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Tony has a true love

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:51 05 July 2010

AHEAD of his long-awaited visit to Suffolk, 1980's legend Tony Hadley has revealed a secret Suffolk love - beer.

Tony who will be making a one-off appearance, singing with a Sinatra-style blues band at Somerleyton Hall next month, has let slip one of his true passions.

AHEAD of his long-awaited visit to Suffolk, 1980's legend Tony Hadley has revealed a secret Suffolk love - beer.

Tony who will be making a one-off appearance, singing with a Sinatra-style blues band at Somerleyton Hall next month, has let slip one of his true passions.

He told The Journal: “When I was younger I used to be a typical lager drinking lad but, after I moved to the Cotswolds, I got a taste for real ale. These days I love a proper pint.”

So much so, Tony - who as the frontman of Spandau Ballet had 15 top 20 hits including Communication and Gold, has invested in a Suffolk brewery.

He said: “It all happened by accident really, I met a few guys from a Suffolk brewery and before I knew it there was a beer named after me with proceeds going to charity. As a nod to my days in Spandau Ballet, the colour of the beer is, of course, gold. It tastes delicious.”

Kevin McHenry, from the Red Rat Craft Brewery, in Bury St Edmunds, took up the story: “I knew Tony was a fan of real ale and after my wife and I went to one of his concerts I emailed him to ask if we could come up with a beer in his name. We experimented with a few different flavours and took some back stage for him to trial when he was appearing as Billy Flynn, in the West End production of Chicago. He's a really great bloke.”

Anxious that the beer shouldn't be too hoppy and put off female fans, the brewery came up with Hadleys - a golden ale with a strength of 4pc.

Since then the brew has made thousands for charity, including one of Tony's causes Action for Medical Research.

It will also be the beer on sale at Somerleyton Hall when Tony swings into the country estate with his 17-piece big band on August 15.

Kevin said: “We're expecting to get through thousands of pints with 20p from each pint sold going to the charity Help for Heroes, raising money for the rehabilitation of war wounded. It's a good feeling to know that our beer is being drunk by a good bunch of people.”

Tony said: “I'm really looking forward to the concert and to know people are having a good time drinking Hadley's beer and making money for charity is the icing on the cake.”

Tickets to see Tony Hadley Swinging True - The Big Band Tour on Friday, August 15, cost £27.50 for adults and £15 for children aged five to 15. Gates open at 6pm for picnics with the music due to start at 7.30pm. For tickets and more information call 01603 630000.

And next week The Journal will have a competition to win tickets to the concert so make sure you order your copy.

Contrary to the impression given in last week's Journal; Tony will not be appearing as a guest judge in the Battle of the Bands competition to discover a local school band which will support the concert.

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