"I told my wife, 'When I die, bury me in those shoes.'": The Specials' Lynval Golding's emotional tribute to Terry Hall

Terry Hall and Lynval Golding
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/Redferns via Getty Images)

This month marked the one-year anniversary of the death of The Specials and Fun Boy Three frontman Terry Hall. One of British music’s most iconic and visionary figures, Hall passed away as a result of pancreatic cancer in December 2022. Promoting a long-awaited box set collating Fun Boy Three, the group that Hall, guitarist Lynval Golding and singer Neville Staple formed upon leaving The Specials in 1981, Golding paid tribute to his former bandmate and lifelong friend speaking to this writer in an interview for The New Cue earlier this year.

“Oh my God, what a lyricist,” marvelled Golding, looking back over the work he and Hall had put out as Fun Boy Three. “When you listen to Tunnel Of Love and see the way the man writes those lyrics and the way he delivered those lyrics so clearly, you understand every word he's saying. You look at The Lunatics and the songs he picked that we covered, like It Ain’t What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It), what a genius."

Golding said he had no plans to tour with anyone else – for him, Hall was irreplaceable. “You will not see me going out and saying ‘Lynval Golding from The Specials' - you're not going to see that. That will not happen, you won't see me going out doing The Specials and the Fun Boy Three songs on my own. No way.”

Looking back on how their relationship had evolved over the decades, Golding told a sweet tale about his late bandmate. “We just grew, we knew each other, him and me never fell out, we never had an argument,” said Golding. “There was one time I was going to fall out with him, he said something that wasn't quite right, we had a disagreement and you know what he did? He went out and bought these Nike shoes and he says, "I've got a present for you Lyn" and he gave me these shoes. I said, "Thank you Terry, what made you do that?" and he said, "I just wanted to buy you something." I've only worn those shoes once and that was at Terry's funeral. The shoes are back in their box now and I told my wife, “When I die, bury me in those shoes.”

Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.