Plymouth City Council has taken to social media to deny claims that it was behind the abrupt end to Saturday night’s Rod Stewart concert at Home Park.

The singer reportedly ended his set at Plymouth Argyle’s ground and left before he had performed his 1975 number one ‘Sailing’, which had been expected to close the show as a tribute to Plymouth’s status as a naval city.

Gig-goers said he finished what was thought to be the second to last song of his encore at just after 10.30pm, and the stage was plunged into darkness. Although Home Park has permission for concerts to run until 11pm, it is understood that the singer was due to finish at 10.30pm.

Social media channels lit up with claims that the city council had been responsible for the early finish to the gig. One Facebook post said a ‘man in black’ had walked on stage to speak to Mr Stewart, at which point the singer left the stage and the lights came up.

There were some reports that lord mayor Mark Shayler had stepped in to intervene in person, despite the fact that he was not even at the concert.

Now the city council has issued an official response to the Home Park furore, saying: “Despite social media rumours and inaccurate, unsubstantiated reports online – Plymouth City Council and Home Park did NOT ask Rod Stewart to stop his concert on Saturday night.

“Any allegation that the lord mayor asked the performer to stop are also untrue. The lord mayor was not at the concert.

“Arts and culture are very important to Plymouth City Council and an integral part of growing our local economy. The venue had an 11pm special events certificate, issued by the Safety Advisory Group, which the venue made clear to the artist’s promoter.

“As with any concert, should a performer decide to end their set before the licensed curfew set out in the special events certificate, it is not because of any decision made by the local authority or the venue.”