Stan Bootle left his mark by notable success in the fields of science, music and football, emphasising his versatility by passing through life with three different names.
He was born Stanley Bootle on 15th September 1929, the son of plumber Arthur Bootle and his wife Ada (née Gallagher). At the time of his birth the family were living at 8 Epworth Street L6, which ran from Prescot Street to Erskine Street (the road still exists but the housing has been demolished). In the early 1930’s they moved to 27 Olton Street L15, which remained the family home into the 1960s.
Stan Bootle attended the Liverpool Institute (1941-47) and was a pupil of extraordinary ability, gaining his School and Highers School Certificates with distinctions in nine subjects. He won an Open Exhibition at Downing College, Cambridge in 1947 but before pursuing his degree he chose to do his National Service. From 1948 he served in the Army (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) gaining the rank of Sgt. Instructor, Radar.
He completed a science and maths degree and then one of the first graduate diplomas in computer sciences. He went on to work for IBM, lecture at Warwick University and became head of university systems at Sperry Univac in 1970. Moving to Silicon Valley in California in the late seventies, he was a prolific author of articles and books including the very successful Computer Contradictionary.
Alongside his scientific career he developed the alter-ego Stan Kelly, beginning at University in 1950, performing and writing as folk-singer Stan Kelly. His most well-known song was Liverpool Lullaby (“Oh you are a mucky kid….”) which was made famous by Cilla Black, also being recorded by Judy Collins. As a performer he sang alongside international stars, notably Paul Robeson and Pete Seeger, and great names of the folk scene (Ewan MacCall, Peggy Seeger, The Spinners, The Dubliners and many more). He also collaborated with Fritz Spiegl on the Learn Yerself Scouse books. Seeking to marry his corporate and musical personas he began to style himself Stan Kelly-Bootle.
Bootle’s third realm was football, being a devoted fan of Liverpool F.C. Describing himself as the club’s “semi-official bard” he travelled with the team home and away in the seventies, producing the ‘LP’ (album) O Liverpool We Love You. His football involvement was not limited to music, for a couple of years he was the manager of Kevin Keegan, Tommy Smith and Larry Hughes.
He returned to the UK in 2004, linked up again with the British folk scene, and continued to publish widely in his scientific discipline. He died, aged 84, on 16th April 2014, in hospital at Oswestry.
Stan Bootle married a Liverpool girl, Margaret ‘Peggy’ Jones, in 1948. They had three daughters, Carol, Michelle and Anna, and two sons, Edmund and David. The couple divorced in 1975. He had two daughters, Cressida and Kate, from later relationships.
The wavertree home where Stan Bootle grew up.
The Wikipedia entry has some useful information. Also worth looking at are the Guardian obituary, and an archive of his website giving biographical data. A entry on the confidentials.com website includes a delightful video of him singing Liverpool Lullaby at his son's wedding.
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