A MUCH-LOVED Newport chorister, believed to be the oldest in Wales, has died two days before what would have been his 96th birthday.

Grandfather and father-of-two Roy Harvey died at Newport’s Royal Gwent hospital on Wednesday after a short illness.

A City of Newport Male Choir member since 1973, his talent took him around the world visiting Germany, Belgium, Holland and Ireland performing with the group over the past 39 years.

In 1990 he joined choirs from around the world to sing at the World Choir 10,000 Voices at the National Stadium in Cardiff, alongside Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Tom Jones and Dennis O’Neill. But one of the proudest moments of his long career was when he and the choir sang for the British Ambassador at the British Embassy in Paris around 15 years ago.

Despite his grand age, the former painter and decorator and Royal Marine, of Somerton, never missed a practice and proudly boasted how he had never once taken medication in his life.

Last year he was awarded the City of Newport Male Choir tankard for best attendance.

Friends said the second tenor, who was also a keen and talented pianist, was a valued member who will be missed by all.

Choir chairman Colin Shurmer said: “I was with him the night before he died, he couldn’t communicate but I was saying we would be singing out loud for him and he squeezed my hand.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to stand along side a man of his calibre.”

Friend, George Cairns, said: “Mr Music we used to call him.

He was a wonderful character, he will be missed terribly by the choir.”

Lliswerry councillor Allan Morris, said: “He was ever-present, he always had a smile and enjoyed what he did. He was an inspiration to others.”