Seven hill cycle memorial for Stuart Ross

Stuart Ross.
Stuart Ross.

A seven hill cycle challenge will take place on Sunday December 30 in memory of Islandmagee footballer Stuart Ross.

Twenty-four-year-old Stuart, from Islandmagee, passed away after collapsing during an amateur league game in September 2013.

The cycle challenge fundraiser, now in its sixth year, will commence at noon, from Whitehead Fire Station at Chester Avenue.

Participants will follow a 20-mile route around Islandmagee.

Alternatively, a community walk/cycle will be leaving at 12.05 pm proceeding to The Rinkha, in Islandmagee.

The events are being organised by Whitehead man Noel McKee who says that Stuart’s death affected many people in the area.

The cost of entry to the seven hill challenge is £15 per person, including lunch.

Noel said that 120 cyclists took part last year including Stuart’s dad David and close friends.

“We want to make sure Stuart’s memory is kept alive. This is the sixth time this cycle has been run. It is good for the family and it is good for the football club to know that Stuart is still a big part of it,” said Noel.

Stuart had been playing for Islandmagee Seconds in a match against Shankill United when tragedy struck 25 minutes into the match. He collapsed and died in front of his team-mates. At the time, Stuart had been working as a trainee accountant in Moore Stephens in Larne.

Noel continued: “It’s not a race, just a great way to remember a fantastic lad and to continue to support his family. Last year, we raised £2,000.”

Proceeds will be in aid of a new Here2Help app which will provide emergency help numbers free of charge.

This year, the proceeds will be used to relaunch a “Here2Help” app which was developed a few years ago by Noel in association with publican Jack Creighton, proprietor of Ownie’s in Carrick.

The app which can provide access to emergency help will be relauched in the New Year.

Noel explained: “The app also gives the option of contacting the emergency services really quickly. We know it is saving lives. We know that people are contacting these agencies. It is very easy to use and can be downloaded for free.

“The idea is to make it easily accessible for everybody whether it is a child coming home from school or a farmer in a field.”

Refreshments will be available at the Whitecliff Inn after the cycle challenge where there will be entertainment from 3.00 pm until 5.00 pm.