Tributes paid to popular Saints fan Jon Driscoll who was known as Fat Beast

Saints fan Jon Driscoll, aka 'Fat Beast', died of septicaemia aged just 52

Saints fan Jon Driscoll, aka 'Fat Beast', died of septicaemia aged just 52

First published in Sport
Last updated
Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

HE was the “larger than life” rock icon loved by fellow Saints supporters and the music world.

Jon Driscoll, known as Fat Beast, was a cult personality of the British indie scene during the 1980s and 1990s with band Carter USM.

Now sport and rock fans are in mourning after the club promoter and MC died on Sunday of septicaemia, aged just 52.

Last night an Internet appeal to raise £4,500 for the cost of his funeral had already surpassed its target and topped £5,000 – less than 48 hours after being launched.

Donors included stars from the music world and many fellow Saints fans.

‘Overwhelming’ The youngest of his two brothers, Colin, 42, from Fleetwood, Lancashire, hailed their support as “overwhelming” and pledged to donate extra cash to charity.

He expects 2,000 people at the funeral and added: “We find it so heart-warming to see the support and people’s kind words from all over the world.

“Jon was a larger than life personality and a legend.

“He gave a lot of young bands recognition and if he wasn’t on stage himself he would be trying to help others.

“There are many who owe their careers to him.”

Jon, famed for his trademark thick-rimmed glasses, grew up in Waltham Chase and in his teens began promoting gigs at Southampton club The Joiners in St Mary Street and setting up the fanzine Timebox.

The former Swanmore Secondary School pupil moved to London, promoting up-and-coming bands such as The Wonder Stuff and Jesus Jones at the hallowed Bull and Gate club in Kentish Town.

He soared to fame with Carter USM as a lighting engineer turned MC.

He notoriously warmed up their gigs by taking to the stage bare-chested with slogans written on his midriff before exchanging obscenities with the crowds and smothering himself in beer, food and gunge.

During the 1990s he was often seen wearing a Saints strip with ‘Fat Le Tiss’ written on the back, and often went to their games.

Close friend Jodie Copeland, 36, from Thornhill, said: “He was one of the funniest, most genuine and caring people, who would go out of his way to anybody to help them out.”

Nick Illingsworth, who runs Saints fans website The Ugly Inside, often saw Jon at gigs.

He said: “It’s so sad when a fellow Saints supporter passes away. He was well known in the 1990s and was putting Southampton on the map.”

Jon’s funeral is expected to take place in Fleetwood next month.

Comments (4)

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10:58am Wed 30 Jul 14

Strasbourg Saint says...

I'm shocked and saddened to read about this. My deepest sympathies to his family and many friends.

I was at school with Jon and remember him cretaing his first black and white music mags. I think it was him who also ran the record exchange through which I must have purchased at least a dozen 45s.

As a youngster at Swanmore, many of us must have dreamed of making it in the music business and none of us would have guessed that Jon would become the one who did.

A big character, a big man and a great big heart.

RIP Jon.
I'm shocked and saddened to read about this. My deepest sympathies to his family and many friends. I was at school with Jon and remember him cretaing his first black and white music mags. I think it was him who also ran the record exchange through which I must have purchased at least a dozen 45s. As a youngster at Swanmore, many of us must have dreamed of making it in the music business and none of us would have guessed that Jon would become the one who did. A big character, a big man and a great big heart. RIP Jon. Strasbourg Saint
  • Score: 18

11:20am Wed 30 Jul 14

Saint Botley says...

Saw him loads of times with Carter back in the day. Was always friendly and gave a lot of time to the fans. Very warm memories of those gigs. RIP Jon.
Saw him loads of times with Carter back in the day. Was always friendly and gave a lot of time to the fans. Very warm memories of those gigs. RIP Jon. Saint Botley
  • Score: 14

8:29pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Youngest Spanner girl says...

So saddened to hear this, he was a lovely bloke. My heart goes out to his brothers Colin and Ian xx
So saddened to hear this, he was a lovely bloke. My heart goes out to his brothers Colin and Ian xx Youngest Spanner girl
  • Score: 3

11:03am Fri 1 Aug 14

Middle Spanner Girl says...

So saddened to read that Jon is no longer with us but also so pleased to hear what a big success he made of his too short life. Many happy fond memories of our teenage years spent together around the chase. R.I.P Jon xxxxx
So saddened to read that Jon is no longer with us but also so pleased to hear what a big success he made of his too short life. Many happy fond memories of our teenage years spent together around the chase. R.I.P Jon xxxxx Middle Spanner Girl
  • Score: 0

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