A BUMPER charity night for the regiment of fallen Rawmarsh soldier James Leverett has raised over £640.
Family and friends of the former soldier, who died last year in Afghanistan, staged an all day talent show as the latest Rawmarsh fundraiser.
Chris Thompson and Clare Thompson of the Star Inn linked up with James’ mum Sharon Leverett to organise the event that was supported by community traders.
And joining the raw Rawmarsh talent were a host of celebrity lookalikes including the town’s own Roy ‘Clubby’ Brown, the infamous ‘Frank Gallagher’, an ‘almost Britney’ and a Harry Hill.
“It was a great effort over all,” said landlord Chris, who donned a dress and joined the rest of the Star staff to belt out a final number of All That Jazz, after previous performances with his guitar.
Youngsters had their own contest throughout Saturday afternoon, after which 15 adult acts ranging from bands and dancers to a stunning rendition of the Full Monty followed.
The latter was performed by six of James’ former pals from the Royal Dragoon Guards, who, along with the War Veterans’ association, will benefit from the night.
Calling themselves ‘Full Viking’, they gave their own version of the film and stage classic.
it was up to Clubby Brown to warm up the packed pub for the evening’s entertainment, and the initial act, a ‘Moulin Rouge spectacular with can-can’ featured Sharon Leverett, with James’ girlfriend and mother of his baby Tiffany Lound, along with Jodi Hill and Stayci Brown.
“Every act got a good round of applause”, said Chris, who had rehearsed for his acts only twice before the big event. “There was a great deal of community support and Sharon was tearful for most of the night - she thoroughly enjoyed it and was overwhelmed by what people had done.
“We’re hoping to do the same thing again next year, for the same cause”.
Chris and Clare were put back in the spotlight at the end of the show, when Sharon presented them with flowers and a tee shirt.
But the eventual trophy winner was announced as Sue Burgiss for her Rod Stewart rendition.
Earlier, the ‘young Rawmarsh talent’ event was won by Rawmarsh Methodist Church-based group, Haters Make Us Famous, who won tickets and backstage passes to the Rotherham Fake Festival.
A formal presentation of proceeds from the night will take place in the future. Funds are still being boosted by wrist bands and Dragoon Guards’ dvds ( with footage including James Leverett) on sale at the pub.
The talent night was originally planned after Sharon Leverett hoped to place a memorial bench that was made for her at Rawmarsh cemetery where James is buried.
She was told she could only site a standard bench at a cost of £1800, so the Star Inn launched the night as an appeal towards that sum. Intervention by the Times later resulted in cemetery managers Dignity donating a bench to honour James.