SIXTIES legends The Merseybeats return to the Floral Pavilion theatre in New Brighton later this year for a special charity show.

The band - whose many hits included Mister Moonlight, Really Mystified and Wishin' & Hopin' - are at the venue on Friday, March 2.

The show is billed as a night of 60s hit records and celebration of Merseyside's musical heritage.

On the night you will hear the stories behind the songs. Supporting them will be fellow '60s band The Swinging Blue Jeans, whose hits included The Hippy Hippy Shake and Good Golly Miss Molly.

Proceeds will go to Relate Cheshire & Merseyside, a counselling service for local families and young people.

Looking forward to the show, Merseybeats' founder Tony Crane MBE told the Globe: "We don't really play Merseyside, except maybe once or twice a year, so it's great to be able to play in Wirral.

"I had known friends of mine, famous people, who had problems with their relationships and had been greatly helped by Relate.

"It is a very good charity and it is a very good cause to raise money for."

On his fundraising for good causes, Tony - who has lived in Meols since 1965 - reflected: "I've always done a lot of charity work.

"When my wife died about 15 years ago, I threw myself into charity work.

"I've had such a successful career, so it's always good to put something back to charity."

The lead singer and guitarist - who has been in the music business for more than 55 years and has also helped save historic buildings in Wirral and further afield - was awarded an MBE for services to music, charity and the community in the Queen's Birthday Honours last year.

Recalling the day he received the honour from Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace, Tony said: "There were about 60 people receiving their awards that day, including a George Cross medal.

"The Queen congratulated me on my music career and the charity work. It was a really nice day."

The Merseybeats first started performing over fifty years ago at The Cavern Club, Liverpool’s hottest nightclub in the 60s, and played alongside The Beatles and many other bands around in that era.

They still perform throughout the UK and internationally, but say there is nothing quite like playing for a home crowd.

Looking back on his career Tony said: "To be honest, The Merseysbeats have never stopped.

“When we started out we never thought we'd last more than year or that we’d have a hit record.

"We were also very lucky in that a lot of our hits were hits all over the world.

“As well as touring England, we also play in Germany, Singapore, America and Kuala Lumpur.

"We've still got a very big fan base, bigger than we had in the 60s.

"It's always great to meet them after the shows.

"We often play all over the world so it is nice to play for a home crowd and all my family.

"It’s still a great feeling that we get from the audience.

"The people in the fan club especially, including family and friends, always request us to play in Merseyside as they want to see us. 

"My family live in Liverpool and hire a minibus to come and see and me when I perform in Wirral.

"Everyone is delighted."

Tickets for March 2 show, which starts at 7.30pm, are from the box office on 0151 666 0000.