A Manchester music icon visited a Ramsbottom gallery last week and viewed a print inspired by the band that made him famous.

Johnny Marr, the former guitarist of 80s band The Smiths, popped into Atelier Rose and Gray gallery in Market Place and viewed a print entitled How Soon is Now, which is one of the group’s most popular songs.

The print, which was designed by Accrington artist Chris Thornley, has proved popular with fans of the Manchester band.

Chris Brooks, the gallery owner, says the visit came about through a chance encounter with Johnny’s wife at their other gallery in Hale.

He said: “I was asking for people for their emails to sign up to our newsletter with a chance to win one of the prints, and I didn’t know it at the time but I had asked her, and she said ‘I don’t want one because I am Johnny Marr’s wife!’”

Chris would not be drawn on whether Johnny bought a copy of the print, but out of all of the celebrity clients he has dealt with, he felt most starstruck speaking to the former Smiths guitarist.

He added: “I have had a few Manchester United and City players and Coronation Street actors, but they are not Johnny Marr!

“I put the picture on Twitter and then when Johnny retweeted it just went bananas.”