Bands in tribute to tragic pair

TWO bandmates from Sudbury who died six years apart will be remembered with a charity gig next week.

Lee Dunford and Liam Steer performed together while attending Sudbury Upper School. Mr Dunford died from Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2006, aged 21, and Mr Steer, 27, collapsed while teaching in Thailand after suffering a heart attack in July last month.

The White Horse in Sudbury is hosting a musical celebration on Sunday, August 26, headlined by 1990s indie stars Chris Helme of The Seahorses and Mark Morriss of The Bluetones.

Jan Carrigan, Mr Steer’s mother, said: “Liam and Lee were very close, and when Lee died it prompted Liam to go backpacking and eventually to live in Thailand.

“I wanted to do something to raise awareness of the diseases that both of them had.”

Organiser Edd Keogh, who works at The White Horse and was friends with both men, said: “I heard the tragic news about Liam and, after speaking to Liam’s mum, we really wanted to do something to give people a chance to remember them both.

“Many people who knew Lee also knew Liam and so this has been a particularly tough time for them. I’m glad to have the involvement of Lee and Liam’s parents and to have two such big acts playing in Sudbury in their memory,” he added.

Mr Morriss will be a familiar name to Sudbury music fans, having performed twice at LeeStock, the annual music event organised by The White Horse, which has raised £37,000 for The Willow Foundation in five years. The Seahorses were formed by Stone Roses guitarist John Squire and had two top ten hits before splitting in 1999.

Rosie Dunford, Lee’s mother, said: “We just felt that, as Liam and Lee were very good friends and had the same group of friends, this was an ideal opportunity for people to remember both of them.

“It is just so unfair for both boys’ friends.”

The event will also feature acts including Two Steps Twice, Abbie Broom and Andrew Heller.

Entry is limited and by ticket only at a cost of £5 each. For more information or to buy tickets visit The White Horse or call 07790 431127.

l Mr Steer’s memorial service will be held at St Gregory’s Church in Sudbury tomorrow from 2pm. Mrs Carrigan requested that there are family flowers only.