AIR GUITAR: Matt and Sue Francis will be performing in a charity concert at Romaldkirk to raise funds for the air ambulance
AIR GUITAR: Matt and Sue Francis will be performing in a charity concert at Romaldkirk to raise funds for the air ambulance

AFTER medics flew to the rescue of her husband, a dale musician has organised a charity concert to raise cash for the “invaluable” service”.

Seven years ago Matt Francis, from Romaldkirk, was left pinned underneath his heavy Harley Davidson motorbike with his foot pointing in the wrong direction after “going over in the gravel”.

He said: “It was a single bike accident and it was one of only two times I have gone over on the bike. I was pinned under the bike and I thought this isn’t good and I called for help.”

First on the scene were medics from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) who landed their helicopter in the field behind the village reading room.After lifting the bike off Mr Francis they were able to administer morphine and manipulated his foot so it pointed the right way by which time a road going ambulance had also arrived on the scene.

The couple were given the option of going in the air ambulance to hospital or in an “ordinary ambulance” and they chose the latter.

Mr Francis said: “I suppose I’ll always regret not going in the helicopter for the experience, but we had young children and it would have meant Sue would have been travelling through to James Cook University Hospital instead of Darlington. But I am so grateful to them and the help they gave me.”

At hospital Mr Francis had to undergo a lengthy operation and remained in hospital for five days then spent a further three months in a wheelchair while his ankle healed.

Mrs Francis, who shares a love of music with her husband, has organised the charity concert to raise valuable funds for the GNAAS. The couple are both members of bands and will both be performing during the evening, something they have never done in their own village.

She said: “I’ve played in Cotherstone, Gainford and in Scotland, but never in Romaldkirk so it’s quite nerve-wracking.”

Mrs Francis added: “When you live in the dale you are aware of the Great North Air Ambulance and we think it is a really great service, especially as they were first on the scene when Matt had his accident. We just wanted to say thank you.”

The concert, which will take place on Saturday, May 11, at the village hall from 7pm and there will be an eclectic mix of folk rock, indie, rock punk, Irish Americana and modern country.

Alongside Mr Francis’ band, Easylife, and Mrs Francis’ modern country group, The Heady Hannahs, there will be three other bands performing – Countryboys, Coated Ambassadors and Dead Derts.

Tickets for the event are limited and it is advised to book in advance.

Tickets cost £5 and can be booked by ringing Mrs Francis on 07899 692784. There will be a raffle, bar and food available through the evening with all funds raised going to charity.