Smiths man to stage huge benefit concert

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Andy Rourke announces ‘Manchester Versus Cancer’

Former Smiths bass player Andy Rourke has announced details of a huge benefit concert for 2006.

The Charlatans, Badly Drawn Boy, ex-Stone Roses member Mani and New Order’s Peter Hook have already offered their support for the Manchester Versus Cancer event, which is due to take place on January 28 at the city’s MEN Arena.

Rourke was inspired to put on the concert following the news that his manager’s sister and father had been diagnosed with cancer.

Along with friends, he decided to attempt to raise £1 million for alternatives to chemotherapy at Manchester’s Christie Hospital – Europe’s largest cancer treatment and research centre.

Speaking about the gig, Rourke said: “It will bring together people and bands that have made Manchester famous. It will be huge and the idea is that this will be the start of an annual event to raise money for charity whether it is helping cancer or arthritis. It will be bigger and bigger each year, the highlight of the musical calendar.”

Money will be raised through sponsorship and ticket and merchandise sales. More names are expected to join the line-up nearer the event.