Former Glory midfielder Liam Miller was just 36 when he tragically lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in February 2018.
The Irishman was a victim of what is now the third-biggest cancer killer in Australia, with the current five-year survival rate just 11.5%.
More than 3000 Australians die from the disease every year, including a family friend of Glory Club Advisor Tony Hughes and it was this tragedy which persuaded him to get involved in a WA-based international music project in aid of the Pancare Foundation.
Tony takes up the story:
“The Song and Music Video Project for the Pancare Foundation (pancreatic and GI cancer support and research) is uniquely West Australian and involves world renowned West Australian singer and actor Amy Manford, the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts Chamber Orchestra, the West Australian Screen Academy, Churchlands Senior High School Choir and Harbourside Village Choir.
“Every musician and film maker involved in the project has agreed to give up their time and expertise without charge to allow the project to raise significant funds through record and music video sales for the Pancare Foundation.
“To date, we have been gifted over $165,000 worth of studio, artist and recording time to enable our vision to become a reality.
“The project involves the international release of a music single and music video which has already been endorsed by the Pancare Foundation as their ‘anthem’ for all their publicity moving forward.
“The anthem, ‘Impressions of You’, also has wide commercial appeal and will be released across Australia and internationally on November 18th for Global Pancreatic Cancer Day.
“The song will be promoted by multiple cancer organisations around the world on that day and uploaded and distributed on Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming services as well as promoted through Australian media.
“The song will also promote significant public interest, support and sales, given the proximity to Christmas.
“Having the solo voice of Amy Manford is a fantastic draw card for the project as she has a large fan base around the world and did, of course, perform the National Anthem at last year’s AFL Grand Final in Perth.
“We are very privileged that she took time out of a very busy schedule to record for this project.
“The song is a multi-voice project of all ages to reflect the way in which pancreatic cancer touches all lives and all ages.
“Churchlands Senior High School choir will provide a rousing chorus of youthful harmonies to the anthem’s chorus alongside Harbourside Village Choir with voices aged from 60 to 90 years old.
“The West Australian Academy of Performing Arts Chamber Orchestra also adds to the high quality of this production.
“To add even more to the way in which the project is showcasing West Australian talent, the West Australian Screen Academy is using their post graduate Masters students to film and produce a music video to accompany the song.
“With some of the lowest survival rates out of all the major cancers, the Pancare Foundation is dedicated to improving outcomes for those affected by upper GI cancers including pancreatic, liver, stomach, biliary and oesophageal cancers.
“Despite collectively representing a leading cause of cancer deaths in society, namely upper GI cancers, they receive very little support or government funding.
“They have low awareness, in part because of the short life expectancy of patients after diagnosis.
“There are also few survivor groups to advocate on behalf of those impacted by these diseases.
“This project therefore offers a great opportunity to raise awareness as well as raising funds for the Foundation.
“To provide some context to the project, I finished writing the song entitled ‘Impressions of You’ after moving to Harbourside Retirement Village in Mindarie and joining a choir in the village.
“My wife Janis and I became close friends with the Musical Director and his wife who were very successful musicians in their working lives and had top 20 hits in the 60s in a UK band called Gulliver’s People while recording out of Abbey Road Studios at the same time as the Beatles.
“Their son Mark had pancreatic cancer and sadly passed away in March this year and this became the initial motivation to add lyrics and a rousing chorus to a piece of music that I started to write 46 years ago in order to create a musical tribute to Mark.
“100% of the revenue stream and royalties from the song will go straight to the Pancare Foundation to help fund research programs and support families touched by pancreatic cancer.
“Many Perth Glory supporters will have very fond memories of Liam [Miller] and the personal link makes us much more aware of how this form of cancer can take someone so young and so quickly.
“It is my hope as a member of the Perth Glory family, that my song will help raise such necessary funds for the Foundation whilst keeping Liam’s memory alive in all our hearts.”
For more details about the incredible and vital work carried out by the Pancare Foundation visit their website HERE.