Caring cop’s Motor Neurone Disease charity single in support of ex-boss
A caring cop is releasing a charity single to raise money and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease patients…and to support his former West Midlands Police boss who’s been diagnosed with the illness.
PC Will Salt − who worked under Chris Johnson when the now Assistant Chief Constable was Birmingham Police Commander − has digitally reworked a version of 1988 single “Midnight Girl".
It’s a little known track by former Birmingham band ‘Highway’ but one that’s poignant to the cause − because ACC Chris Johnson was the band’s former mullet-haired keyboard player.
PC Salt tracked down the limited edition CD with help from Chris’ wife Sharon − also a West Midlands Police cop − and is now asking police colleagues and members of the public to download the track for just £1. Even if they can’t stand the song!
The track is available for download on iTunes, Amazon and around 30 other online music stores, plus streaming sites like Spotify and YouTube.
“It’ll certainly not be to everyone’s liking", joked Will. “I’d probably describe it as classic 1980s soft rock…but Chris’ keyboard playing is certainly prominent on the track.
“It really doesn’t matter: the whole point is to have a bit of fun while raising money for a worthwhile cause and one that’s now become very close to the hearts of police officers and staff in the West Midlands and indeed across the whole country.
“If people can support us by downloading the song that’d be great. And if they really can’t stand the song then perhaps just make a donation to the Motor Neurone Disease Association."
Chris achieved a career ambition in April last year when he was promoted to Assistant Chief Constable with his hometown police force after 28 years working his way up from beat bobby on the streets of Birmingham.
But just six months later he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease − a terminal illness affecting the brain, spinal cord and nerves that ultimately stops muscles functioning.
Despite the devastating news 52-year-old Chris is determined to carry on combating crime and keeping the public safe for as long as he possibly can.
Police investigator Sharon Johnson, who kept the charity single idea a secret from her husband, said: “Chris was 21-years-old when the single was recorded at Derby’s Square Dance Studios; he was living in Castle Bromwich and working as a site manager for a construction firm.
“Highway were together for about two years and only released the one single but they played in pubs and clubs in the Birmingham area. They got through to the final of the battle of the bands at Warwick University − they fell at the final hurdle with a recording contract awaiting the winners!
“I hadn’t heard the single for years but remember tapping my foot to it and thinking it was quite good I was pleasantly surprised.
“What Will is doing is amazing: it’s a great idea of and extremely kind of him to go to all this effort.
“When Chris was diagnosed with motor neurone disease it felt like our world had fallen apart all our dreams for the future seemed to disappear. However, we’ve now accepted his illness, realise there is nothing we can do so our time is best spent creating as many amazing memories as possible.
“Not a lot is known about MND so we are raising awareness and money not only for the MNDA but also for our local hospice The Primrose in Bromsgrove who are supporting our family."
The track can be downloaded from iTunes here: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/midnight-girl-charity-release-single/1472714494
All proceeds will be divided between the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Primrose Hospice.