligans damaging the windows.”

But tickets are selling fast.

He said: “We gave the club an initial 50 tickets and they sold out straight away, but we’re giving them more”.

For tickets, visit www.tonychristie.com or call 0845 413 4444.