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Teenager's tribute to murdered actor

PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:04 15 March 2010

A teenage singing sensation is today reflecting on the biggest performance of her life at a fundraising event to tackle knife crime in the wake of the murder of a Harry Potter actor.

KESGRAVE: A teenage singing sensation is today reflecting on the biggest performance of her life at a fundraising event to tackle knife crime in the wake of the murder of a Harry Potter actor.

Tania Hambleton, of Pepper Place, who performs under her stage name Tania May, was personally asked to perform at a charity dinner hosted by the parents of Rob Knox, 18, who was stabbed in Sidcup in May 2008.

The actor, who starred in the Harry Potter blockbuster 'The Half Blood Prince' as Marcus Belby, was stabbed and killed in Sidcup in May 2008.

In the wake of his death his parents Colin and Sally Knox have tirelessly campaigned to raise funds to fight knife crime, and after hearing Tania singing on YouTube Mr Knox picked the 16-year-old to sing a tribute ballad in memory of his son.

Although the song was not quite finished in time for the memorial concert Tania sang her version of 'You are so beautiful'.

The former Kesgrave High School pupil said: “I really enjoyed it, it was great fun and for such a good cause.

“Up to now I have always been pretty shy and under-confident, I only started performing in public about two years ago and this was the biggest performance I have ever done.

“I just completely change when I get up on stage, it is like being in a day dream it just happens.”

The music pupil, currently studying at Suffolk New College, said she first received a call about the concert about six months ago.

“Colin (Knox) had written some lyrics about his son and then he heard me on YouTube and called me up and asked me to sing on the night. I felt really honoured to do it.

“The actual song will hopefully be ready in the next few months and we will be releasing it as a single to raise money for the memorial fund.”

Susie Hambleton said her daughter's performance has inspired her to continue to support the fight against knife crime on the streets of this country.

She said: “The evening was so amazing, and she was very excited and honoured to have been chosen to sing live at this huge fundraising event.

“She has always sung, since she was tiny and I am so proud, she has taken time to build her confidence and now seeing her do what she loves is a great feeling.”

After Rob Knox was fatally stabbed outside a bar in Sidcup last May his parents Colin and Sally Knox set up the Rob Knox Memorial Fund.

It aims to raise money to help campaign against street violence, knife and gun crime.

There are also funds available to help one youngster each year follow their dream to be an actor. One child every year is given that opportunity through a place at a drama school in London.

The charity concert last week helped to raise around £14,000 for the fund through an auction and silent auction.

The night was attended by 400 guests, including those who have been similarly affected by gun and knife crime.

The parents of victims Jimmy Mizen, who was also stabbed and killed in Lee in May 2008, and Damilola Taylor, who was stabbed to death in 2000 were also present and have asked Tania to perform at similar concerts next year.

In recognition of their tireless work Mr and Mrs Knox were given the Parents Peace Award at the London Peace Awards ceremony in London on September 23.

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