A celebrity-packed charity gala pays tribute to the life of inspirational Luke Williams

The gala was a celebrity-packed tribute to Luke Williams

A celebrity line-up wowed a packed Winter Gardens for this year’s Williams Weekender charity event in memory of former Hartsdown teacher Luke Williams.

X Factor star Honey G and fellow contestant Che Chesterman and The Voice finalist Lydia Lucy  were joined by Margate’s own rap star Mic Righteous and a host of homegrown talent in a night that was a fitting tribute to Luke, who lost his battle with cancer in 2014.

The event was organised by Luke’s Legacy, the Luke Williams Trust, which was set up by family and friends including Liam Morris, to help Luke fulfil a bucket list and complete an inspiring charity fundraising drive.

The former East Kent College football coach was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth on his 28th birthday in June 2013. It was hoped that the worst was behind him after he underwent major surgery and intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy but tragically Luke discovered he had secondary cancer in his lungs a year later.

He was immediately put onto another very intense chemotherapy treatment which made him extremely ill.

Luke and Linda Photo Andreas Photography

After consultation with his specialist it was agreed that Luke should be able to enjoy a certain quality of life rather than endure the pain and grief the treatment would inevitably cause him and his loved ones for what could be just an extra few months.

Sadly Luke lost his battle to cancer on October 9, 2014 but he saw out his remaining months in his own unique style.

With help from his family and friends, Luke was able to create and fulfil an action packed Bucket List, which included marrying his one and only true love – Linda Birzniece in an emotional ceremony at Smiths Court Hotel, Cliftonville.

Luke also led a team of his closest friends and family on an inspirational charity drive that surpassed all expectations, raising over £26,000 for the Pilgrims Hospice and Cancer Research UK.

Luke’s Legacy, now The Luke Williams Charitable Trust, has continued the  work with fundraising events ranging from 5-a-side matches to sponsored dog walks and the Williams Weekender.

Local talent on the night of this year’s charity gala included Ramsgate acoustic duo Alola Rose, youngsters at Wisewood Dance Academy and Kent magician Martin Collins.

Team Luke, made up of pals including former Big Brother contestant Danny Wisker and kitted out by Big Red Branding, were there to make sure the bash ran smoothly.

Danny also organised a photo booth for guests which proved a hit.

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The next day (August 20) saw Team Luke, family and friends clear their heads with the annual charity dog walk  from Margate Winter Gardens along the promenade to Luke’s bench.

Those taking part then back to the Winter Gardens  for entertainment, fairground games, food, drink and fun for the whole family.

The Luke Williams Charitable Foundation supports a host of charities including Pilgrims Hospices, Caring for Connor, Macmillan and YouCan youth cancer support which recently bought a holiday home in Westgate for youngsters battling the disease and their families or friends.

Find out more about all the events and the charity here  or email info@lukes-legacy.co.ukto get involved.

With thanks to Danny Wisker for Weekender photos