A GROUP of cricket fans recorded their own version of a popular song for a New Years single to raise money for a charity that saves lives.

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

They chose the charity to support their friend Julie Holland, who raises money for the cause through long-distance races, including marathons.
The track recording took place thanks to a charity cricket match Mr Boyton and Mr Bell host at the Wytham Village Cricket Ground each summer, with this year’s event raising over £ 1,000.

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Mr Boyton, an audiovisual design engineer from South Hinksey, said as part of their fundraising at the game they auctioned off gifts from friends and local businesses.

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

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

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

Mr. Harris – an accomplished musician – set the backing track and sang backing harmonies. While Mr. Boyton, Mr. Bell and Mr. Henstock provided the voice.

Mr Boyton added jokingly, “Nick is such a great studio engineer that he can make even the flattest voice melodic. Well almost, there’s not much technology can do.”

Photographer Mr Henstock, from Cowley, said: “It seemed like a fun thing to do and we are really happy with the result. I hope it will bring in some money for charity as well.”

Guy Henstock, John Bell and friends have come together to record a cover of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. Image: Ed Nix

Ms Holland, 51, principal of St Nicholas Primary and Kindergarten in Old Marston, said: “I was so honored that the boys chose Breast Cancer Now for the game of charity cricket this year. A huge amount of £ 1,100 has been raised and we hope to raise even more at the next one in July of next year, also in Wytham. ”

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

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

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

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