Guiseley singer-songwriter Andy Doonan beat 21 other acts when he won the North West Area Final of the Live & Unsigned competition at The Willows in Salford on Sunday.

When the announcement was made that the judges, including Bez from Happy Mondays, had made the 22-year-old their first choice to go to the national final at London’s O2 Arena in July, his army of fans who had travelled across the Pennines celebrated wildly.

The former Menston St Mary’s pupil wowed the judging panel of the UK’s biggest original music competition to take first place among the acts from all over the North. There were solo performers and bands competing for the coveted three places in the national finals on July 23 when they will become part of Live Fest at the O2 Arena.

There, those competing in Live & Unsigned will share the day with bands such as N-Dubz, The Hoosiers, Funeral For A Friend, Guillemots and Kids In Glass Houses as well as DJ sets from Annie Mac and Ras Kwame.

Disability support worker Andy, who graduated last year with a first-class degree in physiotherapy from York St John University, has made his way through three rounds of the competition to appear in the final.

Of Sunday’s success, Andy said: “I think the biggest thing for me was the amount of support I got. It gave me a real boost to see so many friends and family in the biggest crowd I have ever sung in front of."

Read more about Andy's success and plans for the future in the Gazette & Observer.