A RED telephone box which became synonymous with Wirral chart-toppers OMD has been honoured with a blue plaque as part of the group's 40th anniversary celebrations.

It was unveiled by the band's co-founder Andy McCluskey outside the phone box in Greenwood Road, Meols this morning, watched by fans.

In the late 1970s the box was used by the band to make calls to organise their early gigs and the number - 632 3003 - is a key feature of Red Frame/White Light lyrics.

To celebrate 40 years of OMD, a group of campaigners known as 'Friends of 632 3003' transformed the red telephone box into an urban art installation with the help of local artist John Petch in September 2018.

The plaque was made possible thanks to generous donation from OMD fan Gary Buckle.

After unveiling the plaque, Andy McCluskey told the Globe: "It's an incredible, strange and surreal experience.

"Growing up, neither of us had a phone in the house, so this phone box was the only way we could do business.

"It wasn't just about the band; my early girlfriends had to be called from here, for example.

"It's incredible to see the way it looks now, that now I've just turned 60.

"Without the friends of 632 3003 the phone box's re-installation and upgrade would never have happened.

"It's testament to people power.

"If you want something enough, you can actually make it happen.

"You can get an iconic landmark returned, upgraded and looking beautiful.

"It's better than it ever was and has been raised to a totally different level in terms of becoming iconic.

"There's a lot more noise being made about it and you don't know what it's got 'til it's gone."

Steph McCahill, chair of the friends of 632 3003, said: "Having this blue plaque unveiled is hugely significant for OMD fans and for OMD themselves as it honours the link between the band and this iconic telephone box.

"It is a huge step in our journey to transform the phone box into a 'Mini Museum of OMD'.

"The plaque, and other items that are on show, would not have been possible without the generous donations and support from OMD fans and the band."

The iconic 623 3003 phone box is beloved by fans as it is the focus of the band’s second single release Red Frame/White Light.

It was removed in 2017 as part of BT's payphone removal programme, with no objections having been received as part of the public consultation process towards the end of 2016.

But when fans realised that it had been removed, they campaigned for its reinstatement as a tourist attraction for other OMD fans who regularly travel to the site.

Officers from the town hall's highways team and Wirral West Constituency Committee liaised with colleagues from BT and eventually the box was secured and placed into quarantine while arrangements for its recovery were put in place.

Steph McCahill, chair of the friends of 632 3003, continued:"It's a bit of an irony really, but one thing I should do is thank BT for actually taking it away in the first place.

"Because, quite frankly, this phone box was just sat here, it was a working phone box was a bit grubby and had horrible perspex panels in it.

"We've taken it and done lots of lovely stuff to it. So, thank you to BT."

Also attending were deputy mayor George Davies. He said: "This phone box is a stunning, cultural landmark in Wirral, treasured by not only OMD fans from the local community, but around the world."