HE grew up in the railway town of Eastleigh and was put on the fast track to 1960s pop stardom.

Heinz Burt was 57 when he died seven years ago after a brave battle against motor neurone disease.

Born in Germany, Heinz moved to Eastleigh when he was seven. As a teenager he soon caught the rock n' roll bug and formed his first group in 1960 called The Falcons.

He shot to overnight stardom after replying to a musicians wanted advert in the New Musical Express.

His audition with the legendary pop guru Joe Meek turned the starry eyed teenager, who had been slciing bacon in a Southampton grocer shop, into a household name.

With his distinctive trademark blond hair Heinz became the famous face of The Tornados.

The group made chart history by taking Telstar - former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's favourite record - to number one on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Tornados were the pioneers for the golden era of British pop which opened the floodgates for an academy of home grown talent including The Beatles.

Later Heinz was to break away from The Tornados and still under the Meek management carved out a successful solo career.

His best selling single, Just Like Eddie soared into the top ten and was a tribute to that American rock icon Eddie Cochran.

Along with Telstar, it still gets radio airplay around the world. With his pin-up looks Heinz also became a movie star.

But the 60s stardust faded for Heinz Burt and in later years he drifted in and out of showbiz.

He hung up his guitar and worked at the Ford's Transit van plant at Swaythling and the Eastleigh Railway Works.

But he never forgot his rock n' roll roots and often came out of pop retirement to play his old hits.

Heinz missed out on millions of pounds of royalties from his recording hits. He was left stony broke living in a Southampton tower block crammed with memorabilia of his days as pop's golden boy.

Eastleigh was always proud of having its very own 60s icon. A street in the town is named after him.

NAME: Heinz Burt, musician.

OCCUPATION: Musician DATE OF BIRTH: July 24, 1942 to April 7,2000.

DIED: April 7, 2000 Local link: Brought up in Eastleigh and lived in latter years in Southampton