Top musician Marty McClatchey, who toured with some of the top bands of the 80s, dies aged 58

A talented musician who toured with some of the top rock bands of the 80s, guitarist Marty McClatchey died peacefully in hospital at the young age of 58.

Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 4:18 pm
Marty McClatchey.

Marty, from Portadown, was well known across UK and Ireland on the music scene and had been in a number of popular bands in his lifetime.

He died peacefully in hospital on August 24.

Though he died young, Marty lived life to the fullest, taking every opportunity that was open to him.

Martin McClatchey with his wife Ursula and children Daniel and Eve.

Martin was born on the 4th of January 1962 in Carleton Home, Portadown. He grew up in 45 Woodside Green in Portadown and then moved later to number 56 Woodside Green, along with his late parents Billy and Jean and 4 other brothers; Steven, David, Gary and the late Colin.

Marty went to Park Road Primary School then moved to Millington Primary School. From there he then went on to Killicomaine Junior High and Portadown Tech.

As a teenager Marty worked and was taught how to plaster by his father Billy. He also learned the plumbing trade with Alvin Doak who owned his own business at the time.

While living in Lincoln, England Marty worked for Jackson Shipley, a builders’ merchants, for 2 years. After returning to Northern Ireland in 1989, Marty started working as a bus driver for Ulster Bus which he did for 15 years.

After leaving Ulster Bus, Marty set up his own firm as a plumber and worked alone for many years before working alongside his childhood friend the late Ronald Simpson. After Ronalds passing in 2013, Marty continued to work self-employed right up to his death.

Growing up listening to Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, his father’s favourites, Marty instantly fell in love with music and loved to watch Top of the Pops on television.

During the madness that was growing up in Northern Ireland, Marty’s passion for music came as a great distraction as he spent hours in his bedroom practicing and perfecting the bass guitar and also listening to his vinyl records which he collected.

His love of music was further enhanced as the punk era came along and David Bowie was a man that Martin admired and continued to love and listen to throughout his life.

The first band Marty was in was The Singles (1979). He played the bass guitar alongside his childhood friend, Macker McMullan (drums) and mutual friend Barry Tipping (vocals, guitar). It was from here that Marty began creating his own original music as the band toured alongside bands such as Dexys Midnight Runners and performed live all over Ireland in venues such as Ulster Hall.

He was also in a band alongside Macker McMullan called The Keep and then Shadow Talk again with Barry Tipping, Macker McMullan and also Graeme Robinson. This allowed Marty to go over to England to work and perform music live.

Marty then finally formed his own duo alongside his childhood friend, Mark Simpson called Sontiche. The duo wrote and produced their own material and this group was a big passion of Marty’s. He spent his time out in his studio working on tracks and thinking of music video ideas as he began to put some of their tracks on Youtube.

Ursula and Marty met in 1982 in Rico’s in Tandragee. Ursula was a waitress in Rico’s and Marty asked her to dance and that’s where their life together began. The pair had been together for 38 years until his death. They married on the 4th of January 1991, same date as Marty’s birthday.

Their son Daniel was born in 1992 and daughter Eve was born 7 years later in 1999.

Marty was the perfect dad. He made it his mission to always be there for his kids and to be apart of each stage of their life. He went to every parent teacher meeting and drove them to school/bus stop everyday. Even as Eve started to go to university he always drove her to the train station. He did everything for his kids and always encouraged them to do their best and be themselves, as he was proud of everything they achieved and never forced them to do anything they weren’t excited about.

He is going to be greatly missed by his kids as he was always their number one supporter and everyone has told them about how proud he was of them as he spoke about them so highly to everyone he met. And they plan to continue to live their lives making him proud.

Marty also had a passion for cooking and prided himself in cooking every meal in the house. He loved watching cooking shows especially those involving The Hairy Bikers and James Martin.

But music was his main past time. He loved going to concerts and watching music live.

Marty was a people person and cared for those he loved. He was a hard worker and always looked out and worried about others.

He was a family man and got on with everyone he met. He lived life to the fullest as a young adult and took each opportunity as it came which was the advice he always gave his children.

He was always there for others and was a dedicated friend which his family have clearly discovered from the outpouring of messages and cards from those whom Marty had helped and spoken to in his life.

Mr McClatchey, from Knockview Drive, Tandragee, is the dearly loved husband of Ursula and father of Daniel and Eve.

Due to the current circumstances his funeral was strictly private. Family flowers only were requested but donations in lieu can be made for Action Mental Health c /o Len Grant, Funeral Directors, TDI House, 92 Market Street, Tandragee BT62 2BP.

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