n the Sheriff's men Iron maiden singer Bruce Dickinson in action
(left) and Rod Smallwood (right) with drummer Nicko McBrain Smallwood leaves Sanctuary behind
A MUSIC supremo dubbed the Sheriff of Huddersfield has quit his
music management firm Sanctuary Records - taking top band Iron Maiden with him. Rod Smallwood, originally from Salendine Nook, co-founded the firm.
The 55-year-old is taking with him Iron Maiden - the heavy metal
band he has managed since 1979. Mr Smallwood, a former pupil of Huddersfield New College, co-founded
Sanctuary Records in 1976. Although the group will no longer be managed by Sanctuary, it will
continue as their merchandiser and they have also signed a new US recording agreement with the firm for latest album, A Matter of Life and Death. Mr Smallwood discovered Iron Maiden in 1979 and they paid tribute to
him in 1986 song Sheriff of Huddersfield. The band wrote the song as a joke, detailing how Mr Smallwood was
missing rugby, cricket and real beer - and often complained about it to them. Sanctuary chief executive Frank Presland said he was sad to see Iron
Maiden and Mr Smallwood depart, but was happy that to be continuing as the band's worldwide merchandiser. Mr Smallwood will continue to manage Iron Maiden through his new
company Phantom Music Management. He will stay as a consultant to Sanctuary for an initial six-month
period. He said his departure was vital to help him develop his work with
Iron Maiden. He said: "It's obviously a bit of a wrench leaving Sanctuary after
all these years, but at this time in my career and with the band's ever-increasing international stature it makes total sense for me to concentrate on developing the band's huge potential in the many areas of what is now a very complex and time-consuming business." Mr Smallwood's departure comes at a troubled time for Sanctuary.
In May, co-founder Andy Taylor was sacked following an investigation
into the group's accounts. In June, Sanctuary issued a profits warning after trading at its
record label failed to meet expectations. Earlier this year, it was saved from collapse by a £110 million
rescue package to help it recover from the disastrous acquisition of Urban Records from Matthew Knowles, the father of diva Beyonce. Mr Smallwood first became involved in the music business when he got
involved in booking gigs while studying at Trinity College in Cambridge during the 1970s.