THE 15th annual Roy’s Relay Tapathon raised £12,720 for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
The event in January featured hundreds of dancers from 18 West Yorkshire dance schools – including several in Huddersfield – and was held at the North Bridge Leisure Centre in Halifax.
Lung cancer remains the biggest of the cancer killers, accounting for 35,000 deaths in the UK alone each year.
Research carried out by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation forms the basis of the clinical trials now underway in London, Cambridge and Liverpool which will hopefully lead to a national screening programme saving many lives each year.
The Tapathon was a six-hour relay of near non-stop tap performances in honour of Roy.
Scholes-born Roy – a dancer, singer, musician and comedian – died from lung cancer in 1994 aged 62, despite being a non-smoker.
The Tapathon was founded in 1997 by Roy’s friends Derek Hamer and Vera Hamer who had danced alongside him many years ago. Derek and Vera are not related.
Vera said: “Derek decided to set the Tapathon up when Roy was dying.
“We were only going to do 10 years but we’ve now done 15 so we’ve done our bit.’’
This means that since it was set up the Tapathon has raised almost £190,000 for the charity. Added to other events organised by friends of Roy’s from the war years the total is just over £240,000.
This year’s fundraiser was the last to be organised by Derek and Vera before the reins are handed over to Janet Austin Tappers, of Brighouse. Performers from toddlers to pensioners tapped in time to a variety of music from show tunes, to pop and rock songs.