Elm Park's singing sergeant to raise money for limbless veterans
PUBLISHED: 08:30 24 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:30 24 March 2017
A former solder, turned semi-professional singer aims to raise hundreds of pounds for a charity that helps limbless ex-serviceman.
Gary Driscoll, 57, from Eyhurst Avenue, Elm Park, served five tours in Northern Ireland during the height of The Troubles in the Royal Green Jackets regiment.
He became known as the “famous singing sergeant” at Wimbledon in 1992, when rain stopped play and he entertained a crown of 11,000 in Centre Court.
“[John] McEnroe and [Andre] Agassi were due to play semi-final but rain kept stopping it,” said Gary.
“The BBC didn’t have an idea what to. Because I was known for singing, they asked me if I would sing to the audience from the royal box.
“I sang three songs. It lifted the roof. All the servicemen started doing the conga and got the crowd moving.
“Four years later, Cliff Richard did it [sing at Wimbledon].”
With a unique voice, Gary is able to sing in the styles of greats such as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Al Jolson, John Holt, Matt Monroe and UB40.
His talents have even taken him on national TV on BBC One’s Saturday night show, Tonight’s the Night hosted by John Barrowman.
Gary’s wife Maria added: “Blesma is a fantastic charity who look after veterans, specifically those that have become limbless as a result of serving their country, in one way or another.
“Gary will be making a donation from the door takings, along with raffle takings.
“We have students from St Edward’s Church of England School and Sixth Form College [London Road, Romford] who will be there to sell the raffle tickets, as part of their community service.”
Blesma, a military charity for limbless veterans is based in Chadwell Heath and is dedicated to ex-service men and women who have suffered life-changing limb loss or the use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight in the honourable service of our country.
An Evening with Gary Driscoll will be held at the Circus Tavern on Saturday. Doors open at 7pm.
Tickets cost £15. Visit circustavernnightclub.com/events for information.