Tributes for grandfather of nine who became Burnley's first Asian DJ

A man, believed to be Burnley's first Asian DJ, has died at the age of 73.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 12:30 pm
Cliff Tahir, who was Burnley's first Asian DJ, has died at the age of 73.

Cliff Tahir spent 20 years spinning the discs at a variety of pubs and clubs across Burnley. His lively, fun loving and out going personality was perfect for the disc jockeying role he loved so much.

Paying tribute to their father this week, Cliff's three sons, Nicholas, Darren and Jason described their father as a man with 'a big personality, a real joker and full of life and fun who was loved and respected by so many people.'

During his career as a DJ Cliff would often don big platform shoes and run out into the audience.

Cliff in his element as a DJ

Some of the venues where Cliff played regularly included Burnley pubs the Park View, the former Princess Royal and the Talbot. He also hosted a number of charity disco nights and was also a regular DJ at the Bay Horse pub and Worsthorne Club. Cliff was even invited to go on air at Radio Lancashire.

His three sons would often help Cliff carry his equipment to gigs and Jason went on to follow in his dad's footsteps as a DJ.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Cliff lived with his parents, two sisters and late brother Naveed. He came to live in London with his father when he was 10 and, after finishing his education, he worked in the city in a variety of jobs including on the Guinness docks.

The move to Burnley came when Cliff was in his early 20s as his father, who worked in the jewellery business, had many contacts in Lancashire.

Cliff with his three sons when they were younger (from left to right) Nicholas, Darren and Jason

Cliff forged a life for himself in the town where he would remain for the rest of his life and he even changed his name by deed poll from Mohammed to Cliff. This was a nod to Cliff Richard as they both had the same long wavy hair.

Cliff loved to go out socialising and met his late wife, Linda Burrow, at the former Concord pub, a popular venue situated opposite Burnley bus station. Her parents, Jim and Jane, ran the place.

A former bus driver and conductor, Cliff, who had nine grandchildren, also worked at the former Bellings factory and Michelin, where he spent 14 years. He later became a housing officer for Rochdale Council.

Fluent in Urdu, Cliff was also on call as a translator for Lancashire Constabulary.

Fun loving and outgoing Cliff Tahir who called Burnley his home after he came to live in Lancashire in his 20s

In 2001 Cliff stood to be a councillor representing the Brunshaw ward of Burnley as an independent candidate. Although he didn't win he polled 1,000 votes, an achievement he was very proud of.

Through his DJing Cliff made many friends and the family have been overwhelmed with messages of sympathy from across the world.

Cliff's funeral will be held this Friday (September 24th) at Burnley Cemetery chapel at 2.15pm followed by a wake at the Thornton Arms at 3-30pm. Anyone who knew Cliff is welcome to go along and pay their respects.

Cliff also leaves his sisters, Tahira and Naheed and a niece Saima.