POP superstar Gary Barlow took time out of his hectic tour schedule to back a Hartlepool charity.
The Take That front man was in the region for a sell-out gig at Newcastle Arena as part of his UK solo tour, but showed his caring side by throwing his weight behind the Music v Cancer (MvC) charity.
The Mail’s Marie Westmoreland, who also volunteers for the not-for-profit charity which was founded by Tony Larkin in 2012, was one of just three people who were lucky enough to head backstage to meet the former X Factor judge before he took to the stage.
And during the meet and greet, Gary kindly signed two guitars for MvC which will be auctioned off at future events to help raise funds.
Marie said: “To have Gary Barlow supporting Music v Cancer in this way is a massive coup for the charity.
“It took me months of liaising with his management team who were lovely to deal with to secure the signing.
“Thankfully the hard work paid off and he had time in his busy schedule to make this happen. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better I was invited along to meet him which was amazing as I have been a fan since I was 11 years old.
“He was genuinely very nice and wished me and the MvC team good luck with helping to develop the charity further before posing for some photographs.”
Gary Barlow is just one of a string of high-profile stars who have recently shown their support for MvC.
Last year Marie secured musician Jools Holland OBE as the charity’s official patron, and also arranged signings with Arctic Monkeys, Jessie J and Stereophonics.
Marie added: “Next on my hit-list are Robbie Williams and Elton John who are set to play at the Metro Radio arena soon.
“As mates of Gary they might decide to join in with supporting Music v Cancer too. You never know!”
Support from such A-listers is helping to raise the charity’s profile, which aims to raise awareness about cancer symptoms and also funds to help purchase cancer-detection equipment for medical centres in the area.
A staggering £137,000 has been raised and the two signed acoustic guitars by Gary Barlow will help boost funds further.
In addition, MvC Live Sessions continue to deliver an unrivalled quality music experience in town, and earlier this month an event staged at The Grand Hotel raised a total of £3,905 from ticket sales and merchandise auctions.
MvC founder Tony, who organises all of the events, said: “Last weekend’s event was incredible. The line-up was great, we had Hartlepool band Mercedes, Ryan Spendlove, Vince Freeman from BBC’s The Voice and the superb new talent JJ Rosa all playing in support of MvC.”
The sold-out gig also featured a one-off auction for the Bradley Lowery Fund which saw an electric guitar signed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers go to the winning bidder for £650.
Tony added: “I’d like to say a massive thanks to all involved but in particular the public, media and local businesses who support MvC in such a great way. Planning is well under way for our next event in October.”
For more information on the charity visit musicvcancer.com
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