December 10 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 17, 2013
He has performed in front of thousands of people across Europe, his powerful voice earning him praise from critics and fans alike.
But Dutch tenor Mario Veltman’s next performance will be his most poignant to date, as he takes to the stage of Chantry’s Kingfisher pub, to raise funds in memory of his friend Kevin Ridgeon.
Kevin, 54, was joint landlord of the venue alongside his wife Julie and the couple became good friends with the former Holland’s Got Talent finalist after first meeting at a pub they used to run in Harwich.
Mario will perform at the Kingfisher tomorrow and Julie hopes customers and friends of Kevin will turn out to support a good cause.
The mother-of-two said: “We have just maintained contact over the years.
“It is going to be a nice evening and a rare chance for people to see someone of his calibre performing. It is going to be quite emotional for us but we are looking forward to seeing him”
Kevin died last month from injuries he sustained when he fell backwards from an articulated lorry which he had driven to Lichfield, near Birmingham.
His funeral at the end of September was attended by dozens of friends and family who wanted to pay tribute to the grandfather-of-one, who had started driving lorries again to help the pub he loved.
Julie said the family have been overwhelmed by the support they have continued to receive since his death.
She added: “We have had amazing support, I can’t begin to say how great it has been and how grateful we are.
“It is still really raw and really emotional, but the support has just been amazing – I never for one minute thought it could be like that.”
Mario’s performance will take place at the Kingfisher Pub, in Hawthorn Drive, from 8.30pm tomorrow.
Entry is free and the funds raised will go towards the Town 102’s, Town Kids Trust.