Scouse hero Gerry Marsden remembers being mobbed by fans just like his old pals The Beatles were.

“I was only 17 and it was fabulous,” he sniggers. “I never ran away very fast.”

Fifty years ago Gerry And The Pacemakers had three consecutive number one hits: How Do You Do It, I Like It and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

They knocked it on the head for eight years between 1966 and 1974, but since then the 71-year-old, who’ll be flying across the coast off Anglesey on his jet ski a few hours after we chat, has never thought of putting his feet up.

“What would I do? It’d drive me mad.”

He loves golf. He loves fishing. He loves jet skiing.

“I don’t get the same buzz out of any of them three that I get from going on stage and singing.

I like a bit of speed – and I don’t mean the drug.”

His band wrote many of their own songs – Ferry Cross The Mersey, Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying – but it’s the Rodgers and Hammerstein number Gerry put his voice to which gets played most often.

“It’s always nice when other people sing a song you’ve sung or written. I go to Celtic and they sing You’ll Never Walk Alone. I’ve been on the pitch singing it there and it’s fabulous.”

Liverpool FC fans don’t mind.

“They only mind when the Celtic fans say we sung it first. Then they say p*** off you didn’t!

We sang it first.”

The song cemented his friendship with another Liverpool legend who celebrates an anniversary this year.

Tough Scotsman Bill Shankly (who died in 1981) was born a hundred years ago this year. He took Liverpool FC from Division Two and turned them into first division champions and UEFA Cup winners.

Shankly would head over to Gerry’s with his wife Nessie for dinner.

“I knew him very well indeed. He was a great mate. One thing I remember specifically was when we were in New York doing the Ed Sullivan show and Liverpool were there because it was the tour before the season started.

“They came to the show. I said to Ed, ‘In the audience tonight you’ve got the greatest soccer team in the world – Liverpool FC’.

“I said, ‘I’m gonna sing Walk Alone tonight. When I do it, can they all get up on stage?’ So I sing it and they come up on the stage. Fabulous.

“As we were walking off Bill said to me, ‘Gerry me man, I’ve given you a football team… and you’ve given us a song’.”

Another close mate was John Lennon. Like The Beatles, Gerry And The Pacemakers worked long hours in Hamburg clubs for years before they released records and Brian Epstein managed the band.

“The Beatles and us were on-stage rivals but off stage we were the best of mates.

“John Lennon was my best pal but we never wrote together.

“I’d say to John ‘Do you want a hand? I’ll help you’. And he’d politely say p*** off.”

Gerry and Macca still meet up today for a natter and to reminisce.

The Beatles’ Please Please Me, the fab four’s first number one, is the song Gerry most wishes he’d written.

“Brian Epstein played it to me just before it was released. He played it and after a minute I said, ‘That’s a number one, Brian.’ He said, ‘You think so?’ and I said, ‘I know so. Great melody, great lyrics, great guitar.’”

But Gerry, who says he never recorded a song he didn’t like, hasn’t always been able to spot a hit.

“You think you might have a good idea then occasionally one would shock you.

“When Paul McCartney did Mull Of Kintyre I was in Australia doing a radio show.

“They said ‘Gerry, this is Paul’s new record.

What do you think of that?’ “I said that’s crap. Absolute rubbish. It’ll do nothing. It sold 47 billion records.”