Birmingham Bids Farewell

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Hundreds attended ex-Musafirs musician Saminder Sagoo’s funeral


The funeral service of radio presenter and former “boy band” member Saminder Sagoo was attended by hundreds of people.


Saminder, 76, who helped found one of the first Sikh temples in Birmingham, died on 5 December, having suffered from stomach cancer.


Renowned for his work as one of the first presenters on commercial Asian station Radio XL, the Small Heath temple where Saminder’s funeral was held was packed with mourners, who gathered in front of an open coffin.


After leaving the temple, the presenter’s horse-drawn hearse, which featured a “jazz funeral band”, made a stop at his former music shop to play an Elvis track.


Large crowds lined the streets to watch the former boy band member’s procession.


An avid music fan, the musician’s collection featured over 50,000 tracks, dating as far back as the 1930s. Radio XL said, during the three shows a week which Saminder presenter, he had been able to “showcase his wealth of musical knowledge”.


A statement said: “He will be remembered for being the presenter with the husky voice, always impeccably dressed in suit and tie, and his loyalty to the station, as well as being a committed family man.


Sam Sagoo will remain an unforgettable name for Radio XL and likewise for all his friends and fans worldwide.”


His daughter Rani Godfrey Sagoo said her father’s motto in life had been: “Fulfil your passions but live your life in harmony with the world.”


His son Bally Sagoo, a music producer who has achieved recognition the world over, was inspired to pursue a career in music by his father’s love for it.


Bally shared his tribute to his father via his social media account, telling his Facebook followers that his father would “always be my hero and the person responsible for everything I am today but above all, he will always be the superstar in my world”.


Over 800 people responded to the post, many paying tributes and sharing their memories of the presenter.


Rani described the family as being “a bit overwhelmed” by the response her father’s death had received.


The India-born musician, who had been in “the first Asian boy band” the Musafirs with whom he released a single in 1968, moved to Birmingham as a young man, following a childhood spent in Uganda.


Having worked for manufacturing firm Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) where he was a motorcycle engineer in the 1960s, he went on to running a music shop based in Coventry Road, Small Heath.


Rani said, “He sold everything from Bollywood to Wham! and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.”


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