A singer-songwriter who never forgot his Bradford roots has died suddenly in Belgium, aged 67.

Jonathan Swift, originally of Baildon, had a remarkable childhood, being born to a teenage mum after a brief wartime romance and then being adopted by his doting aunt and her husband.

He never knew his Spitfire pilot father who was shot down and killed over France but was brought up to make the most of life, said his adoptive father Eric Swift, who is 90 and now lives in Lidget Green.

When Jonathan was seven he fought off polio and, despite being left with weakness in one of his legs, showed a determination to succeed at school.

But it was when he joined the Royal Air Force and was stationed in Cyprus that he picked up the guitar and began songwriting, letting his true talents shine through.

He returned to Bradford to make an impact on the city’s music scene, playing with a number of groups and putting in solo performances at venues including St George’s Hall.

When his manager took another act to America, leaving him to make it on his own in Yorkshire, Jonathan decided to head for London to make his fame and fortune there.

After a while in the capital he decided to go to Germany and from there he went to Belgium, where he settled after meeting his wife-to-be Minica.

The couple went on to have a daughter, Elke, now 28, and a son, Andrew, who is 26. Jonathan’s musical career flourished with him putting on gigs and recording on vinyl and CD. He also used his musical talent to raise funds for charities around the Antwerp area where the family lived.

Early last month Jonathan, who had diabetes, was taken ill and suffered a fatal heart attack on October 14.

Last week Mr Swift senior and other family members from Bradford went to Belgium to attend Jonathan’s thanksgiving service.

“There were about 260 people there,” said Mr Swift. “It was a very moving time. People sang and played his music and spoke about him. He was very much thought of and loved. We are very proud he was ours. He loved Bradford, loved coming back here and never forgot his roots.”

e-mail: kathie.griffiths@telegraphandargus.co.uk