FRIENDS of a popular Morpeth karaoke star have paid a moving tribute to the man they knew as Little Elvis.
Former window cleaner Michael Marshall died in hospital in August, shortly after an altercation outside the Corbridge Larder in Sanderson Arcade.
Sadly, many of the 52-year-old’s friends in the town and surrounding villages were unaware of his funeral arrangements in County Durham so could not attend the service.
But now they have paid their own heart-felt tribute to the talented singer.
About 60 people gathered at the Black Garter pub in Newcastle, where Mr Marshall was a big attraction for the Saturday night karaoke regulars, to sing one of his favourite songs, The Wonder of You, together in a gesture of respect.
His friend and neighbour Geoff Lough said: “It was our way of saying thanks for all the friendship and pleasure he gave us.
“Michael was a remarkable character who was loved by everyone who turned up that night, not just people from Northumberland, but also the Tynesiders who used to look forward to seeing him.”
The son of a Vickers Armstrong engineering veteran, Mr Marshall moved from Scotswood to the Spennymoor area as a youth and trained as a fishmonger, before taking a series of other jobs.
While living in Longhorsley he worked at Linden Hall hotel, later moving to Widdrington where he was a window cleaner.
He moved to Stobhill, Morpeth, 15 years ago and was well-known in the pubs and clubs, particularly Morpeth Comrades Club where he served on the committee for a time.
Mr Marshall had been planning to record some of his favourite karaoke songs on CD shortly before his death.
Close friend Tommy Dixon said: “The world’s smallest window cleaner at 5ft 2ins, that was typical of Michael.
“When we would go off on our motorbikes Michael wanted to come too so he bought himself a small one and caught up with us eventually. He may have been a little bloke, but he is a big miss in our lives.
“Shortly before his death he was planning to record a CD of some of his favourite songs. It is a terrible shame that he was taken from us before that happened.
“It would have been a wonderful way of remembering him.”
He added: “If there is such a thing as a heavenly choir up there, Michael will be singing in the front row — with the real Elvis standing next to him.”
Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of Mr Marshall’s death and a 49-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, has been released on police bail until December.