A STRICTLY Come Dancing inspired event has raised an incredible £56,000 for Wirral based cancer support charity Maggie's Merseyside.

Strictly Maggie's, took place on Sunday, November 10 and saw 17 couples take to the floor in front of the queen of Strictly herself Shirley Ballas.

Wallasey born Shirley headed the judging panel alongside Ray Quinn and Daniel Taylor at The Titanic Hotel.

The cash raised from the event will add to the 'Million for Maggie's Appeal' which aims to raise the running costs of the new purpose built Maggie's centre at Clatterbridge next year.

Merralls Dance School of Moreton helped provide professional dance partners and tuition for those taking part.

Andrea Bryon, from Prenton, was crowned the winner after signing up in her mum Mary's memory.

Andrea told the Globe: "It’s been an absolute privilege to take part in Strictly Maggie's 2019.

"This year has been a particularly difficult one for my whole family as we cope with the loss of our mum, Mary, in January.

"She was such a huge fan of the BBC Strictly show that I really could not pass up the opportunity to take part in the Strictly Maggies event in her memory.

"The staff and volunteers at Maggie's gave us all fantastic support during Mum’s illness and I know it brought a great deal of comfort to our mum knowing the support would continue for our family when she was no longer with us.

"So to be able to raise awareness of and vital funds for them has been our way of saying thank you to them all.

Wirral Globe:

The inspirational dancers who took part in the event

"The whole Strictly Maggie's experience has been unbelievable from start to finish. The support I have had with my fundraising has been overwhelming.

"The dance training has been tough but thoroughly enjoyable and my goodness all of the performances on the night were phenomenal.

"Learning my tango routine with my amazing dance partner, Larry Evans, has brought me real joy and to be given the chance to perform it in front of Shirley Ballas, Ray Quinn and Daniel Taylor was incredible.

"One of the things I will take away from this experience is my friendship with my fellow dancers. We have all pledged to keep on dancing!

"I would just like to say thank you once again to Maggie's for all that they do for people living with cancer and their families."

During the event, judge Ray treated the audience to a performance.

He said: "The overwhelming support for the room and Maggie’s on the night blew me away.

"What a night it was! An absolute pleasure to be part of such an inspirational event. The huge amount of support Maggie’s Merseyside has shown already is overwhelming.

"They have helped many people through hard times whilst living with cancer.

Wirral Globe:

Strictly Maggie's winners Larry and Andrea

"Pressing the pause button on the upset, aches and pains and suffering. Helping to produce a smile and a warm welcome.

"Maggie’s are there when people need it most."

Head judge Shirley said she was excited to attend the event, she said: "I couldn’t have been more excited to attend the event. Maggie’s is a charity that takes care of anyone that has to deal with cancer and since I have a lot of cancer that runs through my own family, with my mother and two of her sisters plus my Great Grandfather and cancer scares myself.

"I was delighted to be part of the huge event for Maggie’s who do so much for so many."

For more information about Maggie’s Merseyside and to see how the centre supports people living with cancer across Merseyside please visit the Centre at Clatterbridge or get in touch on 0151 334 4301.

Information on the centre can be found by visiting https://www.maggiescentres.org/our-centres/maggies-merseyside/

Anyone who would like to fundraise for Maggie’s Merseyside can contact Sasha by emailing sasha.mathias@maggiescentres.org