Rocking tribute to tragic Anne

A WIGAN rocker is putting on a night of music in memory of a tragic cancer victim, with proceeds helping sufferers of the disease on both sides of the Atlantic.

Anne Maltby passed away in Ontario, Canada, in July this year after suffering from ovarian cancer, having moved across the pond to marry.

Wigan music promoter Sue Ashcroft, who lives in Swinley, has now decided to pay tribute to her friend Anne with a night of her favourite genre of melodic rock music, with five bands taking to the stage at Maximes later this month.

The proceeds from the event, which features sets from established acts such as Tigertailz and Serpentine before a headlining appearance from Manchester-based band Ten, will be split between The Christie Hospital in Manchester and the Grand River Hospital in Canada.

Sue, 49, said: “My husband and I have also been affected by cancer, and I suffered from severe depression after losing my mother and brother within a year. At that time, Anne was my rock.

“She helped my family cope with illness and was a constant, positive and loving influence on my life, and we had awesome times together at many gigs. She was a true friend and I miss her every day.

“Anne was also part of the community who went to the Firefest every year. It’s a really friendly community and everybody’s prepared to rally round to do something for her.”

The fund-raising has already begun in earnest, with a very special act of generosity from one of Anne’s favourite bands.

“As well as putting the gig on we were sent a guitar from Journey autographed by all the band, which we’ve put on eBay. I did an interview with the guitarist and jokingly said that if he could pop anything in the post for the gig I would be very grateful.

“He sent over this guitar and it was just absolutely amazing, especially as Anne was a huge fan, they were one of her two favourite bands along with Whitesnake.”

Anne was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer last August shortly after feeling unwell on the day of her wedding in Ontario. She was given the all-clear last Christmas following a course of chemotherapy, but the cancer returned more aggressively this April and doctors said it had become incurable.

Sue has decided to split the funds between the Canadian hospital where Anne was treated, and The Christie in Manchester, where several members of her own family have been cared for while suffering from cancer.

The rock community has responded to the call to raise money for Anne, who was a regular at gigs on the North West rock scene and travelled to festivals including Sweden Rock, with bands and fans coming from all over Britain and as far afield as Scandinavia and Germany.

Rock For Anne will be held in Maximes on Friday, November 23, from 8pm until 2am.

Tickets are £10 including booking fee and postage or £12 on the night, available directly from Mark Warburton or Sue Ashcroft via Paypal. For more information email sueash2000@yahoo.co.uk or mwarburton7777@hotmail.co.uk