Putney Families Share Teenagers' Tragic Loss

Daughter's tribute aims to raise £100,000 for research into cervical cancer

Sarah Philips' cover of Paolo Nutini's Autumn becomes a YouTube hit

The single can be downloaded from: iTunes Sarah Phillips Autumn (Tribute to Debbie Phillips).

A link to Debbie Phillips Cervical Cancer Research Fund can be found here.

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the
Two mothers from Putney have been moved by the death of Debbie Phillips, who died last month from cervical cancer, aged only 48. The night before her mother died, Debbie's daughter Sarah spontaneously recorded on her mobile phone Paulo Nutini's song Autumn. Later it was put on Youtube and has become so successful it has now been released on itunes.

One of the mothers says:
"Although I did not know Debbie, I knew of her, and my children attended the same schools as hers. Listening to Sarah's song and watching the accompanying video is very moving. And the music is simply beautiful."

"My son came home from school where he is friends with Debbie's son Jack, he was so moved by how brave Jack has been and how 'amazing Sarah's song is - Mum you just have to listen to it & BUY it,'" said Putney mum & editor of PutneySW15.

The song with its accompanying video of family moments became a surprise YouTube hit, gaining 250,000 views in a week and attracting press interest from around the world. Over £88,000 has been raised so far for the Debbie Phillips Cervical Cancer Research Fund.(GMTV interview 26/03/10).Over 1000 women in the UK die each year of cervical cancer - and currently there is no dedicated research into this disease - something Debbie's family are determined to change - and you can help them do this.

The song was released as a single on Monday 22nd March, after pressure from the hundreds of thousands of fans who viewed the emotionally charged performance online and in the media. The proceeds will all be donated to the Debbie Phillips Cervical Cancer Research Fund.

Sarah said, "The response to the video has been amazing. I sang the song as a tribute to my mother. I hope that people buy the song and that we raise lots of money to help other women who suffer from cervical cancer.”

Her father Mark Phillips added , “My wife Debbie fought cancer with grace and dignity for 4 years. During that fight we discovered that there was no research going on specifically into cervical cancer anywhere in the world. Debbie and I felt that we needed to try to do something to help doctors improve the detection and cure of cervical cancer, which affects many young women and mothers like her.

“We’ve set up the Debbie Phillips Cervical Cancer Research Fund together with the UCL Cancer Research Trust to help finance research into cervical cancer. I’m incredibly proud of my daughter and of this beautiful song. The love of Sarah for her mother is so evident in this song, and it’s captured the imagination of listeners worldwide. That’s why we’ve decided to release it as a single to raise money for research into cervical cancer.”

Mark Philip has informed us that
" we now have the official news from the charts.  Sarah was No.49 in the Official charts.  She was also No.4 in the Indie chart (Independents) which is particularly good.  It’s quite something for a 16 year old schoolgirl recording on her mobile to get into the Top 50, and I don’t think any of us imagined that could happen when this all started!.....On the money front, we are tantalisingly close to the £100k mark that would mean that UCL could start the research (of course there are other steps after that one, but making the first target will be huge).   UCL had 101 donations on Friday, which was a record for them, and for everyone who has donated, and downloaded, thank you."
30th March 2010

March 31, 2010