The Beatles’ first manager, Allan Williams, has died at 86, it has been announced.
He took the budding musicians under his wing while they cleaned and decorated his Jacaranda Club in Slater Street, Liverpool.
The club announced the death of the stalwart of the city’s music scene on Friday, writing on Facebook: “Today is one of the saddest days in our history.
“The Jacaranda’s original owner and the man who discovered The Beatles, Allan Williams, has sadly passed away at the age of 86.
“All of our thoughts and wishes go to his family and his wife Beryl.
“His legacy has allowed us to remain at the heart of the Liverpool music scene for almost 60 years and his memory will live on through every band that plays our famous stage.
“Allan, you will be missed.”
When the band first asked to play at the Jacaranda, Williams instead gave them jobs renovating the venue in Slater Street before deciding to send them to Hamburg.
Sir Paul described Williams in The Beatles Anthology as “a great guy, a really good motivator”.
Williams, from the Sefton Park area, parted ways with the band - then comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best - in 1961.
They signed with Brian Epstein the following January.
The Beatles Story exhibition said Williams’ role as their first booking agent and manager “helped shape the band in to what we see and know today”.
Its director Martin King said: “Allan was a friend to many of us at the Beatles Story and his legacy will continue to be told for years to come.”
Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn tweeted: “No Allan Williams, no Hamburg. No Hamburg, no Beatles.”