Rod Stewart was born on 10 January 1945 in the house which stood at this site, No 507 Archway Road; he has reported a “fantastically happy” childhood here as the youngest of five children. His father was a builder before buying a newsagent further up the Archway Road when Rod was in his teens; the family lived over the shop and Stewart often worked as a paper delivery boy.
He was a pupil at Highgate Primary and William Grimshaw School (now Fortismere). Stewart’s main hobbies were – and still are – railway modelling and football. His natural athleticism led him to become captain of the school football team and he played for Middlesex Schoolboys as centre-half. Rod’s father and the two brothers were also football fans and they even started a local team called the ‘Highgate Redwings’.
On leaving school a series of unsatisfactory and unskilled jobs followed, however his passion and ambition for music persisted. In his late teens he borrowed money from his brother to buy a guitar and headed off with his spiky hairstyle busking and playing clubs in London – in the early days keeping his hair in place with sugar water. The rest is history, with his signature hairstyle and distinctive raspy voice eventually becoming his trademarks.