HE’S been a Freddie Mercury fan since he was a teenager – now Andy Sparks has come out on top in a competition celebrating his hero.
The 43-year-old dressed up like the legendary Queen frontman and threw a party in homage to him at his family home in Drayton, Portsmouth.
Joined by his wife Claire, 41, son George, 16, and daughters Aimee, 20, and Holly, 19, Andy watched Queen DVDs and listened to hits from the band all night.
Afterwards he submitted photos he took on the night to Freddie For A Day, a competition which encourages people to dress up as Freddie and have some fun around the time of the star’s birthday on September 5.
Andy was amazed to discover that the pictures of his party on September 7 won the best Queen party category, meaning he will now play a part in Queen musical We Will Rock You at The Dominion Theatre, London.
People got the chance to vote for their favourite snaps online.
Dates have not yet been confirmed for the show and although Andy isn’t sure what part he’s going to play he’s overwhelmed by his prize.
Andy, who is a self-employed carpenter, said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted that I’ve won.
‘I’ve never done anything theatrical or been on stage before.
‘I’m feeling nervous about what my part entails but it’s a great honour. I didn’t take part to win.
‘I just love getting the chance to honour Freddie.
‘I’ve been a Queen fan since I was a teenager.
‘Freddie Mercury is my hero and inspiration.
‘I just love everything there was about him.’
Andy took part in Freddie For A Day in 2010 and 2011 when he dressed up as the star on the singer’s birthday.
‘Unfortunately, I couldn’t dress up as Freddie on his birthday this time around because I had work commitments,’ he said.
‘But the party made for a fantastic, family-fun evening.
‘It was nice doing something special like that all together.
‘I’m the big Queen fan but all the family support me and join in with what I do.
Andy is also waiting to see if his daughters will be rewarded after they made a cake with Freddie Mercury’s picture on it for the competition.
Andy also has a ‘Queen room’ inside his house which contains 3,000 Queen-related items made up of memorabilia, CDs and vinyls.
‘I’m a serious Queen collector,’ he said.
‘The room is just made up of a collection of things I’ve picked up from all over the place over the last 20 years.’
Freddie died from pneumonia as a result of contracting Aids in 1991.
Mercury composed many of Queen’s hits, including Bohemian Rhapsody and Don’t Stop Me Now.