A group of students have organised a concert to raise money for cancer research in memory of their friend who died from leukaemia.
Angus Rowland was a talented budding guitarist before he died in 2011, aged 13.
Since then St Paul’s Catholic College Sixth Form students Tom Blunt, Ross Campbell, Ollie Hopkins, Jake Tweddle and Angus’s brother Ed have set up rock band In Loving Memory to raise money for research into the cancer which took their friend and brother.
And they have organised Rock to Beat Blood Cancer on February 21 at their college in Burgess Hill.
Ollie met Angus in Year 7. He said: “We both enjoyed music and drama. We were close friends and would talk all the time especially when he became ill and had to spend so much time in hospital.
“I was devastated when he died. I wanted to do something to keep his memory alive and raise money for research to find a cure.”
The band formed in 2012 and have already raised more than £2,000 for the charity.
“We played one of Angus’ favourite songs, Sweet Child O’ Mine at his funeral so forming the band In Loving Memory seemed the right thing to do,” Ollie added.
Angus Rowland was a classmate of all band members until he died in 2011.
They spent as much time as possible with him at hospital and home.
Angus’ brother Ed said: “Angus was awesome at playing the guitar and he was given a Gibson guitar from the Rays of Sunshine charity which he loved. Playing this gave him great comfort in his final weeks.
“His friends asked me to join them in setting up the band in memory of Angus and to use our music to raise money for the charity that our family set up in his name.
“I’m sure Angus would be proud of what we have achieved.”
The students and Ed have played a number of gigs in the past few years including a beach front set at Alfresco’s Restaurant in Brighton.
Elizabeth, Angus and Edwards mother, said:“We are very proud of the boys for their hard work in planning and organizing this event.
“They have organized a great evening and have the support of some fantastic local bands. Since forming In Loving Memory, they have taken every opportunity to raise money for The Angus Rowland ForgetMeNot Fund and awareness of our work. They are outstanding young people.”
Later this year, in June, they will also be performing at Party in the Park in Burgess Hill. Angus would have turned 18 at Christmas and four of the band will be leaving college this June.
They decided to organise this gig before going on to university.
The Angus Rowland ForgetMeNot Fund has raised more than £130k for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
Jonathan Rowland said, “Our nightmare began in October 2010 when Angus, then 13, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
“We have faced some very dark and terrible times since his death in May 2011 and started our fundraising to help find solutions so that other families would not have to sit and watch their children die from a blood cancer.”
“The love, support and generosity that people have shown to us has kept us going forward. We hope that people will come along and enjoy Rock to Beat Blood Cancer and raise money for Leukaemia Research”
Joining In Loving Memory in Rock to Beat Blood Cancer are three great local bands, Mile High City, The Pumps and Eleven Eleven.
Doors will open at 6.30pm with the performance starting at 7pm. Tickets priced at £5 are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/inlovingmemory