‘Music has kept me on the bright side of life’

Songwriter Vic Holdroyd
Songwriter Vic Holdroyd

BATTLES with ill-health have been a constant feature of Vic Holdroyd’s adult life - but it is his love of music that has helped him look on the bright side.

Vic, now 65, has serious heart problems and survived major surgery for cancer in 2007. His hobby of song writing, which began when he was a young man, has become more and more important to him as his health has worsened.

Recently his talent for song writing has been recognised more widely with his songs being picked up by recording artists and an album of his songs winning a nomination in the British Country Music Awards.

“Though I didn’t win I was immensely pleased and surprised to get a nomination,” said Vic, who lives with his partner, Brenda, in Moorside, Cleckheaton.

Vic was a fit and healthy young man and played football for Lightcliffe, Firth Sports Club and many teams in the Brighouse Sunday League.

“In the late 1970s, when the craze for jogging started, I decided I’d have a go. After playing so much football, I thought it would be easy but I started getting terrible pains in my chest. Eventually ischaemic heart disease was diagnosed when I was 35. Since then I’ve had three heart attacks and two triple by-pass operations.”

Four years ago Vic was diagnosed with bladder cancer and underwent chemotherapy, which caused permanent kidney damage, and a major operation at Bradford Royal Infirmary. While he was recovering he was delighted to learn that a charity CD he had made to raise money for Overgate Hospice was going down a storm with local radio audiences.

“This really cheered me up and gave me the impetus to start writing again.”

As a teenager, Vic was lead singer in a short-lived Elland band called The Triffids and he also played at jam nights at local pubs including the Barge in Brighouse.

“Like everyone of my generation I was totally inspired by the Beatles. But lately I’ve become interested in country music and have been experimenting in that style.”

British country singer Darren Busby cut a five-track CD of Vic’s songs and it was that album, together with Vic’s own project album ‘Country Songs for Today’ which won the nomination in the ‘album of the year’ section at the BCMA awards.

In addition Vic recently learned that one of his songs ‘That’s the Way’ has been recorded for the Christmas market by young Irish singing sensation Gerald Ahern who is managed by Safe Management, the company behind the Spice Girls and the boy band Five.

“He is an amazing young singer and I’m thrilled that he has recorded one of my songs. I’m incredibly pleased with how things are going.

“When you suffer from ill-health it’s easy to let it take over your life but music and song writing give me a great deal of pleasure and help me stay positive,” said the father-of-four.

l To download Vic’s album go to http://wyecreekmusic.com/vicholdroyd.html