A guitar signed by 41 music greats including Paul Weller, Chris Martin and Johnny Marr is being auctioned by Macmillan Cancer Support after being donated by a former cancer patient who collected the autographs over 10 years.
Keith Stubbs, 68, came up with the idea to track down some of his musical heroes and get them to sign the Vox Soloist guitar while he was undergoing treatment for bowel cancer.
He managed to get the stars, who also included Bob Geldof, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, Ray Davies and Brian May to add their names to the instrument by meeting them at soundchecks before gigs, sometimes even travelling to venues straight after having chemotherapy.
Richard Hawley’s was the first signature and other names appearing on the guitar are Van Morrison, Tony Iommi, Cliff Richard, Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, Brian Bennett, Jack Bruce, Matt Bellamy, Bill Wyman, Ian McLagan, Albert Lee, Chris Rea, Joe Brown, Keith Flint, Jools Holland, Ricky Wilson, Kelly Jones, Roy Wood, Steve Winwood, James Dean Bradfield, Andy Fairweather Low, Trevor Burton, Bev Bevan, Steve Gibbons, Graham Coxon, Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Dave Edmonds, Dave Pegg, Jasper Carrott, Tommy Steele and Rod Allen.
Mr Stubbs, from Birmingham, worked as a plumber and heating engineer before falling ill and had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and five operations but is now in remission.
The guitar, which he began to get signed in 2007, is now part of a Macmillan Charity Raceday online auction, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Mr Stubbs said: “I wanted to give something back and help people.
“I had bowel cancer which had spread to my liver and it was when I was sat around the house not able to do anything that I had the idea.
“I’ve been playing since I was 13, and I had this Vox guitar which I thought I could get signed by musicians from the 60’s all the way up to present day, and then auction it to raise money for Macmillan.”
He continued: “In a strange way, cancer has changed my life for the better.
“If I hadn’t had cancer, I probably would still be working, because that’s all I ever knew from the age of 15.
“I had to retire as a tradesman, and it’s given me the chance to meet all of these people.
“They were all great but Elvis Costello and Johnny Marr stood out, they were so down to earth and wanted to talk about the guitar and keep updated with how many more signatures I was getting.
“I just hope now that it raises a bit of money for Macmillan.”
The auction is part of Macmillan Charity Raceday, taking place at York Racecourse on June 17, and bidding is now under way on the auction website until Raceday.
Other lots include Manchester United tickets, a box for eight to see racing and Olly Murs at York Racecourse, a weekend break every month for a year courtesy of Best Western Hotels, and a Woburn golf break.
Macmillan Charity Raceday is a joint effort between the charity and York Racecourse that has taken place annually since 1971, raising more than £7 million in total for Macmillan and other charitable causes.
Mr Stubbs’ guitar lot is now live on the auction website www.macmillanyorkraceday.co.uk and all proceeds will help Macmillan continue to provide emotional, financial, medical and practical support to people affected by cancer.