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David Bowie fan: 'It was like someone from space had landed in Romford'

PUBLISHED: 11:35 15 January 2016 | UPDATED: 11:35 15 January 2016

EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO MERCHANDISING. David Bowie performs live on stage at the Nokia Isle Of Wight Festival at Seaclose Park in Newport, Isle of Wight.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO MERCHANDISING. David Bowie performs live on stage at the Nokia Isle Of Wight Festival at Seaclose Park in Newport, Isle of Wight.

PA/EMPICS

When news broke early on Monday morning that David Bowie had lost his battle to cancer aged 69, tributes poured in to honour one of England's finest rock stars.

David Bowie performed  at the Romford Odeon, in May 1973, on the Ziggy Stardust tour.David Bowie performed at the Romford Odeon, in May 1973, on the Ziggy Stardust tour.

In Romford, a lifelong fan recognised himself from a Recorder front cover published just before Bowie performed at the Romford Odeon, in May 1973, on the Ziggy Stardust tour.

Stephen Milbank, 59, from Romford said: “The gig was a bit surreal, like someone from out of space had landed in Romford.

“I’d had to convince another fan to sell me his ticket outside and my hair was coloured by The Amethyst Room hairdressers opposite the Odeon.

“The paper tried to arrange a meet with David, but his security put a block on it after it became a bit wild outside.”

David Bowie performed at the Romford Odeon, in May 1973, on the Ziggy Stardust tour.David Bowie performed at the Romford Odeon, in May 1973, on the Ziggy Stardust tour.

At the time, the Recorder noted it was “a miracle no one was killed” in the frenzied teenage hysteria.

Apparently “Bowie fever almost caused a disaster” as the “fanatical screaming followers of the flame-haired superman” watching from the Odeon’s balcony clambered over each other to get a better view.

A policeman was slightly injured as Bowie’s car drove away, followed by “hysterical, weeping girls”, but luckily no one else was hurt.

The youngest audience member was three-year-old Lisa Martin of Edinburgh House, Gidea Park, who was there with her parents David and Sandy.

Also at the gig was 16-year-old Stephen. He said: “People were jumping from the upper stalls, the music was so loud.

“When he sang Starman, it was as if he was singing to us personally.

“A friend ran for the stage to touch Bowie but was grabbed.

“People were fainting and Bowie girls were screaming so loud but before you knew it the spaceman had gone.

“Outside we tried to get him at the stage door. He came out surrounded by police and was pushed into a limo which drove off at high speed with flashing lights and police vans following.”

After the concert, the words Iggy and Ziggy were painted on a wall of the Odeon, where they remained for many years.

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