THEY say if you didn’t know the “legend” Glenville ‘Glenny’ Atkinson you weren’t really from Bradford.
The popular DJ and Envy Nightclub owner, 36, sadly passed away earlier this month after a cardiac arrest, leaving many across the district devastated.
But his mother, Carole Freeman, said his legacy will continue through his 16-year-old daughter and night club – both described as ‘the pride of his life’.
It was always about music for Glenny who first expressed his dream of becoming a DJ as a child.
Once his grandfather bought him and his brother a set of decks, that was it.
“He was always on the decks,” his mum said.
“It was all about music. He loved DJ’ing.
“That’s all he ever wanted to be. He was always on decks from 13 or 14.
“From being kid, he always said it and I know this sounds bad but I never thought he’d get anywhere. I didn’t think it was going anywhere until I looked up a poster in Bradford and it was ‘DJ Glenny’.
“He always wanted his own club.”
His long-time friend Jonathan Kirk became business partners with Glenny in 2018, a year after Envy Nightclub first opened.
When DJ Glenny was at work, Jonathan says he “dictated” the crowds.
“He was a Bradford bassline pioneer,” Jonathan said.
He told the Telegraph & Argus: “I’ve seen a lot on Facebook saying if you’re from Bradford and you don’t know Glenny you’re not from Bradford. That’s how much of an impact that man had in Bradford.
“You’d go out on a weekend and know there was a bar he was playing in.
“It was his craft. He was happy there (DJ-ing). That’s what he loved doing.
“Before he bought into the Envy club he was DJ’ing for 20 years in Bradford.
“He knew from experience exactly what he wanted. Sometimes he’d be itching to go up and saying ‘Let me go up, let me go up!’.
“He was a gent. He was a true gentleman.
“He’s touched so many people’s hearts.
“Very straight forward. If he had anything to say he would say it to you.
“He always said the famous words at the end ‘do you understand?.’
“That’s just how he was as a person. Very caring.
“He was a very hungry person, very driven. I would say you could see that from him, he never got complacent.”
Glenny grew up in Undercliffe and moved to London for a short time with family before coming back to Bradford.
He attended Undercliffe Primary School and Carlton Bolling before studying at Barkerend school.
When he wasn’t mixing music, he enjoyed sport.
His mum recalls: “He was a good footballer. He went to All Stars football club.
“He was a brilliant footballer and they scouted him.
“They wanted him to play for Sheffield United but they didn’t realise he was 12 at the time. He was too young.
“He always had a lot of friends. He was cheeky. He was lovely.
“He was ‘OCD’ from being a child to the day he passed away. Everything had to be perfect.”
Once social distancing restrictions are lifted, Carole says there will be a huge party to celebrate his life.
A GoFundMe page has been launched to raise funds for Glenny’s family with a number of messages left in remembrance.
£631 has been raised so far with money going towards the post-pandemic celebration.
It can be found by searching ‘Glennys family’.
One of the messages on the page by Jade Rhodes said: “Lots of love to all your family.”
While Zoe Cranston said: “I new you from envy what a great guy u was always there and listened to my drunken talks envy won’t be same rip glenny.”
Due to Covid-19 restrictions his friends will not be allowed to attend the funeral service but says he will be brought outside Envy Nightclub between 1-1.30pm on Friday, June 26, before he is laid to rest.
“Everybody loved him,” Carole said.
“He was very popular.
“He doted on his daughter.
“He ended up getting his club.
“He had a lot of friends. He was just loved by so many people, never had a wrong word.
“He’d give anyone anything.
“He was very kind and private person but he had a lot of friends.”