Fundraising concert for Doncaster musician who died after four year cancer battle

Alan Needham
Alan Needham

A fundraising concert is to be held for a Doncaster musician who died earlier this year after a four year cancer battle.

Brass bandsman Alan Needham, who spent 40 years performing with his beloved Rossington Band, died in January at the age of 65.

Now a concert is to be held in his memory next month with proceeds going to Brain Tumour Research.

He was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in 2014 and was given six months to live but defied medics and even underwent brain surgery while still conscious during his treatment.

However, he eventually lost his fight on January 2 and now musicians are to come together at the Parklands Ballroom on Wheatley Hall Road on April 13 for the concert.

There will be music and dancing to the Brass Players and friends and tickets for the show, which starts at 7.30pm, are priced at £5.

One of Mr Needham's wishes was to see the Rossington Band, which disbanded in 2004, perform one last time and brass band musicians from across the region came together to perform a one-off concert.

He was presented with the 2015 Butlins Excellence Award in recognition of half a century of loyal and dedicated service to the brass band movement .

A gifted player, he also gained success as a conductor working with the likes of Dronfield, Market Rasen and Whitwell bands, winning the Fourth Section Bolsover Entertainment title with Market Rasen in 2012 as well as gaining podium finishes at Butlins, the Midlands Regional Championships, Buxton, Pontins and the NEDBBA contests.

Following his diagnosis, he refused to be beaten by the disease and threw himself into fundraising to help others, helping to raise over £21,000 for people suffering from the same condition.

The father-of-two was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour, a Type 4 Glioblastoma and when friends and former colleagues heard of his plight, a concert was organised to reunite the band once more - with Mr Needham as conductor.

The discovery of Mr Needham's brain tumour came when he collapsed and was unable to speak and believed he was having a stroke. He was rushed into hospital and was given a CT scan, which revealed that he had a tumour almost four centimetres wide, that doctors believe had been there for months. He underwent extremely aggressive chemo-radiation treatment and the euphonium player and also underwent a craniotomy while wide awake.