Cyclists turn out for attack victim left in coma

Cyclists turned out in force in aid of an attack victim who has been in a coma for more than a year.

Friday, 30th December 2016, 12:05 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:02 pm
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks

Nissan worker Steve Willey was assaulted while on a night out with his partner Paula in Newcastle on December 23, 2015.

Yob Nicholas Graham, in a rage after rowing with an ex-girlfriend, punched Steve, knocking him to the ground and causing severe head and brain injuries.

Steve Willey

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Steve, of Washington, remains in a coma with his loving family continuing to raise cash for his ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Now South Shields Velo Cycling Club, who Steve is a member of, have joined forces with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club to host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races at Temple Park in South Shields.

Money raised from the event will now go towards the Wake Up Steve campaign.

Organiser Dave Linsley, a station manager with the fire service, said: “The Cyclocross is an annual event and with Steve helping to set up South Shields Velo we decided to raise money for him.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks

“With him still being in hospital, we hope the money will help contribute to his care.”

A huge number of South Shields Velo Cycling Club members turned up to cheer on riders and show support to Steve’s family.

“The event has been really well attended with the veterans’ race, youths race, under 12s and under 16s races as well as the senior race,” added Dave.

“There was a real spectrum of all abilities taking part.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks

“We’re still counting the pledges up now so there should be plenty money raised.”

Dave Hardy, of South Shields Velo, said: “We’ve had about 300 people taking part which is more than usual for this time of year.

“Since the attack Steve has shown slow signs of progress and we just hope that continues.”

Maintenance engineer Graham, of Belsay Gardens, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm in the attack on Steve and to breaching the restraining order to stay away from the former girlfriend.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks

He was also in breach of previously imposed community orders.

At Newcastle Crown Court Judge Paul Sloan QC jailed him for a total of three-and-a-half years.

To donate to Steve’s appeal go to www.gofundme.com/2svnvfas.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks
Steve Willey
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Cycle Club, together with South Shields Velo Cycling Club, host the annual Christmas Charity Cyclocross Races in aid of Stephen Willey. Picture by Tom Banks