Band night will remember Big Jeff and raise cash for charities

MUSIC FAN ... Jeff Mackins.
MUSIC FAN ... Jeff Mackins.

A MUSIC fan who died during a heart operation is to be remembered with a band night hosted by his brother.

Jeff Mackins was 58 when he lost his fight for life as he underwent heart valve replacement, last August.

His death devastated his younger brother Rob Mackins who has organised a band festival to celebrate what would have been his birthday.

The gig, taking place at the Hedworth Hall, in Dean Road, South Shields on Saturday, February 7, will feature bands and singers and raise money for the British Heart Foundation and British Lung Foundation.

Mr Mackins, said: “Jeff’s heart condition went back 20 years when he caught a bad infection. He was really poorly and almost died.

“He was fitted with a valve, then underwent open heart surgery, and he managed to fight his way back to fitness.

“But in the last couple of years it was discovered the valve was leaking and he needed to undergo a further operation.

“It should have been a routine operation lasting a couple of hours, but things went wrong and he never survived the operation. ”I’ve chosen the charities as in just over three years I have lost my mam, my dad and Jeff to diseases linked to these charities.”

Jeff who lived in Simonside had been a huge music fan and his brother thought holding a band festival would be a fitting tribute to the man he described as “larger than life character.”

A former soldier in the army, Jeff had also worked down the pit and as a taxi driver.

Mr Mackins added: “He was really well known in South Tyneside and attended lots of gigs.

“He was a larger than life character who people called “big Jeff” as he had such a huge personality.”

Doors to the event open at 4.45pm with singer James Bell kicking off the festival. He will be followed by Last Men on Earth, Beth Hopper, Raising Ghosts, Lana and The Lost Boys, Vertigo U2, Fire Lady Luck and Death to Indie. Tickets are £7 in advance and £10 on the door. Tickets can also available on line by visiting http://www.tickettailor.com/all-tickets/6352/ec89/ or from the Hedworth Hall.

Twitter: @shieldsgazlisa