Happy Mondays star Bez is bidding to help the homeless after revealing he spent six desperate years living rough before finding fame.
He was forced to sleep on the street and went hungry after he was thrown out of his home at just 16.
He said: “When I was growing up in Salford, I was always in trouble. It was stuff like petty crime and all sorts of things. I was basically a rebel without a cause. And I got kicked out by my parents and ended up homeless.
“I was then homeless from 16 to 22. I was such a young kid I couldn’t take care of the basic things.
“I couldn’t get myself out of that situation. I was never idle. I was always up to something. Some of that was more positive than other stuff. I ended up in prison a couple of times and I went travelling.”
Bez, 56, added: “I lived in sheds, I kipped under bushes, sofa surfing – I went through the whole array of it.
“When I went travelling, I was sleeping on the beach. Sometimes I was starving. I used to dream of eating a meat pie from the chippy.”
But Bez, real name Mark Berry, credits his positive mental attitude for helping him get through it.
He said: “All I really needed was help to get a flat and get settled. It took me quite a few years to sort myself out. But I have always had a happy-go-lucky nature.
“I always believe there’s something round the corner. I still think that.
“I still live by the seat of my pants, even now. I still have that feeling. That’s how my life evolves.
“I don’t have anything steady in my life. I just always hope something will be around the corner.
“Being homeless expanded my awareness. I learned from it all.”
Bez went on to become one of music’s best-loved characters. And he is now keen to help the homeless.
As a patron of charity Coffee4Craig, Bez is promoting awareness of the issue as well as raising vital funds.
He said: “It is great to be involved with a charity and give something back to help others.
“When I see a homeless person, I give them the address of Coffee4Craig and tell them to go there.
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“They do hot meals every day, they help you out with clothing and you can have a hot shower. They also show a film in the evening. They’re offering a good service.
“People come round to needing help at different times. Everyone has got to go through their own journey.”
Bez has launched The Bez Racing Club which will be donating cash to Coffee4Craig.
- For info visit bezracingclub.com.
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