A DRUMMER who has terminal lung cancer married his bride after a hospice organised his wedding in just 24 hours.

Simon Cooper, from Oakwood, was due to marry girlfriend Claire Hempsted in December but is currently living at the North London Hospice, in Finchley.

But with the help of staff, family, friends and generous residents, their ceremony took place on Tuesday - a fortnight before their engagement party was meant to happen.

He said: “This entire day has been amazing, the hospice helped sort everything. We told them what we wanted for the ceremony, the flowers, Claire’s dress, and they sorted it out.

“We have some very good friends.”

Mr Cooper, a former photographer for Status Quo, admitted the last-minute wedding was his wife’s idea.

Born with a blocked bowel and diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth, Mr Cooper overcame these obstacles to pursue his dream to be a professional musician.

He became drummer for Chas and Dave after being talent spotted at the Chickenshed Theatre by the stars themselves, and played two gigs a night with his oxygen cylinder hidden behind his drum kit.

In 2012 he received a call saying there was a set of lungs ready for him and an ambulance would pick him up in one hour, at 4am. His second transplant lasted 17 hours, but allowed him to live a normal life.

But in January of this year, four years after his transplant, he was diagnosed with incurable cancer in the transplanted lung.

The new Mrs Cooper said while the year had been difficult and the day had a twinge of sadness, it was also a day of celebration.

She said: “I am very happy, seeing how everyone came at the last minute, and getting married to the man I love, it’s wonderful.”

Among the guests were Chas and Dave themselves, who provided the music. The couple’s first dance was “London Girls”, but with the lyrics changed to “Oxford Girls”, Mrs Cooper’s home town.

Chas said: “Simon is a great drummer, and as they say in Australia, a top bloke, he has our sense of humour. When you’re on tour there’s always something you can get the hump about, but not Simon.

“We’re lucky we’re not gigging today or away, we’re so happy we could be here for him.”