Phil would be very proud of his musical legacy

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When Blackpool teacher Phil Roberts passed away there was sadness all round.

But if Phil is looking down now he will surely have a smile on his face at what he has inspired.

Phil taught guitar at Anchorsholme Primary School before losing a battle with cancer two years ago.

But since then - as a tribute to Phil - not only had an annual rock festival been launched but a battle of the bands contest too.

Tomorrow 250 people will pack into Blackpool Sixth Form College to watch five young bands battle it out for this year’s title.

“It is amazing what has happened in the last couple of years,” said Ian Fletcher, who organises the battle of the bands and the festival - Eaglefest.

“My son, Lucas, was taught guitar by Phil. When he found out Phil was ill he had this idea to have a little fundraiser. I told him fine, thinking it would be a handful of people in our back garden, his gran and grandad there, that kind of thing, and we’d make 20 quid and give it to charity. But the school heard about it and asked if they could get involved, and then the landlord at the Eagle asked if we would hold it at his pub.

“It turned into a 12-hour event, with bands performing all day!”

That was in 2011, raising more than £5,500 for Christies and the haematology ward at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Last year’s Eaglefest raised thousands more and this year’s is scheduled to take place in August or September.

In the meantime is the Battle of the Bands, an extra event started this year.

“It is for young bands from all over the Fylde,” added Ian, who is a builder by trade and is doing all this in his spare time. “We’ve had heats for the last few weeks and tomorrow the five finalists will go up against each other.

“As usual every penny we raise will go to charity.”

The five local bands in the final are Jekyll, The Solid States, Belvadere, The Keys and The People. The prize includes the chance to record a single at Rock Hard Studios.