THE “father figure” and longest-serving member ever of Barrhead Burgh Band has died.

John Farrell, 79, joined the group in 1951, at the age of 14, and played for more than 60 years.

The hornet player performed up until 2013, when ill health forced him to retire.

Barrhead man John died on Saturday, leaving his wife Emily and sons Christopher and Matthew devastated.

For many years, he played at the Remembrance Day services at Cowan Park, in Barrhead, and Kelvingrove Park, in Glasgow.

John also performed with the 5th/6th Highland Light Infantry and the 1st Battalion Cameronians, as a bugler and drummer.

In 2001, he received his Life Membership Medal from the Scottish Brass Association for 50 years of service to the band.

Tom Allan, spokesman for Barrhead Burgh Band, said: “John was a very dedicated member. He stayed at the Millview Care Home, in Barrhead, with his wife Emily.

“It was only until he took ill that he was forced to retire from the band.

“John was a very dedicated player and was considered as the father figure of the band.

“It is very sad to lose him, as he was such a respected man.”