CLUBLAND has been mourning the death of a much loved entertainer and friend to the stars.
Comedian and compere John Coxon, who took the stage name ‘Jonny Cox’, was well-known in club circles across the Dearne and also toured venues across the UK. He died over Christmas aged 72.
Mr Coxon rose to prominence during the 1970s and 80s, which saw him appear on TV talent show New Faces and perform to a sell out crowd at the London Palladium.
The entertainer, well known in the Dearne from his days running the Conisbrough Car Centre in the 1970s, also performed stand-up shows at Bernard Manning’s Embassy Club in Manchester.
He counted fellow comedians Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown, Jimmy Marshall and Duggie Brown as his peers.
Pop singer Leo Sayer was also an acquaintance after the pair took part in a charity fundraiser together in the mid 1970s.
Son Anthony, 47, of Dunleary Road, Town Moor, said: “He was a really larger than life character and was very well known across Doncaster and beyond. He was the life and soul of the party and will be sadly missed. We have had tributes in from people from all over the country.”
Mr Coxon recalled his father’s major performances on New Faces and at the Palladium.
He said: “He was on New Faces in 1974 and was the first comedian to dry up on TV! He had his act written but they said it was too political so he had to change the whole thing.
“Fortunately, the judges were already aware of his work and he came third.”
He added: “He was the compere at the Palladium for jazz violinist Stefane Grapelli in 1975. All the family got to sit in the royal box and he never forgot that night.”
Speaking about her husband widow June added: “He really loved being an entertainer and on the stage.”
Mr Coxon was also a member of Doncaster Lions and helped it raise money for charity during a 20 year membership. He also owned Doncaster Snooker Centre in the 1980s.
He had a heart condition and died of pneumonia in Doncaster Royal Infirmary on December 23. He leaves son Anthony, widow June, and four grandchildren Amarnie, Bethany, Lewis and baby Charlie.
The funeral was due to take place today in Doncaster.