Paul Hardcastle announces plans to rework former anti-war hit ’19’

Composer plans to re-release former chart topper to highlight soldiers' plight in Afghanistan

Paul Hardcastle is set to re-release his former anti-war Number One single ’19’ after 25 years.

The track, which was inspired by young soldiers going to the Vietnam War with the title being a reference to their average age, is being re-worked to highlight the plight of soldiers in Afghanistan.

The move comes after his son’s friend George Sparks was killed in the conflict.

“I shouldn’t have to be the messenger but I have got a voice to actually do that. I was the one that made that record so I think if someone else had done it, it might have been different,” Hardcastle told BBC 6 Music.

“When I get the letters and emails from some of the families, people that have actually been out there, serving there now and they say we’re really proud of what you’re doing then to me there is no better accolade.”

He continued: “We are in the same sort of situation I believe as 25 years ago and I would have liked not to release this record with Afghanistan in it. That’s the one thing that would have been brilliant for me to say, that happened a long time ago.”

The track, which will be released on April 19, comes a quarter of a century after it topped the UK singles chart.