Leeds Pride 2022: Why this year's parade is named after Robert Payne

This year’s Leeds Pride parade has been named after the late Robert Payne, who was co-owner of the popular Blayds Bar.

By Tom Coates
Saturday, 6th August 2022, 4:30 pm

Robert died suddenly in December 2021 whilst on holiday with his husband Duncan McCallum in Gran Canaria.

Read More

Read More
Leeds Pride Parade 2022: Full list of road closures and bus route changes for Su...

He was just four days away from turning 58 when he had a heart attack and this year, Leeds Pride will pay tribute to him.

Robert (left) died in December 2021. Image: Duncan McCallum

Robert’s husband Duncan said: “He turned round, had a heart attack, and died in my arms.

"He was just a loveable, loveable guy. I struggle to find a picture of Robert without a smile on his face.

“He was the life and soul.”

They had been married for 16 years having been together for 18 and they had both owned Blayds for 15 years.

Duncan said: “900 people attended his funeral, I got 18,500 messages.

"It's been insane, I couldn't have done it without the support, it’s overwhelming.

"In the last nine months, every single day someone mentions Robert's name. After this parade, I need to go back to bed for a little bit.”

As part of the Leeds Pride celebrations this year, Blayds are hosting a free event to thank the LGBT+ scene for the support shown and the event is also dedicated to Robert’s legacy.

Taking place on Sunday with entertainment starting from 2pm, acts include former X Factor contestant Samantha Atkinson and pop star Sonia.

Blayds was initially bought by Duncan without Robert knowing, although he ended up dedicating 15 years of his life to being a friendly and welcoming face in the heart of Leeds.

Duncan said: “He couldn't stand the bar - I bought it behind his back!

“It's now one of the most popular gay bars in Leeds. We just worked for 15 years, both came into it full-time and the support has just been immense.”

The event at Blayds is one of several being hosted as part of the 2022 Leeds Pride celebrations on Sunday August 7.

Pride was not able to take place in 2020 or 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but is now set to make a return,

The parade, which is named after Robert, begins in Millenium Square at 2pm.