The late Bradford singer and poet Wild Willi Beckett has made a surprise comeback - inside a 7-inch single.

The madcap frontman of the Psycho Surgeons died of cancer in March and, as a suitably eccentric tribute, his former bandmates say they have had his ashes pressed into vinyl.

The memorial single will be released on what would have been Willi's 60th birthday.

Famed for his alter ego "the Doctor", Willi gained a cult fan-base with the Psycho Surgeons in the 1980s and '90s.

Bass player Jont said: "Willi's friends and fans will know that he would have absolutely loved this idea.

"He was an innovator, showman, atheist and fully paid-up member of the Monster Raving Loony party. In keeping with his values, we wanted to do something unashamedly unconventional and unique.

"As far as we're aware this is the first time anyone has been pressed into a record. It's a sincere tribute to our friend and not a commercial venture, so we're bypassing the normal distribution chain.

"Instead, we'll deliver the single directly to Willi's fans at a tribute event. Willi's brother, Rick, was custodian of the ashes and has given the record his full support."

The single is on florescent green vinyl - Willi's favourite colour.

He was cremated in a custom-made lime green coffin adorned with paintings of guitars and the record represents the end and beginning of his recording career.

The A-side, Kingdom Come: Bring it On! incorporates an extract from the Psycho Surgeons' farewell concert in 2006.

The B-side is the original recording of Willi's protest song Straw Hats, backed by an early version of New Model Army.

Willi and Jont wrote Kingdom Come and were due to record it at the band's Mutiny 2000 Studios in Bradford on March 3, but Willi died the day before, aged 59.

Originally from Teesside, he was an adopted Bradfordian and stood in the 1990 Bradford North by-election as a Monster Raving Loony Party candidate.

Well-known for sporting a white doctor's smock and ghoulish make-up, he was a friend of the late David Screaming Lord' Sutch.

Preserving Willi in vinyl wasn't easy; Jont said many vinyl-pressing companies thought it was a wind-up. But the band's perseverance paid off and 300 copies of the single were made, complete with Willi's ashes, in London.

Bradford writer and musician Nick Toczek, who performed benefit gigs with Willi, said: "He'd have loved this, it's a suitably eccentric tribute. My favourite quote from Willi was when he knew he was dying, asked if he had any regrets, he said: I'd do it all the same - only louder'."

Willi was involved in the Bradford Soup Run for several years. Soup Run director John Tempest said: "When Willi was alive his music and my speaker system didn't always get on well. I suppose now he'll be getting his own back by clogging up the stylus too! Willi would approve."

e-mail: emma.clayton