Daryl Clark, 1956-2022

Daryl Clark of the Sons of Royalty bike ride, leading the bike ride.
Daryl Clark leading the Sons of Royalty bike ride, 2011 (Image credit: Scott Rowley)

Daryl Clark, founder of ChildLine Rocks and the Sons Of Royalty Charity bike ride, has died aged 66. He had been suffering from cancer.

Daryl founded ChildLine Rocks in 2008 to raise money through music-related events for ChildLine, a confidential helpline for young people run by the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). In his day job, Daryl worked as an Independent Financial Adviser with Skerritt Consultants Limited, managing the finances of a number of major rock bands, and his music business connections meant that he was perfectly placed to twist the arm of some of rock’s biggest names. 

Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood paid tribute: “Daryl was my IFA for many years and became a close friend,” he said. “A man of great humour, generosity and humility, he was a bloody good golfer too and could hit the ball a country mile, as he showed me on many occasions.”

Daryl joined Smallwood’s charity foundation The Truants on their first-ever fundraising cycle ride in Egypt. “He was the motivation behind my adding ChildLine to our Truant’s charities,” says Rod. “He also rode with us in Cuba and Morocco before heading off on his Harley with the Sons.”

Daryl Clark of the Sons of Royalty bike ride, throwing the horns

(Image credit: Scott Rowley)

Daryl launched his own charity ride, Sons of Royalty (a pun on TV show Sons Of Anarchy) in 2011 with the riders on Harley Davidson motorbikes instead of pushbikes. Over the years, the Sons Of Royalty ride featured Thunder, Morgan Freeman, The Hairy Bikers and SAS-man-turned-thriller-writer, Andy McNab. 

Classic Rock hitched a ride for the first one and witnessed Thunder and The Union entertaining bars across Canada and the USA, as they rode across the Rocky Mountains and into Montana and Idaho. 

“Daryl was a force of nature in a very positive way,” says Thunder guitarist Luke Morley. “Danny and I met him in 2007 when we were introduced by a mutual friend who figured we would get on very well. He wasn’t wrong. By the end of the evening, he managed to convince us to take part in a fundraising gig for Childline, which was little more than a pipe dream at that stage. Upon leaving the bar he fell down the stairs, picked himself up and said with a grin: ‘Never drink with rockstars!’

A few months later, with help from (Whispering) Bob Harris and his wife Trudie and production manager Adrian Basketfield, they put on two shows at the Indigo 02 with Thunder as house band behind guest musicians Roger Daltrey, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Lulu, The Pretty Things, Marillion, Steve Harley, Glenn Hughes, Uriah Heep and Justin Hawkins

“I remember Daryl grinning from ear to ear at the end of the first show,” says Luke. “‘I told you we could do it!’ he said.”

Thunder became regulars on the Sons Of Royalty/Childline Rocks motorcycle ride. “When he came up with the idea of a motorcycle ride across the Rocky Mountains we really thought he’d lost it," says Luke, "but yet again he was right and we were wrong!

“It’s now ten rides over twelve years raising over £300,000, and it’s still hard to believe that one man’s enthusiasm could convince so many apparently sane people from musicians to high-ranking British military types to follow him through the wilds of British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, Utah and any other off-the-beaten-track part of North America that took his fancy."

Celebrity chefs the Hairy Bikers joined for two of the rides and Morgan Freeman joined them for a day when a ride across the Deep South stopped off at his blues club Ground Zero in Clarksdale. Freeman even sang an Al Green number for them – the first time he had performed live in his own club. Daryl’s warmth and enthusiasm drew in musicians, the military, financial wizards, novelists, stunt women, celebrity chefs, yoga gurus, photographers, filmmakers, journalists and many more. 

“Daryl always tried to combine his love of music and biking,” says Luke Morley, “but I think his true talent was bringing diverse people together to do amazing things that helped make the world a nicer place. There can be no greater epitaph than that.”

“We will all remember him as a top man,” says Rod Smallwood. “Lots of fun and great company. He will be sorely missed in so many ways. In his last hours, he was still planning to ride down Pall Mall with the Sons on Harleys before he left us. Typical! I am sure those other Angels will welcome him. Here’s to a life well lived!”

The Sons of Royalty rides will continue at Daryl’s request, with a ride planned for 2023. For more information, please email.

Scott Rowley
Content Director, Music

Scott is the Content Director of Music at Future plc, responsible for the editorial strategy of online and print brands like Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, Guitarist, Guitar World, Guitar Player, Total Guitar etc. He was Editor in Chief of Classic Rock magazine for 10 years and Editor of Total Guitar for 4 years and has contributed to The Big Issue, Esquire and more. Scott wrote chapters for two of legendary sleeve designer Storm Thorgerson's books (For The Love Of Vinyl (opens in new tab), 2009, and Gathering Storm (opens in new tab), 2015). He regularly appears on Classic Rock’s podcast, The 20 Million Club (opens in new tab), and was the writer/researcher on 2017’s Mick Ronson documentary Beside Bowie (opens in new tab)