It is with great sorrow that I heard this morning that Jerry Stevens has died.
To many of us, Jerry was the Variety Club Golfing Society, and for just over twenty years, following in the footsteps of Johnny Riscoe and helped by his accomplished assistant Sue Johnstone, Jerry ran it with huge passion and enthusiasm, putting his own stamp on what was still a relatively young organisation.
Prior to joining Variety, Jerry enjoyed a distinguished career as a multi-talented entertainer popular during the 1960s to 1980s specialising in comedy impersonations, singing, acting and compere work. Initially performing in UK Working Men’s Clubs in Sheffield, he moved to London in the early 1960s where his career took off, appearing on numerous TV Entertainment Shows such as, ‘Blackpool Night Out’ and ‘The Ken Dodd TV Show’.
He later formed a celebrated comedy duo with Lennie Bennett, who as well as having their own Saturday night prime-time TV Show with guests ranging from Joan Collins to actor Doug McClure, also made guest appearances on well-established programmes such as, “The Good Old Days” and “The Shirley Bassey Show”. Jerry was also a talented singer and signed with CBS/Columbia Records in 1968. His first vinyl single, “The Life That I Lead” was followed in 1967 with the popular Eurovision hit, “Love Is Blue” and later by the Roger Cook & Roger Greenaway hit, “How Long”.
He was an accomplished golfer, playing all over the world and, amongst other top tens, Jerry won the Bob Hope UK Pro-Celebrity tournament in 1981.
Many of us will have recollections of times spent with Jerry, whose unique background endeared him to celebrities and non-celebrities alike. His great charm and total dedication to the charitable aspect of Variety made him a hugely popular figure for whom we felt respect, admiration and affection. If you have any personal stories about your times with Jerry, please let us know.
Jerry will be greatly missed.
Please find here a lovely picture of Jerry with our President Jimmy Tarbuck from a Variety Club Captain’s Day a few years ago now.
Chair, Variety Golf