IF anyone ever looked the picture of perfect health it was The Monkees’ singer Davy Jones.
That is the view of people who have paid tribute to the 66-year-old musician, who died after suffering chest pains at his home in Florida yesterday afternoon.
Friends remember Mr Jones while he lived at Grenville Hall, in Droxford with former wife Anita Pollinger between 1981 and 1996. He also lived in Bedhampton.
The pop star rose to fame as the frontman of American 60s group The Monkees, which was formed for an American television series of the same name.
Angel Radio presenter Pete Cross met the pop star for the first time when he performed in West End show Forget Me Not Lane at The Kings Theatre, in Southsea in 1972.
Mr Cross, 64, said: ‘At the time I was a DJ at The Tricorn Centre, and I had heard that Davy Jones was going to be in town.
‘I decided to drop an invitation by at The Kings Theatre asking if he wanted to come along to The Tricorn after the show and get involved with some of the party games we were doing.
‘I didn’t think he would show up, but he did.
‘He was amazing. He raised the roof off the place. It takes my breath away to think he’s gone.
‘He always looked so angelic.
‘If anyone ever looked the picture of perfect health it was Davy Jones.
‘He looked the star with his suntan and his white teeth.
‘I never associated him with someone who would go downhill at a relatively young age.’
Davy was also a keen horse-racer who kept nine horses at stables near his Droxford home.
In 1993 he fronted a new horse watch scheme at Netley Police Training College.
He also took part in horse races in Newbury, Berkshire.
Former jockey Bill Smith, 63, of Hambledon, knew Davy because their daughters became close friends after meeting at Rookesbury Park School in Southwick Road, Wickham.
Mr Smith said: ‘He was a really lovely bloke.
‘We both shared a passion for horses. He thought of himself as a jockey in the making.
‘One night he rode to The Vine pub, in Hambledon, on his horse.
‘On the way back he stopped by my house and I looked after his horse for the night.
‘He was one of those people who just got on with life and didn’t think too much about it.
‘He was such a positive, forward-thinking person.
‘You can imagine the kind of energy he had when The Monkees were together. He’ll be terribly missed.’
Mr Smith’s daughter Katie Candlish, 30, said: ‘I’ll always remember him welcoming me when I used to go round as a child and play with his daughter Jessica.’
Davy emigrated to America 15 years ago and started a new family.
The Monkees had several international hits, including Daydream Believer, Last Train to Clarksville, I’m a Believer and Pleasant Valley Sunday.
Portsmouth pop historian Dave Allen said: ‘I remember The Monkees phenomenon.
‘The Monkees will always be known as one of the first major boy bands.’
· Leave your memories of Davy Jones below. Plus don’t miss a Remember When special on Day in The News tomorrow.