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Bands sound fanfare for Phil, the army's action man hero

PUBLISHED: 16:39 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:24 12 August 2010

RISING TO CHALLENGE: Major Phil Packer on the cliff face.

RISING TO CHALLENGE: Major Phil Packer on the cliff face.

A PARAPLEGIC soldier who recently completed the London Marathon on crutches is to be the guest of honour at a charity concert. Major Phil Packer

A PARAPLEGIC soldier who recently completed the London Marathon on crutches is to be the guest of honour at a charity concert.

Major Phil Packer is expected to attend the Music for Heroes Grand Charity Concert at The Orchard Theatre, in Home Gardens, Dartford, on July 3.

The Royal Artillery Band and Belvedere Concert Band will be joined by new jazz talent and X-Factor contender Shane Hampsheir, from Hartley, at the concert.

Major Packer said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to attend this concert and am sincerely grateful to everyone who has given their time, effort and support to make it a success."

Half of the proceeds will go towards Help for Heroes, which gives support to British servicemen and women wounded in conflict. The other half will go to Ellenor Lions Hospices.

Major Packer added: "I know very well the super assistance Help for Heroes provides to our injured servicemen and women and it is the kindness and generosity from events such as this concert that make all the difference. I am honoured to be invited and sincerely grateful to all those supporting this event."

The two bands will perform favourites from stage and screen, big band swing, pop and rock anthems. Mr Hampsheir, 21, is expected to perform songs from his shows as well as big band favourites.

Major Packer sustained horrific injuries in a rocket attack in Basra, Iraq, last year. Despite being told he would never walk again, his determination and constant intense physiotherapy have helped him complete many physical challenges to raise money for Help for Heroes. He has a personal quest - Phil's Million - to raise £1million for the charity.

Last Friday, he completed the ascent and descent of El Capitan, a 3,000-foot vertical rock face in Yosemite National Park, California.

Dartford-based company Willmott Dixon Construction is sponsoring the charity concert. Tickets for the 7.30pm show are £16, £15 and £13. Call the box office on 01322 220000 or visit www.orchardtheatre.co.uk.

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