Donny Dancer serenades famous war veteran Ben Parkinson with Your Song

This tear-jerking video shows Doncaster’s beloved ‘Donny Dancer’ Gary Marshall serenading famous war veteran Ben Parkinson with Elton John’s Your Song.

By Ben McVay
Sunday, 6th September 2020, 6:52 pm

Doncaster legend Gary performed the sing-along classic for well-known Doncastrian Ben after recognising him while out and about with his music speaker.

In a moving moment Gary - whose death was announced last weekend on the Donny Dancer Facebook page - points at Ben as he sings ‘my gift is my song and this one’s for you’.

In the video delighted Ben and best mate Roberta Drewitt join Gary singing the chorus, laughing as he appears to finish then picks up the much-loved tune again.

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Ben Parkinson and Roberta Drewitt with Donny Dancer Gary Marshall

Roberta, who recorded the footage while collecting for the Poppy Appeal with Ben in November last year, told how she shared the video this week for the first time after hearing of Gary’s sad death.

So far it has been viewed over 136,000 times.

Roberta and Ben - another famous Doncastrian who suffered terrible injuries while fighting in Afghanistan - both fundraise for Pilgrim Bandits, a charity established to help injured armed forces personnel to live life to the full.

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Mum-of-two Roberta, from Doncaster, told how the heartening video came about when the pair spotted Gary crossing the road with his trusty loudspeaker.

She said: “I asked him if he’d sing us a song and he recognised Ben straight away and said ‘ey up Ben, I’ve got a song for you’.

“Ben was so upset when he heard about Gary - it was so beautiful and something that will stay with us forever.

“People have messaged me saying ‘oh my God - how beautiful’ and I just wanted this to be about Gary. He was so kind and caring - like Ben.”

Though the video shows Gary singing for just over three minutes Roberta described how Gary entertained the pair for another 20 with a medley of classic tunes.

To donated to Pilgrim Bandits click HERE.

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