Statue campaign launched to honour Brian Epstein, the gay ‘fifth Beatle’

Campaigners in Liverpool have launched a fundraiser to honour Brian Epstein, the gay man known as the “fifth Beatle”.

The five-week campaign seeks to pay tribute to Epstein’s legacy and was launched on 19 September, which would have been his 85th birthday.

Epstein, who is credited with managing the band’s rise to fame, died in 1967 at the age of 32 from a drugs overdose.

Tom Calderbank, who leads the Brian Epstein Statue Project committee, said: “We’re thrilled and very excited to unveil plans for a long overdue statue of the ‘fifth Beatle’ Brian Epstein in his hometown of Liverpool.

“We aim to create a unique, beautiful and lasting sculptural tribute to Brian – a world first for one of the world’s great creative individuals.

“Brian changed the music world in an extraordinary way. He was instrumental in the development of Liverpool’s music scene, most notably with the Fab Four.

His legacy is also largely unseen, even though his impact on popular culture is incalculable – Brian needs this memorial, he needs to stay amongst us and really does deserve this recognition. By raising the funds together, we will celebrate Brian together.”

Liverpool-born Epstein, who managed the Beatles and is credited with catapulting them to global success, was a “modest and reserved man”, his family said in a statement.

“As a family we are in no doubt that he, his brother Clive, and his parents Queenie and Harry, would have been immensely touched by the consistent efforts to pay tribute to his contribution to The Beatles and the city of Liverpool,” the Epstein family said.

Epstein also managed fellow Scouser Cilla Black.

Black’s family said in a statement: “Cilla had one true love, her Bobby – but Brian came a close second. He moulded and shaped her career, which helped her become one of the UK’s biggest entertainers.

“Throughout her life, Cilla kept a picture of Brian on her desk and never forgot his commitment to her.”