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MERSEY legend Mike McCartney is sending a hearfelt message to anyone feeling at a low point in their lives – “Never ever give in. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel.”
Speaking in a short film about the pride he feels in becoming All Together NOW!’s first patron, Mike recalls the suffering he and his family went through on hearing that his son, Sonny, had been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident.
It led to Sonny, then 26, having his left leg amputated below the knee.
An emotional Mike says: “He was on a little old-fashioned motorbike and the next thing a BMW – thud – into the side of him, took his leg off.
“Sonny, who is now strong, needed help. You know, it was heavy, but the nicest thing in the world is Sonny asked for help, took help, and he came out the other end.
“That’s why it’s important to never ever give in. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel.”
Sonny has since gone on to establish himself as a world-renowned photographer.
Mike, also an internationally acclaimed photographer and artist, has been a big fan of All Together NOW! since the paper launched in 2005.
He says in the film, produced by Liverpool-based Zut Media: “I am very proud to be the first patron of All Together NOW! – proud and honoured.
“I got involved with All Together NOW! through DadaFest, Disability Arts Forum, where I first met Tom (Dowling). I found out that he did this newspaper about disability and things and I said ‘oh, if you have a newspaper providing information, giving help to people that otherwise won’t know where to go, then that to me is a valuable institution, a valuable outlet’.”
The younger brother of Beatles legend Paul, also has high praise for the charity’s biggest sponsor, Steve Morgan, whose generous philanthropy is helping hundreds of charities across the region.
He says: “Steve is helping a great deal with All Together NOW! So a big shout out for him.”
Two years ago, Mike, 78, 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 his brother Paul’s band Wings before concentrating on photography and art.
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 says. “I’ll be singing the paper’s praises every chance I get … Try and stop me!”