The celebrations of The Staffordshire Band in retaining the Harry and Margaret Mortimer Championships at Pontins at the weekend, were brought firmly into perspective on their return to the Midlands, with the news of the death of their former Principal Cornet and Flugel Horn player Mark Williams. Mark, 46, had joined the Band in the early 80's, at a time when the cornet section was down to one Bb and one Eb player and lead the Band as Principal Cornet back into the Championship Section, before moving onto Flugel with stunning results. Shaun Elliott the bands chairman said,"He was an astonishing musician, not only on brass, but also on the piano where he was truly a virtuoso. He arranged pieces for the Band, as well as conducting on a number of occasions. He was also very well known throughout the Midlands Area, helping many, many different bands out whenever asked." Mark left the Band in 2001 and in recent times was known to have suffered from ill health. Shaun added: "The heights that the Band has started to achieve is in no small part down to Mark, who helped us take the first few steps on our journey. We were lucky to enjoy his company and have, through our recordings, evidence of his huge musical ability. He was immensely popular with the Band, audiences and bandsmen alike - he will be greatly missed. In sending our condolences to his family, we would like to dedicate our victory at Pontins to Mark - in memory of all the good times and music we shared."