A fundraising bike ride is being held in memory of keen cyclist and Huddersfield Town fan Ash Raine who died in November last year from an asbestos-related cancer.
Ash, 58, died exactly a year after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. His last wish was that funds be raised in his memory for Mesothelioma UK and so far friends and family have raised more than £6,000 for the charity.
Ash, who was married to Alex, was a big Town fan and took part in several of the club’s Pedal for Pounds fundraising bike rides. He was a regular in the stands at the John Smith’s Stadium with niece Georgia.
Now friends have organised Ash Raine’s Smile Awhile Bike Ride on Saturday September 4.
The 30-mile ride will set off from Croft House in Jackroyd Lane, Upper Hopton, the village where he lived. The route will take in some of Ash’s favourites places.
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Alex described the amount raised so far as “fantastic” and added: “Ash would be amazed. We have very kind and generous friends and family.”
Ash, a self-employed electrician, was a member of the cycling club Huddersfield Star Wheelers and he and Alex ran a group called the Steady Eddies.
One of the organisers of the ride, Paul Rhys-Vivian, paid tribute to Ash and said: “In true Terrier style, Ash showed such courage and bravery and was a real inspiration to all who knew him.
“Ash left a smile in everybody’s hearts and will always be remembered as kind, cheeky, funny and selfless. Ash’s wish was to raise money for Mesothelioma UK in his memory.”
The village of Upper Hopton came to a standstill for his funeral. Around 200 people lined the streets and cyclists from Star Wheelers formed a guard of honour. Only 20 people were allowed in the church at the time due to Covid restrictions.
Riders of all abilities over the age of 16 are welcome to take part and must meet at Croft House at 9am.
Riders will be put into teams of 10. Each team will be captained by two experienced riders and – in true Ash spirit – a team must start together and finish together.
For health and safety reasons, teams will depart in 10-minute intervals and must be registered before the day.
The entry fee is £20 and will include t-shirt, support vehicle and half way and finish line refreshments. Croft House will also be serving refreshments throughout the day for non-riders and supporters.
All monies raised will go to Mesothelioma UK.
To find out more search ‘Ash Raine’s Smile Awhile Bike Ride’ on Facebook.