Birmingham jazz musician Steve Ajao was recovering from serious injuries in hospital last night after he was hit by a car as he crossed the road.
Mr Ajao suffered two broken legs, facial fractures and head injuries, and was taken to Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital where his condition was last night described as 'stable'.
The 52-year-old saxophonist, of Woodstock Road, Moseley, was hit by a Fiat Punto driven by a 19-year-old man from Sparkbrook as he crossed Warwick Road outside the Safeway supermarket in Acocks Green shortly before 8pm on Monday.
Mr Ajao's girlfriend, Sarah Kerry, said: "He's still in a bad way. He had an operation on his leg yesterday. He's just started coming round but he's got two broken legs and severe bruising. It's been a massive shock."
UB40 last night sent him a get well message. They said: "Hi Steve, we are really sorry to hear about your accident, we all hope you get well soon and wish you a speedy recovery. Big Love."
Mr Ajao's drummer of eight years, Pete Hammond, said: "He's a strong, African man and a real fighter so we hope he'll come through it. We are trying to get them to put headphones on him and play some Charlie Parker to bring him round. If anything is going to stimulate him that will." Born in Birmingham in 1952, Mr Ajao has been a familiar face on the city's jazz scene for decades.
By his late teens, he was working with bands such as The Woodpeckers, Barley Wine and The Internationals, The Caribbean Allstars and even played occasional recording sessions with ska legend Laurel Aitken.
After graduating, Mr Ajao returned to Moseley where he soon became recognised as one of Birmingham's top blues and rock guitarists.
He taught himself to play the saxophone and became well known as a Bebop player.