ONE of the founders of the crowd-pulling Rox event in Bognor Regis has been diagnosed with cancer.
The need for medical treatment has seen Steve Goodheart make the difficult decision to step back from this year’s staging of the music and arts event.
It is due to take place at its traditional time of late July on Bognor seafront where it attracts tens of thousands of spectators to enjoy its mixture of musical artists and creative displays.
Mr Goodheart said: “Last August, I had a stroke and, it was while I was recovering, that it was discovered that I’ve also got throat cancer.
“The recovery from the stroke has been good and I have now begun the treatment to cure the cancer.
“Due to this double whammy, I’m stepping back from my frontline work for the Rox which I’ve been doing for over 25 years,
“This is for several reasons – mainly to regain my health but also to spend more time with my family and, as I am self-employed, to keep my business of Goodheart Signs running.
“This means that I’ve given the Rox crew total control of all aspects of my previous roles within the charity to enable them to continue with the full year of events and the main Rox festival.”
Mr Goodheart, 62, of Upper Bognor Road, jointly began Rox in 1990 with his fellow music enthusiast, Terry Slade.
Their passion for putting in place an open air professional performance space for the area’s bands has seen the event thrive in spite of having to move sites and the constant need for funding to keep it as the largest free festival of its kind in the UK.
Mr Goodheart said the team behind Rox had to consider working with any individual, business and organisation which offered funding to reflect its status as a non-political organisation.
Last May also saw Mr Goodheart elected to Bognor Regis Town Council as an Independent member for Hotham ward. His illness has led him to step back from that work as well as his role in the 4BR regeneration project.
“I’m totally passionate about and committed to both of these. I will not be back to hands-on until I’ve fully recovered from my cancer, which I’m hoping will be towards the end of this summer.”
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