Sunderland teacher’s song for victims of Manchester terror attack

John McCabe is urging anyone who listens to his song Big Star to donate to the Manchester attack victims
John McCabe is urging anyone who listens to his song Big Star to donate to the Manchester attack victims

A Sunderland school teacher is hoping to hit the right note with a fund-raising drive for the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

John McCabe is urging anyone who listens to his song Big Star to donate to the fund.

John, who teaches at Sunderland’s Broadway Junior School, wrote the song more than a decade ago, but it has gained a new poignancy in the wake of last week’s horrific events.

Chloe Rutherford, 17, and boyfriend Liam Curry, 19, from South Shields were among the 22 people who lost their lives.

“I have been making music since I was about 17. I play in a band in pubs around Sunderland and the North East,” said John, 54, from Seaham.

“This song was actually written a while back, when I had a friend who was killed in a road accident.”

Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry.

Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry.

Seaham shopkeeper Javed Shah died in 2007 when he was struck by a Toyota Rav4 as he worked at the rear of his Mercedes Sprinter van.

The 39-year-old had pulled into the slip road to the A690 on the southbound carriageway of the A19 to repair a puncture.

“That is where the song came from originally, but it does not mention him personally - it just reflects that feeling of losing someone,” said John.

The song has been on YouTube for a while, but one of John’s friends had commented on its appropriateness in the wake of the terror attack.

My initial thought was just that people would just listen to the song and then pay a pound, but they have been paying more than that.

John McCabe

“A friend asked if they could put a series of images to the song that refer to the Manchester attack and then another asked if I had thought of using it to raise funds for the appeal,” said John.

“That’s basically where we are at the moment.

“I have set up a Just Giving page to allow people to donate. I have never done anything like this before, I didn’t have any idea about it , so when I started it up, it automatically generated a target, which is set at £515.

“We have already raised more than £350, so I am chuffed with that.

Flowers and tributes to the victims of last week's attack left in St Ann's Square in Manchester

Flowers and tributes to the victims of last week's attack left in St Ann's Square in Manchester

“The song is on YouTube and I just thought people could look at the video, listen to the song and if you like it, you would just pay what you want to pay.

“My initial thought was just that people would just listen to the song and then pay a pound, but they have been paying more than that.

“They more they pay, the better, so I am really pleased. It’s great.

I would love more people to listen and donate.”

To donate, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/John-McCabe9

John McCabe hopes to raise funds for the Manchester attack victims

John McCabe hopes to raise funds for the Manchester attack victims