TRIBUTES are pouring in for a much-loved Warrington DJ who has sadly died.

Pete Rigby held a local legacy as the man who brought The Beatles to town, but residents fond memories stretch way beyond this title.

With many referring to him as ‘the DJ of my teenage years’.

The 83-year-old died peacefully and surrounded by loved ones on Sunday, January 28.

Pete was a renowned DJ during the 60s and 70s, with residents reminiscing of dancing the night away to his sets at the Co-Op Hall and Bell Hall in Warrington.

He made his name in music history after receiving an important letter from Brian Epstein that confirmed the attendance of The Beatles to Bell Hall in Orford – dated July 17, 1962.

Warrington Guardian: The letter which was sent to Pete from Brian EpsteinThe letter which was sent to Pete from Brian Epstein (Image: Supplied)
Within the letter, Epstein – who managed the band during their rise to fame that same year until his tragic death in 1967- reminded Pete that The Beatles would only play a set for ‘a duration of one hour only’.

Despite bands usually playing two 45-minute sets at the venue.

He added, ‘look forward to seeing you then’ before signing it off with his signature and addressing it to Rigby’s home on Grosvenor Avenue where he lived right up to his own death.

Pete spoke of the ‘wonderful night’ as he observed the iconic gig on the side lines with Epstein and Bob Wooler.

Just a young 21-year-old at the time, he began booking gigs at the Bell Hall. Bob Wooler was a DJ at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and through him, Pete would eventually ask to book The Beatles for a fee of £30 – a large sum back then.

Warrington Guardian: The BeatlesThe Beatles (Image: Supplied)
In an interview with the Warrington Guardian Pete recounted the time he first met Epstein in a meeting prior to the performance.

He said: “Brian Epstein was a most wonderful man. He was absolutely genuine, down to the core.

“When it came to the Beatles’ fee, Brian said £25 – not £30.

“That was what he was like.”

Pete sold the Epstein letter years back for a solid sum of £1,400 which he enjoyed a holiday to Vegas with.

Given the worth of that letter, he often pondered what other goldmine he might have passed up on as he once described finding the potential works of the band in a waste bin at the Orford venue.

“There was a green metal bucket in the dressing room at the Bell Hall. The Beatles were in the dressing room before the show doodling on their guitars.
“Afterwards the green bucket was full of bits of paper,” he said.

Warrington Guardian: Brian Epstein, manager of The BeatlesBrian Epstein, manager of The Beatles (Image: Supplied)
While his legacy was set from that day of the performance at Bell Hall in June 1962, his career as a DJ thereafter is what leaves him in the hearts of so many from across Warrington.

Naming some of the endless venues he was known to have performed at, those included the Woolston Leisure, the Mulberry Tree in Stockton Heath, Grappenhall Cricket Club, Co-op Hall on Winwick Road and of course Bell Hall in Orford.

Not to mention the family occasions, weddings, birthdays and christenings that he attended to liven the room with music.

Responding to the sad news of Pete’s death and reminiscing on his life, resident Lesley Hill said: “He was a well-known DJ in Warrington from the 1960's right through the decades, and played most venues in Warrington including the Co-op Hall, Bell Hall, the Warrington Baths Dance Hall, Parr Hall and many more. 

“When I was growing up my friend lived next door to him and we used to borrow his records to dance to in her front room, I have so many happy memories of those days.  I have known Pete for 50 plus years.”

Warrington Guardian: Pictured: Pete RigbyPictured: Pete Rigby (Image: Supplied)
While another resident said: “He put The Beatles on at the Bell Hall and was at Monks Club when Pete Waterman set an audition up for Rick Astley.

“I last spoke to him around autumn in the Halifax bank. We chatted about his Beatles memorabilia, and that he got a ‘bloody good cruise’ from selling them.

“And how gutted he was at the Bell Hall for not retrieving some papers from a bin, as Lennon and McCartney were writing some songs before the show.

“Rest peacefully Pete, when you’re not spinning them decks.”

Meanwhile a social media post announcing his sad death has been inundated with messages and tributes to the DJ and ‘legend’.

The post summarised his character, saying: “A Warrington legend who brought much joy and fond memories to so many people. Pete will be missed by many. A life well spent.”

If you have any pictures of memorable events or DJ nights hosted by Pete, please send them in to