WHEN Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh dramatically quit the Human League, Phil Oakey found two schoolgirls dancing around their handbags in the Crazy Daisy nightclub and turned them into pop stars.

“We’d both bought tickets to see Human League at Doncaster, and suddenly we were part of it,” recalled Susan Ann Sulley.

“I was at college and, while I didn’t feel old enough to work, I was determined to do something that made me happy, although I had no idea what.

“We were both rubbish dancers. We didn’t have a clue really.

“We bumbled along but somehow it seemed to work on stage with Human League.

“If you came home now and told your dad some guy had come up to you in a club and said, ‘I can make you a big star’ it would be a cause of celebration.

“Back then my dad wanted to find Phil and kill him. He thought the worst.

“I was meant to go to university and get a proper job.”

The group have been a trio for 25 years now, with Oakey, Susan Ann and her old school pal Joanne Catherall.

And they are heading into the unknown as the headline act for Symphony at the Tower, the first open air pop concert in the grounds of historic Hoghton Tower next month.

The event, to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice, will see the Human League being supported by The Christians on Friday, July 5.

The following night Aled Jones will be on stage as part of a classical spectacular ending with massive firework display.

Sully vividly remembers the day Phil Oakey arrived on her doorstep all those years ago.

“Phil came to the house and when my dad opened the door he was stood there looking a bit weird and wonderful, with his lopsided haircut and make-up on,” she said.

“I thought it was a very brave thing to do, but dad soon knew that Phil was a genuine, nice guy.

“They sat down in the lounge with a cup of tea and got on very well indeed.

“When Phil told him that he wanted us to join Human League he was happy for me.

“He knew it was a great opportunity and it was because it changed my life.”

Human League defied expectations, and had million-selling hits, including an operatic pop song, Don’t You Want Me?, that rocketed them to the top of the charts in Britain and America.

Sulley appeared in the number one video wearing a white trench-coat, walking through the rain-drenched set.

“Looking back, I didn’t really enjoy the 1980s — but I still like that song,” she added.

“Although, I’m not a big one for nostalgia, I think that’s a timeless tune.

“We don’t see ourselves as a band left in that era.

“We’ve had hits in every decade since.

“I’m incredibly lucky, though, because Human League gave me a life I could never have envisaged as a teenager.

“I’ve got the best job in the world and how can I say not doing it doesn’t make me happy?

“It is the stuff dreams really, waking up in the middle of New York or Los Angeles and knowing that millions of people still enjoy our music and want to hear us.”

  • Human League plus The Christians, Hoghton Tower, July 5, details from 0844 888 9991.