Colleagues of a man who died of cancer earlier this year have wheels in motion to raise thousands of pounds for charity, to help keep his memory alive.
Mick Clark, who was employed by Northumbrian Water for more than 20 years (since December 1986), died in February this year, aged 47.
the dad of two, who was born in Amble and lived in Alnwick, began his career at the water company as a plumber, and worked on both the water and waste water sides of the business, until he joined the new development team as a clerk of works and
progressed to become a project manager.
Last month, eleven of Mick’s workmates cycled 104 miles along the scenic coast and castles route, between Berwick and Newcastle, and have so far raised £5,500 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
The charity was chosen by Mick’s wife, Linda, and his two daughters Chelsea (20) and Hollie (17) as a ‘thank you’ for the excellent medical care Mick received, especially at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
Since its launch in March 2008, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has raised over £3.5 million to help find more effective treatments for cancer. It funds projects which directly benefit people currently fighting the disease including the clinical trials of new drugs at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.
Mick’s eldest daughter, Chelsea, said: "When my dad was cared for in the Freeman Hospital we knew he was in good hands and that he would receive the best treatment possible. In 2005 he received first class care when he had his triple heart bi-pass surgery.
"We were overwhelmed when Graeme and his colleagues organised the bike ride as this confirmed what a popular character my dad was. We hope that raising this money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation will help other cancer sufferers with their life changing battle."
Graeme Telford, who lives in Washington, organised the two-day bike ride. He knew Mick for 18 years and worked with him closely for four: "I feel so proud that we have done the ride for Mick and Sir Bobby’s charity, both fantastic men. Mick is a big miss to lots of people, so to be able to keep his memory alive while raising thousands of pounds for such a good cause is great.
"The weather was kind to us on the first day of the ride, it was glorious sunshine. The second day was more of a challenge as the heavens opened! Worth every minute though and we hope to make it an annual event."
Sir Bobby’s wife, Lady Elsie Robson, said: "To have raised over £5,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is a wonderful achievement and a very positive way to remember Mick.
"The money raised will directly benefit people currently fighting cancer and will help the experts who are working so hard to find a way to beat this terrible disease. We’re very grateful to all the cyclists and everyone involved in making this ride so successful."
The eleven men who pedalled for charity cash are Graeme Telford, 36, from Washington, Peter Heppell, 45, from Swalwell, Peter McCartney, 45, Tony Erskine, 39, and Brian Hardy, 45, all from Newcastle, Richard Johnston, 50, from Sunderland, Steve Wharton, 41, from Penshaw, Les Hall, 48, from Blyth, Gary Barnes, 42, from Monkseaton, Chris Doyle, 41, from Cramlington and Craig Rayner, 42, from Chilton. David Charlton, 43, from Blyth and Niki Mather, 34, from Whickham drove the support vehicle.
Graeme Telford and his workmate Steve O’Hair, from Washington, are also running the Great North Run, this weekend, in Mick’s memory and to raise funds for the foundation.
In May this year 22 employees who work in the water company’s Information Systems department also cycled 200 miles along the coast and castles route to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Their admirable effort raised £4194.50 for the charity.
To make a donation, view messages of support, or for more information visit www.sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk or donate by sending a cheque to Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Room 203, Cheviot Court, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN.
For further information contact Cara Hall on 0191 301 6720.