Well-known Capital musician loses battle with brain cancer

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Tributes have been paid to a well-known Edinburgh musician who has died aged 50.

Norval Barclay, from Craigleith, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in September 2017 and had been fighting it since, passed away on Friday at St Columba’s Hospice, leaving behind his wife Janet, 47, and daughter Kyla, 12.

A lifelong Hibs fan, in 2012 he penned the anthem Back Home to Leith ahead of the Scottish Cup final. Picture: Greg Macvean

A lifelong Hibs fan, in 2012 he penned the anthem Back Home to Leith ahead of the Scottish Cup final. Picture: Greg Macvean

His father is Bill Barclay, the popular stand-up comedian and former Radio Forth DJ, who began performing in Edinburgh in the 1960s.

Norval, also a performer, was a well-known and loved professional musician who frequented stages around the city.

He was a passionate gig promoter and wedding DJ who ran his own successful business, Barclay’s Beats, and several popular city pubs over the years, including 80 Queen Street, Pryde’s on Gorgie Road and the Raeburn Bar in Stockbridge.

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A lifelong Hibs fan, in 2012 he penned the anthem Back Home to Leith ahead of the Scottish Cup final, in the hopes that it would inspire his team to Hampden glory.

Norval also dedicated his time to charitable causes, organising the annual charity fundraiser Jam n Jar, which was a day of live music to raise money for children’s charities, most recently the Teapot Trust which provides art therapy and creative interventions in hospitals.

He was also a keen golfer who had previously spent time living in Aberdeen and on the Isle of Man.

Childhood friend David Ferguson said: “He was an outstanding human being who managed to follow his passion, entertaining thousands of people over the years and helping loads of people get started with their music. All while being a lovely giant of a man, who we all loved very dearly. His family should be very proud of the man he became.”

Tributes were also paid by Grant Stott, radio presenter and friend. “Having visited Norval just a few weeks ago I knew how ill he was, but this has still come as a shock,” he said.

“I’ve known Norval since our Bruntsfield Primary School days and then obviously through working with his dad Bill at Radio Forth.

“But I think my happiest memory will be bumping into him at Hampden on a very special day in May 2016.”

A spokesperson for Hibernian Football Club added: “Norval and his Dad are familiar faces around Easter Road and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. His memory marches on.”