FRIENDS of a St Helens hit-and-run victim are preparing to cycle 300-miles in just three days to mark the 10th anniversary of his tragic death.
Eccleston student Iain Jones (pictured left) was mowed down from behind by a speeding stolen car in the early hours of July 1, 2001 – just weeks before his 21st birthday.
Now, 10 years on, his pals Iain Pritchard, Paul Laflin, Steven Dockerty, David Richardson, Ben Chadwick and Simon Knowles are all set to take on a poignant “Biking for Bones” fundraising ride.
As part of the group’s three-day mission, they aim to pedal to 16 football grounds in the North West, culminating at Anfield – the home of Iain Jones’ beloved Liverpool FC.
All proceeds will be donated to the charity Roadpeace, which helps the victims of road accidents and their families, and has been nominated by Iain’s family.
Organiser Iain Pritchard, 31, said: “Me and Iain had been friends since we were five-years-old and a group of us who grew up together have stayed in close contact. Four of us who are doing the ride knew Iain from our time at Eccleston Mere Primary School.
“We all turned 30 last year and got together in August to mark what would have been Iain’s 30th birthday. On the day we talked about what fund-raising we could do in Iain’s honour, drink got the better of us, and we came up with this idea!”
The Biking for Bones ride is due to start in St Helens next Wednesday (June 29) before visiting Wigan, Bolton, Blackburn, Burnley, Preston and Blackpool on the opening day.
The second day will see the six-strong team pedal to Accrington, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Stockport and Manchester.
Then, on the final day, the anniversary of Iain Jones’ death, they are set to cycle to Tranmere, Everton and Liverpool before stopping off at their old school - Rainford High – on the way back to St Helens.
Iain Pritchard, of Dentons Green, added: “We’ve kept in touch with Iain’s family since his death and they chose the Roadpeace charity.
“Iain’s sister, Pippa, is planning to be at the Gerard Arms pub when we finally finish the ride too.”
To add your support to the Biking for Bones ride, go online at: www.justgiving.com/bikingforbones300
Online updates throughout the fundraising mission will be available at: www.twitter.com/bikingforbones