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Roger Daltrey dedicates final gig curating TCT concerts to ‘unsung heroes’

Roger Daltrey has given his final performance as curator of the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) gigs following 24 years at the helm.

The Who star, 80, who kick-started the concert series back in 2000, announced in January that he would step down.

Teenage Cancer Trust Gigs 2024 – London
Kelly Jones, on stage for a celebration of 24 Years of gigs for the Teenage Cancer Trust, at the Royal Albert Hall (Ian West/PA)

Daltrey’s last show, called Ovation, took place on Sunday at the Royal Albert Hall and was a celebration of more than two decades’ worth of events.

He said: “Ovation is for all the people who’ve been there for me unconditionally whenever I’ve asked them to do something for Teenage Cancer Trust. The backstage crews, people that make the whole thing possible.”

Daltrey also said: “Twenty-four years ago, I stood on this stage and pointed out what we were trying to achieve.

“At the time, we needed 25 hospital wards… since then, we’ve built 28.”

Teenage Cancer Trust Gigs 2024 – London
Roger Daltrey performs on stage (Ian West/PA)

He also said: “This is for all the unsung heroes. All the people who have been there for me every year, every time I’ve asked them to do anything for Teenage Cancer Trust, they have been there.”

While speaking when TCT young people were on stage, he also said “this is a moment they’ll remember every day of their life – they’ll never forget this sight”.

Stereophonics singer Kelly Jones, Robert Plant with Saving Grace, The Who’s Pete Townshend, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and The Jam’s Paul Weller were also among the acts.

Jones opened with Stereophonics single Local Boy In The Photograph saying “it’s a song about a teenager who didn’t make it when I was a kid”.

He added: “I wrote this when I was a teenager and it was our first single.”

The Welsh musician also said he wrote You’re My Star about “my own cancer story with my own kid” and finished with Dakota.

Previously, the charity said it will be working with a series of guest curators to take the music shows forward next year.

Daltrey said he is “not going away from the Teenage Cancer Trust”, but has “completed the job I set out to do”.

He also said: “The generosity of the people who work in the music and comedy industries never ceases to amaze me.

“In this, our 21st year, after two years of artists having no shows at all, at a time where the only certain paydays are from live performances, artists are willing to give up their earnings from a London show.

“It shows us that miracles are everywhere, but if you cough or sneeze you’d miss them.”

The Who singer, who closed the show, will continue as a Teenage Cancer Trust honorary patron.

Katie Collins, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “These amazing gigs and their fantastic line-ups help us change lives.

“Because of Roger, the artists, the teams who make these gigs possible and everyone who buys a ticket, we can make sure young people don’t face cancer alone and continue to provide the vital, expert care and support that is crucial for young people with cancer.”

During the pandemic, TCT gigs were not held.

The annual music and comedy event raises funds TCT, which provides care and support for young people who have been diagnosed with cancer.