VIDEO: A grandad from Warrington, who survived prostate cancer, has raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK by penning a pop song during lockdown.
Bob Pickthall, aged 70, a retired national housebuilding managing director, teamed up with long-time musician friend Ian Lawton to co-write the track.
The pair have also recorded a music video which is available to view on YouTube by searching ‘IANROB’.
The song titled “When it’s Really Really Over” has been viewed hundreds of times and has already raised over £5,000 for Cancer Research UK on Bob’s online fundraising page CLICK HERE
It describes the happy times we can all hope to look forward to after lockdown, such as spending time with family and friends. It was inspired by Bob’s family, including his 71-year-old wife Jenny – who is a two-time cancer survivor – and their children and grandchildren, who also feature in the video.
Bob wrote the track to help raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK, which is predicting a 25% decline in its fundraising income due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He knows first-hand why research into cancer is so vital after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer twelve years ago. Thanks to life-saving surgery, Bob is now free of the disease. His wife
Jenny has also been successfully treated for breast cancer and lymphoma, with both surgery and chemotherapy.
Bob is now determined to do all he can to ensure that more lives can be saved in the future.
He said: “Having cancer changed my life forever. I’ll never forget the day the doctor broke the news and that feeling of being in complete disbelief. I just couldn’t believe something like this could happen to someone like me, it was like being in a trance.
“I am living proof of why research into cancer is so important and this song is my chance to give something back. Both Jenny and I are incredibly grateful to the scientists who tirelessly work to develop life-saving treatments. Without them, we may not be here today.”
Bob added: “Unfortunately, a lot of Cancer Research UK’s normal sources of funding, such as the Race for Life events, have been cancelled due to the pandemic. The charity is predicting up to a 25% decline in fundraising income this financial year and has already been forced to make £44m cuts to its research spend. Whilst the pandemic will hopefully be behind us this time next year, the need for research into cancer still continues.”
Bob, who grew up in Liverpool and went to the same school as Paul McCartney and George Harrison, has described writing the song as a ‘bucket list ambition’. The professionally-shot video features Bob and his wife Jenny, along with their children Justine, 42, Jonathan, 40, and grandchildren Sadie, 10, and Jessica, 8.
He said: “Like many people, I’ve had a lot of spare time during lockdown and decided that I wanted to something creative and worthwhile with that time. This song is about keeping positive and looking forward to the happy times ahead.
“As a lifelong music fan, writing the track has been a dream come true. It’s been a truly collaborative effort with me writing the lyrics and my good friend Ian writing the melody. My musical influences have been wide and varied but it all started, not surprisingly, with The Beatles.”
Bob has been a dedicated supporter of Cancer Research UK for over a decade. He has raised an incredible £100K by organising charity golf days at Mere Golf and Country Club on behalf of the North West Housebuilders who have been most supportive over the years.
Anna Taylor, North West spokesperson for Cancer Research UK: “Bob’s fundraising has made a huge contribution to Cancer Research UK’s work over the years and we are incredibly grateful for his continued support. We hope that people across the North West will feel inspired by his song and be encouraged to donate to this worthy cause.
“With over 40,000 people diagnosed with cancer every year in the North West of England*, we are absolutely determined to continue creating better cancer treatments for the future. COVID-19 may have slowed us down, but we will never stop.
“Every step our scientists take towards beating cancer relies on every pound raised. We are only able to achieve this thanks to the dedication and commitment of supporters like Bob without whom we would not be able to fund our life-saving research.”
For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit cruk.org