Birthday boy Stan is blown away by surprise

It was a case of history repeating itself for birthday boy Stan Marshall - only this time he's old enough to remember it.

When Stan was born at home in Laygate, South Shields, on Christmas Eve 80 years ago, Hatron Colliery Band played outside as both his grandfather and great uncle were members.

Stan Marshall being surprised by Westoe Brass Band for his 80th birthday.

Stan Marshall being surprised by Westoe Brass Band for his 80th birthday.

However, as a special birthday treat, Stan's family arranged it for the band, which is now known as Westoe Brass Band, to play outside his home in High Meadow, South Shields, today.

The pensioner was left stunned as players performed a number of festive carols, and of course, Happy Birthday.

The father-three, who is married to Joan, 70, said: "I can't believe it, I am absolutely gob-smacked. This is the best surprise ever.

"Of course I don't remember anything the first time round, but I'll be remembering this."

The grandfather-of-four was also presented with some gifts from the players, including a copy of their latest CD.

Joan said: "Stan always told the story of how the band played at his birth and it's something that's been told time and time again to all the generations of the family.

"It's just wonderful that they all been able to share this with Stan and we're so grateful the players took time out of their busy schedules to come along."

Ann Stone, who plays the tenor horn, said: "We were delighted to be able to help out on Stan's special day. That's what the band is all about, being a part of the community."