Parents’ 21 reasons to remember tragic son

THE family of a music student who took his own life are hoping to release a second CD of his work to mark his 21st birthday.

Rob Luke, Brian Luke, Sylvia Luke

THE family of a music student who took his own life are hoping to release a second CD of his work to mark his 21st birthday.

Newcastle University student Rob Luke, from High Shincliffe near Durham, was a talented songwriter who recorded 50 pieces.

His parents Brian and Sylvia released a CD of 19 of his songs to mark each year of his life in a tribute to him after he killed himself in March.

The work entitled Beach has sold more than 200 copies at stores in Newcastle and Durham.

Rob’s proud father wished to thank everyone who have bought kindly a copy of the album.

He said: “Its success will bring us some solace at this difficult time of the year.

“Just getting the CDs on

to the shelves was a tremendous achievement – seeing them there was amazing.

“When they started selling, we were really delighted and it is important to us that they have stayed there over Christmas.”

The former New College Durham pupil wrote and performed all his pieces and in his last touching message to his parents he asked them to do something with his music.

His death came as a complete shock to his family as Rob had always loved music and seemed to be enjoying his first year at Newcastle University.

In a fitting tribute his family, including 23-year-old sister Katie, are hoping to release a second album featuring 21 tracks to mark what would have been the musician’s 21st birthday on May 9.

“I am working on a title for the album and I have just about chosen the tracks,” said Mr Luke.

“I am so very proud that he has been able to produce good music to the point that people are complimentary.”

Mr Luke, 57, a retired policeman of High West Road in Crook, County Durham, hopes to keep Rob’s memory alive through sharing what was his passion in life.

“It is bittersweet really. It is something I would have loved to have happened had he lived and he could have enjoyed a little success.”

Rob’s passion began at the age of six with a toy drum kit and after long spells with Spennymoor and Ferryhill Town brass bands, playing percussion, he began playing and writing his own music.

It led to his playing in the national finals of a brass band contest at the Albert Hall in London and making two appearances at The Sage Gateshead.

His family put the first CD together themselves and named it after one of the tracks. The photo on the cover of the album was taken by Katie with the help of the family on the beach at South Shields, where Rob had played happily as a child. It was chosen because the profile of a face emerged from the tidal foam.

The CD is currently on sale at HMV in Durham and in JG Windows in Newcastle.

For more information on Rob and his music, email


David Whetstone
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