Funeral of Status Quo guitarist and regular Ipswich visitor Rick Parfitt to take place today

Rick Parfitt of Status Quo performing during the 2009 Glastonbury Festival. Credit : Yui Mok/PA Wire

Rick Parfitt of Status Quo performing during the 2009 Glastonbury Festival. Credit : Yui Mok/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The funeral of Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt who played regular in Ipswich will take place this afternoon following his death on Christmas Eve.

The private service will take place at Woking Crematorium in Surrey.

Parfitt carved out a rock’n’roll career spanning half a century as a singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist for the British rock band.

The Quo performed in Ipswich on around 10 occasions between the 1970s and 1990s, including multiple gigs at the Ipswich Gaumont/Regent, Portman Road football stadium in 1991 (one of two support acts for Rod Stewart), the Railway Pub in Foxhall Road as part of an intimate pub tour in 1999, and Christchurch Park in 2003.

Speaking after Parfitt’s death, Suffolk resident Paul Watts, reminisced about his experiences watching the band at Portman Road.

“They were the heroes of the headbangers,” she said,

“It was a pleasant surprise that they were one of the opening acts. First on was Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers and Status Quo came on just before Rod Stewart, and they were brilliant.

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“They got the crowd moving and were an absolute delight. Everyone was stomping along.

“Parfitt played the rhythm and blues shuffle, which is old hat by today’s standards, and was one of the founding members of the British Blues movement, taken from America.”

The veteran musician died at the age of 68 after suffering from a severe infection while in a Spanish hospital, which he had visited due to complications with a shoulder injury, his manager said.

His death over Christmas followed years of concern about his ill health, which had seen him stricken by multiple heart attacks and a cancer scare.

Most recently, Parfitt had been forced to withdraw from his band’s tour after he collapsed over the summer.

Suffolk fans paid tribute to the guitarist following his death.

Terry Hunt, EADT editor, said: ‘A Status Quo concert at the Ipswich Gaumont (now Regent) almost saw my school career end in disaster.

“Quo played in Ipswich in May 1975, just before my schoolmates at Framlingham College and I were due to start our all-important A Level exams.

“We really wanted to see Quo, and in our teenage foolishness, decided to go to the concert. I was a day boy, and I agreed to give a lift to some boarders in my Ford Anglia. This was strictly not allowed.

“It was a great gig, but inevitably the boarders were caught as they tried to sneak back into school late at night.

“First thing the next morning, we were all in headmaster Laurie Rimmer’s study, being given the most fearful rollicking. He was even talking about expulsion, which thank goodness didn’t happen. A big lesson learned.”

From 1967 onwards, Parfitt helped steer Status Quo into a role as one of the British rock scene’s staple acts.

Hits such as Rockin’ All Over The World became immortalised when they opened the historic Live Aid concert in 1985 - a performance broadcast globally.

In 2015, the band eventually passed a milestone enjoyed by only a handful of musicians, spending a total of 500 weeks in the UK album charts.

On Facebook, Ipswich Star reader Paul Sutton said: “First saw Quo at the Regent (Gaumont back then) in 1984 for the ‘End Of The Road’ Tour with Alan Lancaster and it was awesome, my ears didn’t stop ringing for a week! Saw them again at Portman Road and at the Railway.

“Sad loss. Sympathies to his close friends and family.”

Nat Fountain added: “Saw him several times at the Regent. Such sad news.”

On the EADT Facebook page, Martin Bignell wrote: “I had the real pleasure of working with Status Quo a while back and what an awesome set of blokes they were too, and their families are amazing,

“It’s so sad to hear of Rick’s passing. Sending prayers to the rest of the Quo and to all Rick’s family at this tragic time.”

On Twitter, Dawn Woodhouse, of Suffolk, said: “Seen them play so many times, Wembley, Ipswich and Norwich - always a great gig - keep on rockin all over the world Rick.”