Sprowston pub raises nearly �2k in memory of regular

A pub has raised almost �2,000 with a bank holiday bandathon event in memory of a former regular who lost his brave battle with breast cancer.

Jason Leech, 44, finally succumbed to breast cancer at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital earlier this month, with his wife Rachel by his side.

Mr Leech, of a former regular at the Brickmakers pub, Sprowston Road, Norwich bravely spoke out about his illness in a bid to raise awareness about male breast cancer and help others who had been struck down the disease.

Since his death, Mr Leech, who lived in Bramerton, south of Norwich, has been described by an 'inspiration' by his wife and almost everyone who knew him.

Pam South, landlady of the Brickmakers pub, held a bandathon between noon and midnight on Easter Monday in honour of the former friend and regular with all money raised from the event going to cancer charities.

The event, which raised a total of �1856.64 for the Breast Cancer Campaign and Cancer Research UK, was attended by more than 400 people.

People paid �2 at the door for the event, which also included a barbecue, but families were also able to take part in a number of activities for charity on the day including face painting, bouncy castle and tombola.

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Mrs South's daughter, Charley, who runs the pub with her mother, said: 'It was just an awesome day - we couldn't have asked for anything better.

'We were a bit worried because it was such good weather and sometimes it goes the other way and people want to go down the beach or stay in the garden, but we had more than 400 here during the day - it was just amazing. Jason was a great friend and an inspiration to so many.'

Of the money raised �1,000 will be going to Cancer Research UK - a figure which will be matched by Barclays bank doubling the total to �2,000, and 856.64 to the Breast Cancer Campaign.

Mrs Leech, who attended the event, said: 'It was a lovely day - a really, really lovely day. They (The Brickmakers) done themselves proud and Jason too,'

Mr Leech, right, formerly of Aylesbury Close, New Catton, had one of his breasts removed after the small lumps under his arms and bigger lump under his nipple were diagnosed as breast cancer in 2004.

He endured chemotherapy and radiotherapy following the discovery and appeared to be on the mend, but last year was given the devastating news it had returned, not only to his breast area, but to other parts of the body, including his lung, liver bones and neck.

A funeral service and celebration of Mr Leech's life will take place at St Faith's Crematorium at 12.30pm on Thursday, May 5 with the wake afterwards at the Blueberry pub. People are urged to wear bright colours.

Would you like to pay tribute to a loved one? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk