Rowers raise £4,000 in tribute to coach who died in River Wear bike fall

Durham Amateur Rowing Club members at the end of their Lands End to John O'Groats cycle ride

Durham Amateur Rowing Club members at the end of their Lands End to John O'Groats cycle ride

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Four rowers have raised more than £4,000 in memory of a coach who died this year.

Bill Grant died in February after suffering a medical episode that led to him falling from his bike into the River Wear in Durham while coaching a crew from the bank.

Four rowers from Durham Amatuer Rowing Clubcompleted a 1,000-mile cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise funds as a tribute to Bill.

A regatta was also held in his memory earlier in the year.

The rowers – David Beeby, Michael Hall, Thomas Jackson and Elliot Kay –completed the ride in 12 days, covering up to 115 miles a day.

The four presented a cheque for £2,588 to David Henderson, of the Great North Air Ambulance Service, and another cheque for £2,000 to Durham Amateur Rowing Club, which was accepted on behalf of the club by Mark Bell.

Jenny Grant names the boat after her husband Bill.

Jenny Grant names the boat after her husband Bill.

The Great North Air Ambulance came to Bill’s aid following his accident and airlifted him to hospital within an hour of the incident, but he died a short time later in hospital.

The club intends to put the donation towards buying equipment.

At the same presentation the club also accepted the gift of Bill’s single sculling boat, donated by members of his family who attended the ceremony along with many members of the rowing club.

The boat was named in Bill’s memory by his widow Jenny.