Fundraiser in memory of South Tyneside children's entertainer after tragic death following Covid battle
More than £1,000 has been raised in memory of popular South Tyneside children's entertainer Tony Junior who sadly died after battling coronavirus.
Tony Junior was a well-known children’s entertainer, loved by families in South Tyneside, after spending decades performing in shows at South Shields’ Amphitheatre.
He starred in the likes of the Kids Fun-Fest and Tommy’s Parties in the town, held as part of South Tyneside Council’s holiday events programmes.
But on Monday, August 23 the council confirmed that Tony had sadly died and paid tribute to the man who ‘brought smiles to the faces of so many children and families over the years.’
In the days following his death, a Go Fund Me fundraiser was set up by friend, Martin Duffy, aiming to raise funds for Tony’s wife, Claire. Since then £1,240 has been raised in Tony’s memory.
His family may decide to donate Brysons Animal Shelter in Gateshead, a cause they supported by volunteering to walk the dogs.
In a tribute to Tony on the fundraising page, Martin said: “He was many things to many people, whether it was a wonderful family performer, a world class Santa, a talented guitarist, a mentor, an advisor but overall a larger than life personality who had such a passion for magic and entertaining.”
Tony, who was first seen on television in the Channel 4 Show ‘Seasiders,’ also performed and managed events across the North East.
In the days leading up to his tragic death he had been updating followers on his business Facebook page, Tony Junior - the entertainer, about his battle with coronavirus.
He spoke of how he had been hospitalised with the virus in early August and urged people to get the vaccine, something he had not been able to do before he became unwell.
In a post on the public Facebook page he said: “I’m only writing this because anyone apprehensive about the vaccine, you need to know what could be your alternative.
“Everyone who is apprehensive has their story. I'm not preaching, just letting you know of my experiences.
“It's a game of Russian Roulette. You take the vaccine or take your chances with Covid.”
To donate visit: https://gofund.me/978b7ced