Riders raise funds in memory of John

nrhn 060912 john thompson
nrhn 060912 john thompson

More than 170 cyclists took part in a memorial road bike race in honour of a sport loving Ripley man who died in January.

The John “Tommo” Thompson Memorial Ride saw competitors from all over the UK take on three seperate courses across the High Peak on Sunday.

John was a founding member of the Crossley Park Community Association and passed away after a heart attack he suffered during an orienteering trail, aged 67.

As the former PE teacher regularly participated in cycling races run by Dark and White - a company which arranges such events across the UK –the company says the race could now become a yearly event.

His daughter Katie Cresswell believes it is the perfect tribute to her action-loving dad.

She said: “When my dad passed away in January we said we would like to organise an event for him.

“It was a fabulous day, approximately 170 to 180 people turned up to cycle one of the three courses, including many of my dad’s friends.

“The feedback from riders was that it was a fantastic route and that they are looking forward to doing it again next year - ‘brutal’!”

“ We are hoping it will now become an annual event.”

She said for such an active man, her father’s death took everyone by surprise.

“It was very sudden,” she said. “It was a heart defect that no one knew about.

“Dad loved his sport, enjoying many activities including fell running as part of the White Peak Running Club, cycling, swimming, ski-ing, walking and sailing.

“He was orienteering in Allestree Park when he collapsed among friends and was taken to The Derby Royal Hospital when he sadly fell asleep a few days later on January 30, 2012.”

Donations from family and friends raised £2000 in early February following John’s death. The money was given to The Derby Royal Hospital Intensive Care Unit.

Part of the money raised from the John ‘Tommo’ Thompson memorial event will be sent to Sightsavers.org, which was a charity the popular Ripley man supported during his lifetime.

Organisers are still counting the total raised.

Earlier in the year Katie, 39 from Peasehill, walked the 110 miles of the Cleveland Way over nine days as a tribute to her dad at the start of the summer.

Popular local figure John lived yards away from Crossley Park, on Lime Avenue in Ripley, and will be best known in the local community for his work restoring the green space to its former glory.

A mature oak tree was planted at the park in his honour earlier in the year.