“This ones for Ricky... on his 200th show!”
Those were Sir Elton John’s words to superfan Ricky Stephenson as he dedicated his famous ‘Your Song’ to the 57-year-old.
The Longton resident has followed the pop superstar across the globe for nearly 40 years with last Saturday marking his 200th show.
And Ricky says being recognised by his idol as he stood on the front row of Blackburn’s Ewood Park was one of the best days of his life.
“My wife Rae had a banner made and we kept being shown on the big screen - the crowd were loving it,” Ricky said.
“Then Elton noticed us but I couldn’t believe it when he dedicated ‘Your Song’ to me. It made me feel brilliant, I felt like a celebrity that night.”
Ricky’s obsession began with the British icon’s first albums which he took with him during his time in the army during the 70s.
But it wasn’t until 1979 that Ricky saw his first show after queuing overnight to get a seat in Preston’s Guild Hall.
It was the show which would trigger an undying love, as Ricky began flying around the world following his hero.
New York, Paris, Rome and Brussels are just some of the a many places the forklift truck instructor and examiner has travelled to sing along with the pop legend.
Along the way he’s collected hoards of signed Elton John memorabilia which he keeps in his garden cabin along with a baby grand piano which is wheeled out for garden concerts.
“It never gets boring for me I just love his songs, his lyrics, his albums,” Ricky said.
“I go to all his UK shows either on my own or with family and friends - it’s always brilliant and he’s always been part of my life.”
July 21 will mark Ricky’s 10th wedding anniversary with wife Rae, who shares his passion for music.
“He loves all sorts of music but especially Elton and I must have been to around 50 concerts with Ricky,” the 48-year-old said.
“We plan all of our holidays around going to gigs, we’re a huge music-loving couple and last Saturday was just incredible.”
But Ricky has never managed to meet his idol but says he’ll keep going as long as Elton does.
“This Sunday I’m taking my daughter Jessica to her first Elton concert and it’ll be my 203rd,” he said.
“I’m not sure how long he’ll going now. He’s 70 but I know he loves touring so hopefully one day I’ll meet him.”