THE Advertiser revealed yesterday that music legend John Bonham could be getting a statue in the town centre.

Plans have been put forward for a large bronze memorial depicting the Led Zeppelin drummer in Mercian Square, off Church Green.

Ros Sidaway, from The John Bonham Memorial Fund (JBMF), said the main bulk of the funds have been raised thanks to a private donation.

The long awaited move is down to the efforts of members of the JBMF.

Below is an introduction and brief history of Bonham and his importance and influence - in their own words.

John Henry Bonham is, without doubt, Redditch’s most famous son.

He was the drummer with Led Zeppelin who sold over 200 million albums worldwide.

He was born on 31st May 1948 at No.84 Birchfield Road, Headless Cross, the then home of midwife, Mrs Violet Jones.

In June 2017, a blue plaque was unveiled by John’s sister, singer songwriter Deborah Bonham and Bev Bevan, former drummer with the Move and ELO, and close friend of John.

The Bonham family lived in the Riverside area of town before moving up to Hunt End where his mother, Joan, ran a newsagent shop.

His father, Jack, was a carpenter, who helped run the family business established by his father: JH Bonham & Son, a building company.

John’s enthusiasm for drumming was evident when he was still a small child of five.

He would transform handy household objects (bath salt containers, pots and pans and a round coffee tin) into percussion instruments which he would beat with knives and forks as a substitute for drumsticks, resulting in a snare drum like sound.

Aged 10, John received his first piece of real drumming equipment, a snare drum, from his mother.

John's parents knew their young son had a true passion to learn the instrument.

They bought him his first full drum kit aged 15, a brand new sparkling Premier kit

John attended Wilton House School in Worcester Road before moving on to Lodge Farm County Secondary School on the Studley Road, Lodge Park.

He left school aged 16 and began working for his father as a builder while also playing the drums for local bands.

He joined his first semi pro band: Terry Webb & The Spiders.

After playing with Terry Webb for just over a year, he joined A Way of Life in 1966.

That  same year, at the age of 17, John married his girlfriend, Pat Phillips, and shortly after, they became parents when their son, Jason, was born.

By early 1968, John Bonham had built up a strong reputation amongst musicians and bands in the Redditch area for being one of the best drummers around.

John remained a resident of Redditch until 1968 when he, his wife and young son, Jason, moved to Dudley.

John joined the New Yardbirds, later to become Led Zeppelin in September 1968 after being introduced to Jimmy Page by Robert Plant, who he had met in late 1965, when he joined The Crawling King Snakes.

In 1972, John bought the Old Hyde Farm in Cutnall Green, between Droitwich and Kidderminster.

And in June 1975, his daughter, Zoe, was born.

During the 1970s, Led Zeppelin reached new heights of commercial and critical success that made them one of the most influential groups of the era, eclipsing their earlier achievements.

He sadly died on 25 September 1980, and the ashes were buried at Rushock Parish Church near Cutnall Green.

Shortly afterwards Led Zeppelin disbanded, yet they remain a hugely influential band.

John continues to maintain a reputation as one of, if not the, greatest drummers of all time.

Read the story of the statue here.