Funeral tribute fund for legendary Star & Garter landlord Andy Martin nears £10,000 in donations

Manchester's music scene has lost 'a light that will never go out'

By Ben Arnold | 3 April 2024

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A fund in tribute to Andy Martin, the landlord of the Star & Garter pub who died suddenly last week, has hit almost £10,000 in donations.

The fund to pay for his funeral costs was started over the weekend, with tributes flooding social media following the news of his death.

It was announced in a heartbreaking post on the pub’s Facebook page, written by his wife Helen.

“I’m devastated to be sharing the news that our licensee Andy Martin died today after a very short illness. He leaves behind Jasmine (5) and Georgina (3),” she wrote.

“We are all obviously in bits and I know that so many of you will feel this loss too. He was a wonderful dad, husband, brother, son and friend and this has left an unfillable hole in all our lives. Helen (Andy’s wife) x.”

He had been admitted to hospital late last week suffering a suspected stroke, and died four days later after developing sepsis. He was just 52.

“This is not an easy ask; the brutal shock of this tragedy has left Andy’s wife and family bereft, heavy with grief and in the unfortunate position of having to ask for not just emotional understanding but financial support at this difficult time,” the GoFundMe post reads.

star & garter

“If Andy’s life enriched yours in any way, please contribute to his funeral. Anything you can give, big or small would be gratefully received.”

A well-known and well-respected figure in Manchester’s indie music scene, he became the pub’s licensee in 2003, with the Star & Garter becoming infamous for its monthly Smiths disco.

Sacha Lord, co-founder of Parklife and The Warehouse Project, and Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, said: “I’m extremely saddened to hear the news that Andy Martin from the Star and Garter has passed away. 

“We were only messaging a couple of weeks ago. A huge loss to Manchester, that will never be replaced. My thoughts are with his family.”

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, New Order and Joy Division’s Peter Hook said: “Andy was a lovely man from head to foot.

“Truly a man of the people who recognised that mighty oaks grow from acorns. His importance to new Manchester music was vital. God rest his soul.”

Another of the pub’s regulars posted: “Dedicate the disco to him next week and let’s all raise a glass… Andy is a light that will never go out.”

Smiths Disco

The pub has long been part of the fabric of the Manchester music scene, hosting gigs from everyone from UK Subs and Frank Carter to The Courteeners – with Liam Fray starting his singing career playing at the pub’s open mic nights.

Their single Smiths Disco was a tribute to the long-running Smiths tribute club night at the pub, while it also played host to the annual Mozfest, which would see Morrissey and Smiths fans from around the world arriving at the Fairfield Street boozer.

The Smiths Disco is set to take place this Friday, with devotees from Germany, Italy and the US planning to make the trip to raise a glass to Andy.

Recently, the pub had been incorporated into events at Depot Mayfield, including the Homobloc and Repercussion festivals.

It’s also featured on the screen, in shows including Brassic, where it stood in for the fictional Crow’s Nest, and in Russell T Davies’ 2021 series It’s A Sin, as well as episodes of Cracker, Band of Gold and Prime Suspect.

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