FIRST PATRON: Mike McCartney. PICTURE by Mike’s son, Sonny
ACCLAIMED Merseyside photographer and community campaigner Mike McCartney has become the first Patron of the All Together NOW! charity.
Mike, also a renowned artist and musician, said: “I’ve been a big fan of All Together NOW! from the beginning, as its heart is in the right place.
“Everyone should be doing what they possibly can to keep this great, original newspaper alive and kicking as too many people out there are digitally excluded – despite all the technology!”
The younger brother of Beatles legend Paul added: “Without All Together NOW! – the only newspaper of its kind in Britain – people wouldn’t get to know what’s going on in the world to help them!”
Four years ago, his youngest son Sonny, then aged 26 – also an internationally acclaimed photographer – had his left leg amputated below the knee, following a motorbike accident.
“That was a particularly tough time for all of us,” Mike recalls. “But Sonny bounced back and is now doing all kinds of great things with his ‘I CAN do that!’ attitude.”
Two years ago, Mike, 77, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours for his services to the community.
Under the name Mike McGear, he shot to fame in 1960s pop group the Scaffold, alongside poet Roger McGough and John Gorman, having chart success with tracks such as Thank U Very Much, Liverpool Lou and Lily the Pink.
In the 1970s Mike – full name Peter Michael McCartney – collaborated with Paul’s band Wings before embarking on a career as a successful photographer and artist.
Now he is spending more time helping local communities.
“It’s an honour and I’m chuffed to join the All Together NOW! team,” he said. “I’ll be singing the paper’s praises every chance I get … try and stop me!”
The charity’s editor and coordinator Tom Dowling said: “We are delighted that Mike has come on board. He knows all about the devastation that disability can bring to families and knows how much our work is helping people.
“We’ve got a great newspaper. We’ve just got to find ways to keep it all going. And we’re sure Mike will do all he can to help us to do just that!”