A NEW version of the classic Danny Boy has become a hit on its first day of release.
Wayne Devlin, an actor and singer from Manchester, has recorded the song in tribute to the man who taught him to sing — his father was Patrick Joseph Devlin, from Newry, Co. Down.
Wayne is an actor, voice artist and singer — particularly known for his Rat Pack standards, that is, the songs of Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr.
The Manchester man’s acting roles have included parts in Shameless, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Peaky Blinders.
Recently, on the spur of the moment, he decided to perform Danny Boy live on BBC Radio Manchester. Before he’d finished, the phone lines were jammed with callers wanting to know more about the singer and where they could buy a copy of the song.
Wayne subsequently recorded the song, and it was soon brought to the attention of Newry City Athletic Football Club who adopted it as their club anthem.
Former cruiserweight boxing world champion and current world bare-knuckle boxing champion Bobby The Celtic Warrior Gunn then heard about this new version of Danny Boy through Wayne’s Twitter page and contacted him.
He told Wayne that Danny Boy had a very special meaning for him: "I played the song for my mother at her funeral when she passed away in 1993 from cancer, and many a time I have actually sung this song myself as I was fighting in the ring or in bare knuckle fights.”
The boxer explained that a major television network mini series about bare knuckle boxing was in production — and it seems likely that Danny Boy will feature in the film.