Peter Stringfellow dead at 77: Nightclub owner passes away after secret battle with cancer
Peter Stringfellow has died aged 77 after a battle with cancer.
The nightclub mogul, who had wanted to keep his illness private, died in the early hours of Thursday morning after spending time in hospital, a spokesman said.
“It’s very sad news. He passed away in the early hours of this morning. It was kept very private, he didn’t want to tell. He wanted to keep it a secret,” his publicist said.
Known as the King of Clubs, Peter will be remembered for his flamboyant style, charismatic personality and for being a magnet for celebrities across the planet, with A-list stars across six decades flocking to perform and party at his various clubs around the world.
His eponymous London club, on Upper St Martins Lane, is one of the capital’s longest-running nightlife venues after opening in 1980, and will continue to operate as normal.
He started his nightclub career in 1962 when he rented St. Aidan’s Church Hall in Sheffield every Friday night.
The following year, in April 1963, the Beatles played at the venue and put his name on the map. From there demand for tickets to his nights began to soar and he had to look for a bigger venue.
Later that year he started another club night and a host of other huge names played.
As his popularity skyrocketed he went on to open more clubs, including Cinderella in Leeds.
In 1980 he opened Stringfellows in Covent Garden in London’s West End and went on to create venues in Paris, New York, Miami, Beverly Hills.
With its topless girls and exuberant after-hours entertainment, the Stringfellow brand became a byword for debauchery and sexual kicks that echoed of the empire created by late Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner.
The mogul said his clubs had hosted A-listers including Prince, Marvin Gaye, Rod Stewart and Tom Jones.
And it was not just celebrities who experienced Stringfellow’s hospitality – Professor Stephen Hawking once joined him for dinner at one of the venues.
Peter married wife Bella on Valentine’s Day in 2009 and they welcomed their first child, daughter Rosabella, in August 2013.
In September 2015 they welcomed son Angelo.
Peter also has a son and daughter, Scott and Karen, from his previous marriages.
In an interview given shortly after welcoming his fourth child, he said: “I do feel guilty about not telling the press at the time.”
He added to the Express: “But I didn’t want to be known as ‘poor old Pete who had cancer’. I think I just wanted to avoid all the sympathy.
“But every year since I have felt more and more guilty because, if I had made it known more widely, there’s a chance I might have been able to help other men in a similar position.”
In what’s thought to be his final TV appearance last October, the nightclub mogul spoke to Richard Madeley and Kate Garraway about welcoming a child at 75.
Kate asked him: “When is your cut-off point?”
But she was stunned when he replied: “Last night.”
This led to Richard joking: “I think we’ll have to give you a vasectomy, young man!”
Born in Sheffield in 1940, he was the eldest of four boys who were brought up by the women in his family after the men went to war.
He served a brief prison sentence in 1962 for selling stolen carpets, a sharp lesson which he said put him on the straight and narrow.
In a 2012 article for The Guardian he attributed his entrepreneurial spirit to his “feisty” mother.
He said sex was never a topic of conversation in the house, while his father declined an invitation to visit one of his establishments in his later years.
Feel free to comment on story below