As world mourns Elvis Presley on 40th anniversary of his death, here's the tale of the night The King nearly came to Sheffield

Elvis nearly played at Sheffield's Fiesta club.
Elvis nearly played at Sheffield's Fiesta club.

Exactly 40 years ago today, the world was in mourning at the death of the king of rock 'n' roll Elvis Presley was revealed to a shocked global audience.

It was on August 16, 1977 that the musical icon was found dead at the age of 42 - and the world of music was plunged into grief, with thousands of fans staging a vigil outside the star's Graceland home in the USA.

Of course, it is well known that Elvis never played or even visit Britain - his only documented stop in the UK was at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, when the United States Air Force transport plane carrying him home stopped to refuel in 1960, en route from Germany.

But it could have been very different - for believe it or not, The King was scheduled to play Sheffield in 1972 - and it very nearly happened.

The venue was the city's former Fiesta club, now the Odeon Cinema on Arundel Gate, and which back in its day was the place to be seen with a galaxy of stars performing at the venye.

Opened by brothers Keith and Jim Lipthorpe in 1970, the pair had visions of bringing the biggest star in the world to Sheffield in the autumn of 1972.

The Lipthorpe brothers announced they had all but secured an appearance by Elvis, causing headlines across the globe - but it was not to be after the negotiations broke down because Elvis's manager Colonel Tom Parker's demands had become too much.

His insistence 20 more phone lines be installed at the venue – meaning a reconfiguration of the entire building – could not be met, meaning that Sheffield, and Britain, were never treated to a performance by Elvis.

Stars who did appear there over the years however included Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, The Three Degrees, The Four Tops, BB King, Tommy Cooper, and Morecambe and Wise.

But its success was also to become its downfall and the club stayed open just six years, closing down in 1976.