Specials guitarist to play at charity festival remembering three lost friends

A previous Party in the Park in Southam.

A previous Party in the Park in Southam.

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An original Specials guitarist and a Coronation Street star are giving up their time to take part in this year’s Party on the Pitch in Southam on Saturday July 16.

The charity event at Southam Rugby Club, in its seventh year, will feature six bands and artists from Southam and surrounding areas, including a ten-piece ska band with Roddy Radiation of Specials fame.

The family event will also include an appearance by Coronation Street actor Daniel Brocklebank, a children’s football shootout, basketball, rides, face painting and food and drink.

Organiser Mark Harvey has been involved in the event since it first took place in 2009 in support of his friend Simon Adams, who suffered from motor neurone disease and died in 2011.

Two other friends, Juston Newsome and Steve Buckle - known to many as ‘Bubble’, had also been involved in fundraising to support Simon, but sadly they both contracted cancer and have since died.

So this year’s festival is raising funds for both the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) and the Myton Hospices, in memory of all three men.

Mark said: “Justin and Steve ‘Bubble’ had both been very active members of the club for many years, serving as captains of teams and also on the main committee.

“Both in fact were part of the rugby club group who in 2010 cycled down to Plymouth to meet Simon in order to raise funds and awareness of MNDA when he was alive. Both succumbed to cancer in their early 50s and were both heavily involved with Party on the Pitch.

“To date we have run a raffle at the event and this has raised over £10k.”

The event starts at 3.30pm. Tickets cost £15 or £7 for under-18s, with limited gazebo tickets available for £73 for four adults. Free parking is available and free transport from Southam town centre will be provided by Catteralls Coaches. People are welcome to bring their own chairs and picnics, but no glass. For full details, visit www.partyonthepitch.org.uk/partyonthepitch

To find out more about MNDA and the Myton Hospices, visit www.mndassociation.org and www.mytonhospice.org