The Beatles' first manager Allan Williams dies at 86

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The Beatles' first manager, Allan Williams, has died at 86.

He took the budding musicians under his wing while they cleaned and decorated his Jacaranda Club in Liverpool.

He later drove the fledgling band to Hamburg in Germany in 1960 where they learned many of the skills that would help them to stardom.

Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney
Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney (Yui Mok/PA)

The Jacaranda announced the death of the stalwart of the city's music scene on Twitter.

It added: "Today is one of the saddest days in our history.... All of our thoughts and wishes go to his family and his wife Beryl."

When the band first asked to play at the Jacaranda, Williams instead gave them jobs renovating the venue in Slater Street before deciding to send them to Hamburg.

Sir Paul described Williams in The Beatles Anthology as "a great guy, a really good motivator".

Williams, from the Sefton Park area, parted ways with the band - then comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best - in 1961.

The Beatles in 1967
The Beatles in 1967 (PA)

They signed with Brian Epstein the following January.

The Beatles Story exhibition said Williams' role as their first booking agent and manager "helped shape the band in to what we see and know today".

Its director, Martin King, said: "Allan was a friend to many of us at the Beatles Story and his legacy will continue to be told for years to come."