“SUNDERLAND is in his soul.”
Wearside businessman Harry Collinson met up with rock star Dave Stewart in a bid to put the city back on the map.
The Sunderland-born musician is backing the bid by the new City Centre Traders’ Association to make the area great again.
Stewart, who was brought up in High Barnes, has thrown his weight behind the Wear1City campaign.
Chairman Harry was invited to the music star’s exclusive gig at London’s Hospital Club, where Stewart performed with stars including Daryl Hall and KT Tunstall.
Harry said: “He is unbelievably proud of Sunderland. Sunderland is there in his soul.
“We talked about Wear1City and what we’ve got planned.
“He was talking about the beach and how he lived in LA, but Seaburn is still one of the most beautiful places in the world and about the Cat and Dog Steps. Harry believes Sunderland is in for a treat when Stewart plays his first-ever homecoming gig at the Sunderland Empire on September 3.
“His band can’t wait to come to up to Sunderland.
“We talked about Sunderland for about an hour. They all said it is going to be an amazing gig.
“He really wants to put us on the world stage.”
Harry first contacted the music star through Twitter and the friendship grew from there.
He said: “I told him I was setting up the city centre traders’ group and he loved the idea of it, so I asked him to be an honorary member.
“We’ve just been talking and emailing and I got an invitation to go down to the Hospital Club. It is an amazing place.
“It is for creative people and they musicians come in mentor future musicians.
“It is inspirational. The kids from Sunderland who are involved in music would love it.”
Sunderland City Traders’ Association was set up five months ago in a bid to boost business in the city centre.
Membership is free and more information is available at www.wear1city.co.uk
l Tickets for The Ringmaster General at Sunderland Empire are available by calling 0844 871 3022 or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland, as well as from select ticket agents, the 24-hour ticket hotline 0844 338 0000 and on line at BookingsDirect.com.