A GROUP of cricket fans have recorded their own version of a popular song for a New Year single to raise money for a life-saving charity. 

Oxford friends Marcus Boyton, Jon Bell, Guy Henstock and Alan Harris recorded their own special version of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Now. 

They chose the charity to support their friend Julie Holland, who raises money for the cause through long distance runs including marathons. 
Recording the track came about through a charity cricket match which Mr Boyton and Mr Bell organise at Wytham Village Cricket Ground every summer, with this year’s event raising more than £1,000. 

READ MORE: Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens animals given Christmas treats

Mr Boyton, an audio visual design engineer from South Hinksey, said that as part of their fundraising at the match they auctioned off gifts donated by friends and local businesses. 

Musician and producer Nick Moorbath of Oxford's Evolution Recording Studios, who used to own Cowley Road club The Zodiac (now the O2 Academy Oxford), donated two hours of recording time to the cause. 

The friends made a successful bid and recorded a single. They choose Sweet Caroline, long a popular anthem for cricket fans which was also adopted by football supporters during this year's Euros tournament.

Mr Boyton, 59, said: “It  is a very catchy singable song as all sporting chants are. As the song is so well known among sports fans, we hoped it would catch the imagination.” 

Mr Harris – an accomplished musician – laid down the backing track and sung backing harmonies. While Mr Boyton, Mr Bell and Mr Henstock provided the vocals. 

Mr Boyton jokingly added: "Nick is such a great studio engineer he can make even the flattest voice sound melodious. Well nearly, there is only so much technology can do."

Photographer Mr Henstock, from Cowley, said: "This seemed a fun thing for us to do and we are really pleased with the result. Hopefully now it will also make some money for charity."

Oxford Mail: Guy Henstock, John Bell and friends have got together to record a cover of sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. Picture: Ed NixGuy Henstock, John Bell and friends have got together to record a cover of sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. Picture: Ed Nix

Mrs Holland, 51, headteacher of St Nicholas Primary and Nursery School in Old Marston, said: “I was so honoured the boys chose Breast Cancer Now for the charity cricket game this year. A massive £1,100 was raised and we are hoping to raise even more at the next one in July next year, again in Wytham.”

She hopes even more money can be raised with the charity single. 

Mr Bell said: “It is vital that the importance and point to all this is in support of Julie’s dedicated and magnificent charitable efforts for Breast Cancer UK via her JustGiving page.”

The single can be downloaded from websitedev.eu/sweet-caroline/ and donation’s can be made to Mrs Holland’s JustGiving page on justgiving.com/fundraising/julie-holland23


Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on news@nqo.com or 01865 425 445.