Wembley pensioner does it his way in Sinatra performance

Leon Winsky overcame his fear of singing to a crowd - with a little help from his friends

A Frank Sinatra fan has hit the right note - by performing in public for the first time in 50 years.

Leon Winsky, 63, of Logan Road, Wembley, overcame his fear of singing in front of large crowds by singing songs by Sinatra, Etta James and Nat King Cole alongside the Imperial College London big band at the South Kensington campus.

Mr Winsky opened with Cliff Richard’s ‘Living Doll’ - the same number he performed last time he sung in front of an audience - at his Bar Mitzah on his 13th birthday.

He went on to sing Sinatra songs ‘Come Fly With Me’ and ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ with his wife and son looking on.

Mr Winsky, who as a 10-year-old was too shy to perform to his family without the lights off, said: “This has been an unbelievable journey and one that I will never forget.

“I was very excited at first and then a little nervous about remembering all my words. Singing with the big band really was a dream come true.

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“It was also wonderful having my family watching as they had no idea I could sing!”

In the run-up to his performance, Mr Winsky received intensive private voice coaching lessons and a recording session in a professional studio in Hackney after he was chosen by the Stannah Think Again Fund.

The fund was launched in 2007 after a poll revealed only 13 per cent of over 50’s feel they are achieving their life goals and two thirds regret not having pursued their dreams when they were younger.

A Stannah spokesman said: “We are so pleased that the Think Again Fund has allowed Leon to conquer his shyness and step out into the limelight as he has always dreamed.

“The Think Again Fund really is special in that it gives winners the chance to further express themselves, by truly catering each experience to the individual.”

Anyone over 50 can apply to the Think Again Fund and one person is selected at random each month to fulfil their dream.

To apply for the fund yourself, or for a loved one, visit www.thinkagainfund.co.uk.