A small group of bikers have marked the seventh anniversary of the death of a Burntwood fundraiser after a mass participation event had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jo Walker, Ade Foster and Jane Sutton

The Stephen Sutton Ride Out has become an annual event with bikers from across the region taking part.

But Covid-19 meant the usual cavalcade couldn’t go ahead for the second year running.

But Stephen’s mum, Jane, said the organising committee of the event were determined to mark the anniversary.

“It was so disappointing to have to cancel the Stephen Sutton Ride-Out for a second successive year due to the continuing Covid-19 restrictions.

“With a slight relaxation of the guidelines, the organising committee couldn’t let the anniversary pass without marking the occasion.

“Without any hesitation it was a big ‘yes’ when I got a phone call asking if I’d like to join them this year and ride the route in Stephen’s memory.

“So four bikes, proudly flying the Stephen Sutton Ride Out flags, rode the usual 27-mile route from Lichfield through surrounding villages ending up in Buntwood. 

“It wasn’t the same without all the other bikes riding alongside us or having the people wave to us from the pavements as we pass by, but for me and the organising committee riders it was our own special way of marking the seventh anniversary.”

Jane Sutton

Jane said she hoped the event would be able to welcome more riders in 2022.

“I’m sorry that the invite couldn’t go out to more people this year.

“A big part of the Ride Out would usually be the registration process and chatting to faces old and new and there’s nothing quite like seeing 350 motorbikes with their riders in the car park waiting to set off on the route.

“They really were missed and next year can’t come soon enough when hopefully we can all get back together as normal.”

Jane Sutton

Next year’s event is provisionally scheduled for 15th May.

Stephen Sutton

More than £5.8million has now been raised through the campaign set up by Stephen before his death from cancer in May 2014.

People can donate in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust via the online fundraising page.

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