HE was a long serving former Hampshire police inspector who persuaded an armed knifeman to surrender during a siege and once played guitar with The Beatles.

Colin Crawley, a highly regarded police officer of 25 years and renowned bass guitarist, has died aged 81.

Born in London in 1940, he was evacuated to Exeter for the duration of the war before reluctantly returning to Bermondsey.

Colin's first job was bottling beer at a brewery until he was caught enjoying the products by his boss!

He travelled the world as a deckhand with the Merchant Navy, learning guitar as he went, before leaving to become a guitarist in a band in Hamburg.

Colin was at the centre of a 60s music revolution, touring Europe in the backing bands for Rory Storm and Little Richard, but mainly working with Tony Sheridan, an early Beatles collaborator. He later wrote a bestselling book Tony Sheridan - The one The Beatles called The Teacher.

Colin married Ingrid in 1962 and they went on to have two sons, Michael and Christian.

After stints as a ground worker digging up roads and as a furniture salesman at Smarts in Southampton's High Street, Colin joined the police force, becoming a detective sergeant and later a uniformed inspector.

He won many plaudits, awards and commendations over the years, being described as heroic on the front page of the Daily Echo in 1988 when he disarmed a man in a siege situation in Fair Oak.

Colin loved the job and served for a quarter of a century before deciding he didn't get on with the computers being introduced.

He went on to drive the Southampton City Library book bus, visiting housebound readers in the community for the next decade.

During his retirement, Colin developed his skills as a woodworker, winning a gold medal at the National Woodworking Show.

Colin leaves his wife, sons and grandchildren. His funeral took place last week.