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Officer releases charity single after ex-boss contracts motor neurone disease

Pc Will Salt has urged members of the public to download the song even if they cannot stand it.

Pc Will Salt presenting ACC Chris Johnson with his single- Midnight Girl (West Midlands Police/PA)
Pc Will Salt presenting ACC Chris Johnson with his single- Midnight Girl (West Midlands Police/PA)

A police officer has released a charity single to raise money for motor neurone disease patients after his former boss was diagnosed with the illness.

Pc Will Salt, of West Midlands Police, has digitally reworked a version of 1988 single Midnight Girl to support the force’s Assistant Chief Constable, Chris Johnson.

The track was first performed by Birmingham band Highway, which featured Mr Johnson as a mullet-haired keyboard player.

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Assistant Chief Constable Chris Johnson was diagnosed with the disease just six months after being promoted to the role (West Midlands Police/PA)

Pc Salt eventually found the original limited edition CD with the help of fellow officer and Mr Johnson’s wife, Sharon.

He has urged members of the public to download the song for just £1 on iTunes, Amazon and around 30 other online music stores – even if they cannot stand the song.

Mr Johnson, 52, was diagnosed with the disease – which affects the brain, spinal cord and nerves that stops muscles functioning – just six months after achieving his career ambition of being promoted to Assistant Chief Constable following 28 years with the force.

Commenting on the single, Pc Salt said: “It’ll certainly not be to everyone’s liking.

“I’d probably describe it as classic 1980s soft rock, but Chris’s 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.”

He added: “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.”

Police investigator Sharon Johnson, who kept the idea a secret from her husband, said: “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 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.”

All proceeds are set to be divided between the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Primrose Hospice.

PA

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