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January, 24

City to mark Robbie's 40th birthday

Robbie Williams is to have streets named after his music in the city where he grew up while civic celebrations will mark the pop star's landmark 40th birthday.

The Swing Both Ways singer, who has carved out a successful solo pop career since rising to fame with boyband Take That in a career spanning more than two decades, celebrates his big day on February 13.

The arrival of Robbie's milestone occasion, styled across the city as Robbie Day, will trigger an array of civic celebrations, Stoke-on-Trent council officials have said.

The council's leader said that as one of the city's most famous global exports - together with its historic pottery trade - Robbie is dear to the hearts of many in Stoke, not only for remaining true to his Burslem roots but for his local charity work.

Mohammed Pervez said: "He is a global superstar, but one who has always remembered his roots.

"He is very proud of his connections to Stoke-on-Trent and the celebrations will not only attract people from the city, but from across the country and even further afield."

From February 5, Robbie fever will envelop the city, with the singer's former schools joining an official launch which will see a blue heritage plaque unveiled close to where he used to live.

A fan-led weekend of events from February 7/9 will also help raise money for the city's Donna Louise Children's Hospice, where Robbie is a patron, incorporating celebrations at the star's beloved Port Vale Football Club.

A tourist trail taking in former homes and locations mentioned in his songs is already running, while a new housing estate being built in the Middleport area will feature streets named after his songs - Angels Way, Candy Lane and Supreme Street.

Robbie, who has sold more than 70 million records worldwide, embarks on his Swing Both Ways Live European arena tour, kicking off in Hungary, on April 25.

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