Talented townsfolk to honour young Zac

Zac Knighton-Smith
Zac Knighton-Smith

People in Rushden are being invited to show off their talent at a competition being organised in memory of a youngster from the town who died last year from a rare form of cancer.

Rushden’s Got Talent will be held on March 21 at the Athletics Club in Newton Road.

The event has been organised in memory of Zac Knighton-Smith who died on New Year’s Day in 2014 after a five-year battle with the childhood cancer neuroblastoma.

After Zac’s death, his mum Sam Knighton said she wanted to organise a talent contest to help raise money for improvements at Rushden and Higham United’s Hayden Road ground, as Zac was a fan of the club.

After seeing a story about Sam’s idea in the Telegraph, Rushden mum Jayne Wiggins decided to make contact to see if she could help.

Jayne had helped organise a cabaret event in Rushden last year in aid of the Nikita Jade Disability Fund.

She said: “Applications are encouraged from adults and children alike and must be returned by February 14 and there may be heats in advance of the main event.

“Successful applicants will be invited to the finals on March 21 and will be asked for an entrance fee of £5 per performer, with all proceeds going to the Zac Knighton-Smith Memorial Fund.”

Jayne said that depending on the success of this year’s event, she hopes to turn it into an annual contest.

She added: “There is a cash prize to be donated by local businesses.”

To get an application form for Rushden’s Got Talent, either email alexandjayne@sky.com, send a text message to 07552 475507, or search for Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire Performance Dates at www.facebook.com.

Zac’s mum Sam said: “I can only thank Jayne for all her hard work so far. She got in touch last year and said she wanted to help out and she has been a star.

“Britain’s Got Talent was one of Zac’s favourite programmes and that’s why I wanted to have something like this in his memory.”

She added: “Zac used to love going to Rushden and Higham. We used to go up there on a Sunday. Because of that, they’ve decided to call it Zac’s Stand.

“We’re raising money for a refurbishment but at the moment we don’t know how much that is going to cost. We’re hoping a builder can get involved and help us out.”

Sam has organised another event to raise money for the memorial fund in March. Robbie Williams tribute Maximum Robbie will be performing at the Hayden Road ground on Saturday, March 7, from 7pm. Tickets can be bought from the club house for £8.