STARS who performed at a charity night in memory of a South Tyneside youngster said they were proud to be part of it.
The event, held at the Customs House, in South Shields, was organised by Chris Ramsey in honour of his young half cousin, Jack Leggett.
The tragic nine-year-old, of Primrose Avenue South Shields, died from a brain tumour just three days before Christmas. He had been diagnosed just two months earlier.
Jack’s father and Chris’s cousin, Alfie Leggett, and his partner Susan Clarkson, were helped through their ordeal by children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, which benefited from Sunday night’s gig at the Mill Dam venue.
The event, included stand up from Hebburn creator Jason Cook, Jarrow’s Carl Hutchinson, Al Murray, best known for his character the Pub Landlord, and music from Lindisfarne’s Billy Mitchell and superstar Ed Sheeran, whose identity was kept a secret until he walked out onto the stage.
The night raised more than £8,000 for the charity but the final sum is yet to be calculated. South Shields mum Trisha Burns also got involved by shaving her hair during the interval and borough singer Rosie Winter performed a special duet with Ed.
After coming off stage, Al said: “That something good could come from what has happened is really special.
“I hope to come back to South Shields. It’s a lovely venue and I’ve not played here before –it’s got a great atmosphere.”
Jason, who writes the BBC2 sitcom in which Chris plays Jack Pearson, added: “It was great to be asked to come along. We do a lot for each other and Chris was part of the big Hebburn charity event we did last year.
“Hopefully, it’ll raise a lot for the charity. The tickets all sold out within hours. I think we’ll make a lot of money, which will be great.”
Lindisfarne’s Billy, who performed young Jack’s favourite song, Run For Home, said: “The audience were great and they sang along – they did everything they were supposed to.
“I didn’t know it was Jack’s favourite song until Chris told me. Obviously it’s heartbreaking that the little laddie lost his life.
“It is awful but hopefully tonight’s concert will raise some money and maybe save some other little lads and lasses.” Carl, who supports Chris on tour, added: “I couldn’t believe I was asked when I heard about the other acts that are on – it was nice to be a part of it and it’s a lovely cause.
“I know we’ve already raised £8,000, and I hope we can do another couple.”
After coming off stage, Ed said: “It was fun, very fun, I really enjoyed it.
“It was my first time playing in South Shields, and I got a very warm welcome. It was pretty much an instant ‘yes’ when Chris asked me – it’s something that I needed to do.
“It’s a very worthy cause, a heartbreaking cause actually, but it’s nice to know that people are rallying around to raise money.”
Chris added: “It was a phenomenal success and I was over the moon that my friends came up to do it.”