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Community pulls together to support the legacy of young cyclist Charlie

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead

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Charlie CraigHIgh PeakHayfieldAndy LomasNick CraigRide for Charlie

On 20 January 2017, 15-year-old Charlie Craig from Hayfield went to sleep and never woke up. Charlie was an exceptionally talented young man who loved being on his bike - riding, racing and touring. 

Charlie Craig

So skilled a young cyclist was Charlie Craig, he was the Under-16 National Trophy Cyclocross Series winner. As well as cyclocross, Charlie was an accomplished mountain biker, finishing in seventh place in the youth men’s category in the MTB Cross-Country Series. 

Charlie came from a family with strong cycling roots. His father, Nick Craig, is a veteran national Trophy Cyclo-cross and National Cross-Country MTB Series champion. Charlie’s brother, Tom, is also a national junior champion in cyclo-cross. 

Charlie’s unexpected death left his family, friends, and the cycling community in a state of deep shock. 

Charlie Craig

Determined to continue Charlie’s legacy by supporting young off-road cyclists who have been inspired by Charlie’s story, the Ride for Charlie charity was set up. The vision of Ride for Charlie is to provide funding to self-motivated youngsters who have found inspiration through Charlie Craig so they are able to follow in the remarkable young man’s pedal strokes.

As well as Ride for Charlie, a memorial fund has been set up by Charlie’s family to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), dedicated to reducing the number of sudden cardiac deaths among young people. The aim of CRY is to fund the vital screening of youngsters through the charity’s screening programme.  

The whole of the High Peak municipal was shocked by the news of Charlie’s sudden death. The community is pulling together and fundraising efforts are continuing to be made in honour of Charlie Craig and his poignant story. 

In July this year, the Printers Arms in Birch Vale held a Family Funday to support CRY and Ride for Charlie with live music, raffles, games and a barbecue with the well-known local covers band The Beachcombers headlining the event. Local band the Galaxy Monsters also played at the charity gig in honour of Charlie Craig. 

Andy Lomas, who organised the gig, said: “The day surpassed all my expectations, despite the poor weather, which sums up our strong community spirit and support for these two great charities.”

£1215 was the final total raised by the event. 

If you have been inspired by young Charlie Craig and would like to raise money to support Ride for Charlie and help raise crucial awareness and funds to continue Charlie’s legacy, you can donate on the Ride for Charlie website. www.rideforcharlie.com 

Donations can also be made to support CRY screening in the local High Peak community and raise awareness to Cardiac Risk in the Young on the CRY website. http://www.c-r-y.org.uk/charlie-craig/