Village Green guitarist Rowland ‘Higgi’ Higgins paralysed by stroke days before charity HiggiFest event in his honour

Rowland Higgins (right), playing with Village Green. Picture: HIGGIFEST

Rowland Higgins (right), playing with Village Green. Picture: HIGGIFEST - Credit: Archant

A concert to honour a Sudbury musician will be all the more poignant, after guitarist Rowland Higgins suffered a stroke weeks before the festival bearing his name will take place.

Village Green n their heyday toured the country with leading soul stars. Picture: ARCHANT ARCHIVE

Village Green n their heyday toured the country with leading soul stars. Picture: ARCHANT ARCHIVE

Mr Higgins, known as Higgi, a former member of the Village Green band, was first diagnosed with prostate cancer more than four years ago.

As secondary cancers and a tumour in his brain were discovered, as well as Higgi, 66, losing the ability to perform on stage, his friends’ longstanding ambition to hold a festival in his honour became more urgent.

A year in the making, HiggiFest will be held on July 8 in Monks Eleigh. After Higgi’s stroke just two week’s ago, it is not known if the man himself will be able to be in the audience.

“He is paralysed down one side and can’t see or hear,” said friend and fellow Village Green member Tom White.” We had just been on BBC Radio Suffolk three hours earlier. The stroke was brought on by the tumour.

The members of Village Green reunited in 2009. Picture: ARCHANT ARCHIVE

The members of Village Green reunited in 2009. Picture: ARCHANT ARCHIVE


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“We have had so much support since, but it is bittersweet. We don’t know if he will make it to the festival.

“His partner Sue is planning to take him home, she can’t stand him being in hospital, but they don’t really know whether it is the tumour or the stroke that is causing it.

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“It is not looking great, to be honest – it was a big blow. But we have had every business get on board and support us.”

The festival will raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity chosen by Higgi several years ago when Mr White first came up with the idea for a music event in his name.”

Rowland Higgins (right), playing with Village Green. Picture: HIGGIFEST

Rowland Higgins (right), playing with Village Green. Picture: HIGGIFEST - Credit: Archant

Mr White and Higgi both went to Sudbury Secondary School, where they played in band aged 13. In 1968 they formed Village Green, supporting dozens of acts while living out of a van. They reunited in 2009.

The event will be held at Mr White’s home in Monks Eleigh. From 2pm until 6pm will be a “It’s A Knockout” competition, which teams of 8-10 can book to take part in. There will live bands, featuring headliners Soap Your Auntie, from 6pm till late – as well as stalls, food, a beer tent, entertainment for the children and more.

• Tickets are £10 before the event or £15 each on the day. Under 14s go free. Call 07909 590439 for tickets and details.

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