Death of Keith Hollinshead

The death has been announced of the former player, conductor and administrator who played a central role in the British Open Championships.

  The death has been announced of Keith Hollinshead

4BR has been informed of the death of former player, conductor and administrator Keith Hollinshead. He passed away on Saturday 11th May, aged 83.

His formative playing career came through Wigan Boys Club Band under the baton of William Haydock who instilled a lifelong passion for brass banding.


He later went on to play with Haigh, Wingates, Carlton Mian Frickley, Yorkshire Imperial, Cammel Laird and Royal Doulton.

He enjoyed being part of bands that gained considerable contesting success, and during his time with Wingates was a member of the 1969 Champion Quartet of Great Britain, alongside his friends Alan Fowler, Len Withington and Gordon Higginbottom.

He worked for many years in local government as well as peripatetic teaching in the Wigan area. He also conducted several local bands, including North Ashton, Eccleston, Pemberton Old Wigan and Eaton's Farnsworth and adjudicated for many years at the Delph Whit Friday contest.

British Open sponsorship

In later years he enjoyed a close association with Harry Mortimer and was instrumental in gaining sponsorship from David Whelan (who played with him in Wigan Boys Band) at JJB Sports that benefited the British Open Championships for several years.

He remained closely involved in the event, offering essential insight and advice up until his death, as well as being art of the team that reinstated the British Open Solo Championships.

He enjoyed a fine life and career that gave so much to people — and especially the brass band movementGordon Clough

Vital part

A spokesperson for the British Open said: "It is with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Keith on the day of the Spring Festival. He was a vital part of the team for many years, and his advice and support will be greatly missed."

His friend and former playing colleague Gordon Clough told 4BR: "Keith was a wonderful man — understated, professional, and so well musically informed. He enjoyed a fine life and career that gave so much to people — and especially the brass band movement."

4BR was informed that it was Keith's wish to have a private funeral. He is survived by his partner Janet and their children.

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