As England continue their progress through Euro 2020, one Verastar colleague has taken his love for his national team to the next level, penning his own answer to famous England anthems Three Lions and World in Motion.
But he’s not just doing it for fun.
John Monks (aka John Paul James) has created the song to fundraise and raise awareness for Harlan Repton, a teenager from Blackley, Greater Manchester, who needs to raise £25,000 to cover the cost of corrective surgery after his ribs started to grow into his chest.
Harlan can’t access treatment unless his condition – called Pectus Excavatum – worsens, as the procedure is considered cosmetic until the condition severely affects the heart or lungs.
Harlan’s mum, Julie Repton, recently told the Manchester Evening News: “He’s in pain at some point every single day, and he feels like he has a stack of bricks on his chest. He’s really struggling.
“He’s on pain relief but it isn’t even touching it, I don’t know what else we can do. He can’t just keep going on like this. Everyone who’s seen him agrees that he needs the surgery. He’s in pain every day and he’s becoming disfigured.”
John is a member of the customer service team at Verastar and was previously a gigging musician in a number of different bands. Verastar and its CEO Lee Hull are now getting behind Harlan’s fundraising efforts and have contributed £500 to the cause.
The song, called Go All The Way (England Euro 2020 Anthem), is a journey through England fandom, evoking nostalgia, hinting at past glories and failures, and even featuring a John Barnes-style rap!
John said: “When I heard about Harlan’s story, I wanted to do something to help. I had this song in my mind and thought – this can be my contribution to help raise some money.
“When I mentioned it to Lee, he was really keen to get behind the song and support Harlan. We’re really grateful to Verastar and to Lee for the contributions they’ve made.”
Verastar CEO Lee Hull added: “It’s inspiring to see John being so proactive and getting behind such a good cause. We’re happy to help in any way we can and I wish Harlan and his family the very best with their fundraising. I’ll certainly be playing the song ahead of the Ukraine game!”
All streaming royalties raised from the song on Spotify go towards the fundraiser, so John and Verastar are putting out the call to ask everyone to have the song on repeat in the build-up to England’s next game and (fingers crossed) as England progress through the tournament.
You can also make a donation to Harlan’s fundraiser – big or small, every penny counts.