Snow Patrol’s frontman Gary Lightbody ‘loves inspiring change’ as he receives OBE days after father’s death

Gary is the last founding member of the band (Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire)

Snow Patrol’s frontman Gary Lightbody has received an OBE for his services to music and charity in Northern Ireland, days after his father’s death.

The Chasing Cars singer is getting recognised after not only establishing Belfast’s Oh Yeah Music Centre – which supports aspiring musicians get a foot in the door – but also for his support in charities that deals with mental health, depression and youth engagement.

Close friend Davy Matchett, 44, said: ‘He does it because he is a good man. He does not have to but he sees the value in it.

‘He loves Belfast, he loves Northern Ireland, he loves home, he loves people and he loves doing what he can to bring about positive change.’

The Oh Yeah Music Centre teaches young musicians the skills they need to make a breakthrough, and Gary has been supporting them nonstop.

Another cause close to the singer include dementia, in which his father suffered before his death a few days before Christmas.

‘The singer has supported a Belfast barber helping men with dementia.


The barber, named Lenny, takes his pop-up shop to care homes and unlocks people’s emotional memories by recreating the barbershop experience of their youth, including music from decades ago.

Singer-songwriter Gary, 43, revealed the news to his followers, writing: ‘Just before Christmas my dad, Jack, passed away. We had his funeral on Christmas eve with family and close friends.

‘I’m not posting about it to make anyone sad and that’s why I waited until after Christmas to say anything at all I just wanted to pay tribute to the man that taught me and gave me so much.’

Gary added: ‘He was the funniest man I’ve ever known. Even in the depths of his dementia he could still be as sharp and hilarious as ever at times. He was also the most social person I ever knew. He could talk to anyone.

‘I’m in introvert so I’m shy around strangers but he would walk into a room full of strangers and within ten mins know all their names and their stories and be having the craic with them all. It was a gift he never lost.’

Gary went on to reminisce on how friendly his dad was while thanking those who looked after him while he was ill.

He ended the post asking fans, friends and families to think of his father when they have their next ‘wee drink’, and raise a glass to him.

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