Last Sunday evening A Touch FarVetched gathered together a number of former Swans in the opulent surroundings of Morgan’s Hotel to raise money for two extremely worthy causes.
We sang, we danced, we drank (some more than others, eh Samantha?!), we gasped at incredible magic tricks and we laughed at the anecdotes of Alan Curtis, Lee Trundle and Kris O’Leary.
But throughout the night there was a deeply sentimental poignancy as we remembered the main reason we were there – to pay tribute to fallen Jack Lenny Johnrose.
I’ve written in the past that Lenny was one of my heroes – I loved watching his all action style in a Swans shirt and that admiration went through the stadium roof when he scored the all important goal in THAT game agains Hull.
And then I came to idolise him all over again when I discovered he had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and I watched him fight this evil affliction with the sort of courage and dignity I know I could never find.
Like many Swans fans I was devastated at the news that Len had finally lost that fight and had instead found peace as Motor Neurone Disease finally claimed him.
I’m not in the slightest bit ashamed to say that as I sit here typing this article I’m fighting back tears that are determined to escape – the simply horrible effects of MND will do that to even the hardest heart.
I was close to losing it at the event itself – our Evening With Curt & Friends night – first of all when host Kev Johns led a minute’s applause for Super Lenny Johnrose and then again when Curt, Kris and Trunds shared their thoughts on the midfielder and man that served the Swans with distinction.
The practical side of the night though forced me to hold things together and get on with the task of raising money for two charities – the South West Wales branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Swans’ Former Players Association.
And boy did we raise some serious money! We were cruising steadily past the two grand mark as Kev Johns prepared to run the auction. But before he did so he turned to me and delivered a piece of news I was totally unaware of…in fact the repair crews are still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor at the news that Martin Morgan had personally donated £1,000 to take our final figure to a hefty £3,500.
That money will be split evenly between the two charities, the FPA cash will be uploaded to our JustGiving page and a cheque for £1,750 will be handed over to the MNDA in the next couple of weeks.
Once again I’d like to issue a couple of thank yous for the help and support we received that made this event the success it’s been:-
* All of the table sponsors you see in the video above
* The Two Kates and Martin himself at Morgan’s Hotel for supplying a free venue, free food, free MONEY (!) and endless advice and support
* Alan Curtis, Lee Trundle, Kris O’Leary and the irrepressible Kev Johns for not only entertaining the crowd but joining right in the heart of them, mixing freely, signing stuff and having endless photos taken
* Swansea City Football Club, and Cath in particular, for supporting and providing a number of items for the raffle and auction – I’m particularly looking forward to enjoying this evening’s game against Reading from the comfort of the Alan Curtis Lounge after making good on my promise to bag this in the auction at all costs!
* Singers Grace Parry and Gareth Lewis plus magician Charles Anthony for dazzling our audience with their talent
* Artist Simon ‘Chinook’ Daniels for creating the stunning artwork that was turned into numerous raffle and auction items
* Our brand new ATFV videographer Luke Hellier – we’ll have lots of footage to put up online in the next few days, all thanks to this talented young man behind the camera
* SAMANTHA – the inspiration behind the event, and without whom I could never have made his happen
Here at ATFV we’ve done many charity events with varying degrees of success. Some have worked, some have flopped but all have raised some much needed cash for good causes in the Swansea community.
But I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is the most successful event we have ever run…not because it’s the most profitable night we’ve ever done, it’s because of all of those people involved, because of the nature of the night and the talent on display…