Emotional tributes have been paid to Manchester Soul Train legend Dougie James, the father of showbiz brothers Ryan, Scott and Adam Thomas, who has died aged 72.
Hundreds of tributes to music industry legend Dougie have poured in from devoted family, fans and friends, and led by truly moving words from his son Scott Thomas.
Scott wrote on his Instagram page on Sunday night: “The word legend can sometimes be thrown around but when it comes to my Dad there was no question. He was the epitome of a star and you felt it every moment you were in his company.
“My Dad’s life was one that he lived to the fullest and his stories would keep us entertained for hours. From touring with the Jackson 5 to warming up for James Brown my dad had done it all with the Soul Train.
“People might think my Dad is well known because of us but he was a Manchester legend well before our time. I used to be so proud when strangers from all over would come up to me and say are you “Dougie Jame’s son?” He knew everyone and touched so many lives.
“My dad just knew how to make people smile and he was genuinely the funniest man I’ve ever known.”
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Wythenshawe-raised Dougie first shot to fame in the 1960s and 70s as a singer and toured across the world with the Soul Train, supporting for the Jackson 5 and James Brown along the way.
He went on to become a well-known music promoter in the region with his friend and fellow Manc music industry legend Alan Wise.
He passed the showbiz baton to his three sons, Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas, Emmerdale and I’m A Celebrity star Adam Thomas and Love Island’s Scott, and just last year joined them all on an epic journey of discovery to India for a popular ITV documentary series.
Their Mancs to Mumbai series saw Dougie and his sons learn more about their heritage as well as an emotional journey into their own relationship.
Everyone at MultiStory Media is saddened to hear the news about Dougie. Sending all our love to Ryan, Adam and Scott at this difficult time. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/uT3cmCSHNk
— MultiStory Media (@MultiStoryTV) November 28, 2020
Dougie had moved in with son Scott over the past six months during the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, and Scott revealed that it had given the father and son chance to “make up for so much lost time”.
Scott, who runs his own PR company, shared a series of heart-warming videos of Dougie entertaining family and friends with his singing and dancing.
He wrote: “My dad told me he had the best life and wouldn’t change a single thing. This might sound sad but he said he was happy for his time to be up and just didn’t enjoy being old. So as heartbreaking as it is that he’s gone I know it’s what he wanted deep down.
“He was just very tired. Saying that even that morning when I last saw him he was on top form as always cracking jokes with that amazing sick sense of humour of his. He always chose laughter for tears.
“My Dad will live on through me, Adam and Ryan. The legacy he has created will shine on through us and the Thomas’s for many, many years to come. He made me so proud to be a Thomas and even though he never really told us I know deep down he was so very proud of us. One thing he never struggled to tell me was that he loved me. Every night before bed he would tell me that and every time I left the house.
“I am my Father’s son and I will remember nothing but the best of memories. He really was a King. Rest in Paradise dad, Iove you forever.”
BBC Radio Manchester stars Mike Shaft and Mike Sweeney paid their own tributes to Dougie over the weekend, while a host of the Thomas’ family friends sent messages of love and support to his sons, while fans and friends have been sharing their favourite memories of the star on his official Facebook page.