Birmingham & Black Country

Cliff Richard Birmingham fans' 70th birthday baby gift

Sir Cliff Richard performing in concert
Image caption Sir Cliff's younger sister Joan is a member of the Birmingham fan club

Cliff Richard fans have raised £10,000 for the neo-natal unit at Birmingham Women's Hospital to mark the singer's 70th birthday.

He is performing at the Royal Albert Hall in London this week but has given himself Thursday off to celebrate.

His sister Joan presented him with a card and letter from the Birmingham fans over breakfast, the club said.

Club president Ann Bew said their 1,200 members helped pay for a special care baby unit room, dedicated to him.

"The card, doesn't have 70 written on it or anything like that but it features a tiny baby in an incubator and there was a letter inside that tells him the fans have paid for this special care baby room for him that is going to save lives for years and years to come."

'Remember the babies'

Mrs Bew said the Cliff Richard Fan Club of Birmingham had also helped the city's hospital for his 60th birthday.

Image caption The fans' money has helped to pay for a new baby unit in the hospital

She said she did not know why the club originally chose to support the hospital, but it had seemed natural for members to continue to support it now.

"Ten years ago we raised money for three Resuscitaire cots to help new born infants and I know of at least three fan club members' grandchildren who owe their lives to those cots."

Mrs Bew said fan club member Marie Richards, from Quinton, Birmingham, had been a driving force in the fundraising effort, reminding everyone to "think of the babies".

The money was raised in seven months through coffee mornings, family photography days, sponsored events and donations.

Birmingham Women's Hospital said it would like to invite Sir Cliff and some of the fans to see the room.

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