Computer genius and hit songwriter has died at home in Oswestry

Oswestry | News | Published:

A computer genius who also happened to write one of the most popular song hits of the sixties has died at home in Shropshire.

Stan Kelly-Bootle, computer guru and singer/songwriter

Stan Kelly-Bootle wrote the lyrics for Cilla Black's Liverpool Lullaby, better known as O You Are a Mucky Kid – but he was also an eminent mathematician and acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of computing.

He lived with his daughter Michelle Coxon in Albert Road, Oswestry, and had done so for about six years.

Mrs Coxon said: "He was a true Scouser. He loved Liverpool Football Club and when he came home from hospital just before he died we dressed him in his Liverpool scarf and hat. He was so pleased to be home.

"He made people smile with the things that he said."

Cilla Black’s ‘Liverpool Lullaby’ hit was written by Stan Kelly-Bootle

His own self-penned epitaph was revealed by his son David on the day of his death: "Stan died. No flowers or tears".

Mrs Coxon said: "We're not having a funeral. He'll go to the cremation by himself. But we'll hold a wake in his memory in the summer."

Mr Kelly-Bootle, who died on April 16 aged 84, had lived most of his life in Liverpool.


Mr Kelly-Bootle won a place at the grammar school and, after spending two years in the Army, went on to take a first class degree in maths at Cambridge. He gained a degree in numerical analysis and automatic computing in 1954 – the first post-graduate computing degree in the world.

He then worked for IBM in the United States and the UK, going on to specialise in computer coding for international companies.

But he was also a singer songwriter who, while at Cambridge University, had co-founded the St Lawrence Folk Song Society.

As a folk singer-songwriter, he performed under the name Stan Kelly, recording his own music but also writing for others including the Dubliners.


His Liverpool Lullaby song was made famous by Cilla Black when she recorded it in 1969.

The song is about a working-class mother struggling to bring up a child in the back streets of the city.

The desperate mum warns her "mucky kid" that unless he behaves, he will "gerra belt from your dad" when he returns from a night in the pub.

And last year it made headlines again when Miss Black performed the song on television as part of a celebration of her 50 years in showbusiness.

The star changed the line in the song to "you'll get told off by your dad" to bring it up to date.

Alongside his songwriting, Mr Kelly-Bootle also wrote books and magazine articles, including many serious computer textbooks and, with the late Fritz Spiegl, the series of Lern Yerself Scouse books.

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