In pictures: When Elvis Presley landed at Prestwick airport

IT WAS the only time the man known as the King of Rock and Roll set foot on British soil.

Elvis signs autographs after landing at Prestwick airport in 1960.

The date was March 3, 1960, and Elvis Presley was finishing his US Army national service.

The Tupelo-born singer had been called up at the height of his fame in 1958 but was now heading back home to resume his career.

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His military flight touched down for refuelling at Prestwick airport in South Ayrshire - which was until 1966 home to an American forces base.

Elvis visits the N.C.O.'s mess at the US forces base at Prestwick

With time to kill, Presley and his fellow troops disembarked and mingled with the dozens of fans who were there waiting for him.

Word had already spread locally that the star’s flight would be landing at that time.

With none of his entourage around him, Elvis was reportedly relaxed and happy to chat, even holding an impromptu press conference in the terminal building.

Ann Murphy, who was then aged 16, was one of those lucky enough to meet the man who has sold more than 600 million records.

Elvis spoke with reporters at a low-key press conference

“I used to babysit for a Sergeant Phelps at the US airbase,” she told the Elvis Presley Fans website.

“I was at work one day when he turned up at my house and told my mum that Elvis would be at the airbase that night and I should go if I wanted to see him.

“My mum ran to a phone box to call me at work. I couldn’t believe it - I loved Elvis, I had all his records.

“On the bus home, I was telling everyone I was going to see Elvis that night but they all thought it was just a rumour. They probably thought I was crazy. I changed into my American jeans, lumberjacket, bobby socks and blue suede shoes and cycled the three miles to the airport base.

Elvis amongst the fans in the terminal building

“I dropped in at my friend Muriel’s and she said she would come too but I couldn’t manage to give her a ‘backie’ so we skipped and ran all the way. When we got to the base there was a small group of people already there, standing at the barrier in front of two huge Cadillac cars.

“Muriel and I were right at the barrier. We were so excited and suddenly the plane was in front of us. The door opened and there was Elvis. He was so handsome in his uniform. He waved and we started screaming. He shouted: ‘Where am I?’ and people shouted back: ‘Prestwick’ - but I was shouting: ‘I love you’.

“Elvis came down the stairs and looked fantastic with that beautiful smile. We could hardly believe we were looking at him. We could nearly touch him. Then Muriel did an amazing thing. She jumped over the barrier and threw herself on him - a couple of huge military policemen scraped her off and put her back over the barrier.

“The next thing we knew, he was away. We went to the cafe where the young folk hung out and told people we had seen Elvis. They were all laughing at us but the papers the next day proved it.”

Elvis amongst the fans in the terminal building

Ann believed that in a way, that day changed her life, never loosing her love of rock and roll.

“I met my late husband Andy at the dancing and he was a great jiver. He had a black quiff hairstyle and was known as the Prestwick Elvis. He used to sing Elvis songs all the time and won a talent contest as Elvis.

“When I had a win on the football coupons in 1997, I took Andy on a surprise trip to America. We went to Nashville and he made a couple of records - Blue Suede Shoes and All Shook Up - then we went to Graceland and Las Vegas. He was like a wee boy.

“Looking back, it was as if I was meant to win that money because Andy died nine months later.

“He was buried in his midnight blue suit and his blue suede shoes.

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Elvis meets local fans at the perimiter fence and signs autographs

“So my daughters - Angela and Andrea - were really brought up by Elvis. They’re both big fans and so are my grandchildren. I’ll never forget the day I saw my idol face-to-face. I might have been a naive, Scottish 16-year-old - but it changed my life forever. It might have been 50 years ago but feels like yesterday.”

There to greet him officially, were base commander Colonel Russell Fisher, chief executive officer Major Ed Miller and admin officer Major Ben Bacchus.

Liet-Col Ed Miller, now retired, said at his Ayshire home: “I remember it well. I got the job as Sgt. Presley’s escort, probably because I was a professional musician before the war.

“He was an extremely pleasant, sincere young man who took the time and trouble to speak to everyone he met. The lucky few fans who were in the right place at the right time were left with the memory of a lifetime.”

All images used with the permission of Elvis Presley Music

Elvis meets the local press at a low-key press conference
Elvis visits the N.C.O.'s mess at the US forces base at Prestwick
Elvis spoke with reporters at a low-key press conference
Elvis amongst the fans in the terminal building
Elvis amongst the fans in the terminal building
Elvis meets local fans at the perimiter fence and signs autographs
Elvis meets the local press at a low-key press conference