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Tuesday, 12 May, 1998, 06:14 GMT 07:14 UK
Cancer centre fulfils Roy Castle's dream
Roy Castle
Roy Castle was an active campaigner against lung cancer and passive smoking
The world's first specialist lung cancer research centre will be opened by Sir Cliff Richard in memory of his friend, the entertainer Roy Castle.

Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff will officially open the centre in memory of his late friend
Sir Cliff will tour the Roy Castle International Centre for Lung Cancer Research in Liverpool before performing the opening ceremony in front of a host of celebrity guests.

Roy Castle, who hosted BBC's Record Breakers, conceived the idea for a dedicated centre to support research being carried out into the disease.

His idea followed the establishment of The Lung Cancer Fund by leading local surgeon Ray Donnelly amid growing concern over the spread of the killer disease in the Merseyside region.

Three years later, the entertainer, with the aid of his wife, Fiona, launched the Tour of Hope Appeal to raise the 12m needed to finance the foundation.

National costumes

Non-smoker Roy died of lung cancer in 1994 having fought the disease for two years.

Fiona Castle
Fiona Castle will be joined by celebrity guests
He always claimed to have contracted cancer through playing in smoky jazz clubs in the early days of his career.

Roy's widow - a leading figure in the fund-raising campaign - will be joined by celebrity guests including Sir Harry Secombe, Cheryl Baker, Faith Brown, Gloria Hunniford, Jean Boht, Johnny Hamp, Robert Powell and Frankie Vaughan.

The ceremony will include a performance by children dressed in national costumes from across the world emphasising Roy Castle's wish that the centre should be "for my children and my children's children".

Following the official opening of the cancer centre, the VIP party will depart for a celebration lunch at the Anfield home of Liverpool Football Club, which has been a staunch supporter of the appeal.

Sir Cliff and fellow veterans Harry Secombe, The Drifters and The Merseybeats will later provide the all-star cabaret entertainment at a fundraising dinner.

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