I just saw this...did this just happen? Either way, yay for Moz!
Morrissey helps save club
Exclusive Deborah Linton
MUSIC legend Morrissey has given a £20,000 gift to the Salford club he made internationally famous.
Salford Lads' Club became a mecca for devoted fans of the singer, who fronted cult Manchester band The Smiths, when it featured in the iconic artwork for their 1986 album The Queen is Dead.
Volunteers who this year embarked on a £1 million campaign to restore and upgrade the iconic Edwardian building suffered a massive setback when thieves climbed scaffolding to steal guttering and lead from the roof in July.
Now the Davyhulme-born singer has given the fund to protect the grade II listed building a massive surprise boost.
Project manager Leslie Holmes said: "Fans travel from all over the world to visit Salford Lads' Club and I think they will be as delighted as we are by Morrissey's support.
"I imagine that it is their dedication that made him aware of our cause and I hope that his contribution will now alert others to it.
"It is an unexpected and wonderful gesture particularly coming from a Manchester lad - it does a great deal for relations between the two cities."
Although the singer was never a member of the club, a room inside was dedicated to The Smiths in 2004 - its centenary year - for the international attention brought by the iconic black and white photo which is now part of the collection at London's National Portrait Gallery.
The red-brick club, in St Ignatius Walk, Ordsall, is used by around 200 members and is one of the few original lads' clubs still standing in England, remaining virtually unchanged with original fittings including a boxing ring, snooker rooms and a brick-walled gym with a viewing balcony.
It falls within a regeneration area and developers LPC Living helped raise the first £250,000 for crucial roofing work. But July's vandalism left the restoration fund short of the same amount after it was used to pay a security fund to monitor the site. Morrissey's donation pushes them back up to the £330,000 mark and will be used to put insulation into the roof and carry out work on the ceiling.
Club secretary Brian Ball added: "Morrissey and The Smiths made a big difference to Salford Lads' Club by having their picture taken outside in 1986. They were never members of the club and didn't even come from Salford, so it's a marvellous gesture by Morrissey to give support to the future of our club."
The fund benefited from another cash boost when property tycoon Chek Whyte gave money to the roof project after working undercover in the city as part of Channel 4's Secret Millionaire programme.