Carl Frampton, Gerry Armstrong and Willie Anderson among the stars coming out for concert to say big thank you to NHS

Leading sports and showbiz personalities have been lined up for a major fundraising concert to acknowledge the heroic efforts of the NHS staff in the Province during the pandemic.

By Graeme Cousins
Monday, 28th March 2022, 2:08 pm

Boxer Carl Frampton, comedian John Linehan AKA May McFettridge, TV and radio presenter Gerry Kelly, singer Hugo Duncan, former NI international footballer Gerry Armstrong and ex-Ulster and Ireland rugby player Willie Anderson are among those taking to the stage for a special ‘Night Of The Stars’.

It takes place at the Tullyglass House Hotel in Ballymena on Thursday night at 7.30pm, after being twice postponed because of the uncertainty on holding public gatherings.

One of the organisers is David Lewers, a retired school advisor from Ballymena.

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From left to right are: Paul Gordon (McKinney Competitions), Adrian Logan, Liam Beckett, Carl Frampton, and Sean McKinney (McKinney Competitions)

He said: “Two years ago we all stood outside our front doors and applauded these people.

“Now we can go a step further to express our gratitude in a really meaningful way.”

A cheque for £10,000 has already been donated by the Tyrone-based competitions company, McKinney Competitions.

Health Minister Robin Swann is a special guest at the concert and senior executives from the five health trusts, who will receive an equal share of the concert proceeds to be handed over to the NHS workers, are also due to attend.

Hugo Duncan’s backing group, Country Harmony, are on the bill along with two other bands – Picture The Sound and Musketeers, both from Ballymena.

Vocalist Justin McGurk and comedian Gerry Donnelly have been booked and UTV sports journalist Ruth Gorman is also on the list.

All the artists are giving their services free of charge.

Radio presenters and sports pundits Liam Beckett and Adrian Logan have been heavily involved in organising the event.

Adrian, whose wife Monica is a district nurse, said: “There was a time when we never thought this would happen.

“Dates were set aside and then they had to be cancelled.

“But it has been incredible the way people responded to be on the stage.

“They went out of their way to make themselves available because they know this is such a worthy cause.”

Liam Beckett added: “This is such a great opportunity to say a huge thank you, and we are forever grateful to all our friends who so willingly rallied around, and who are giving so generously of their time.

“It promises to be a night like no other.”

Tickets, costing £25 per person, can be obtained by emailing [email protected]

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