Kirsty MacColl (1959 – 2000) was born in Croydon, Surrey, and had several pop hits throughout her career including the 1981 hit “There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis” and “A New England” (1985).
Kirsty also sang with Shane MacGowan in the hit record “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues which was released in 1987 and in the UK has gone on to be the most-played Christmas song of the 21st century, spending more time in the top 20 than any other song.
Sadly, Kirsty MacColl was killed whilst on a holiday in Mexico in 2000. She had been diving with her sons when a powerboat entered the area illegally, striking MacColl after she managed to push her son out of its path, killing her instantly.
In 2001 a memorial bench was placed by the southern entrance to Soho Square, after a lyric from her song “Soho Square” – “One day I’ll be waiting there / No empty bench in Soho Square”. Every year on the Sunday nearest her 10th of October birthday, fans from all over the world gather at the bench to sing her songs and pay tribute to her.