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Firefighters cycle to Brighton in memory of colleague killed on way to work

Ex-Olympic bobsledder Rob Pope was killed near Hatfield

31 July, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

EUSTON firefighters mounted their bikes to complete a 62-mile ride for charity, including to raise money for a memorial garden dedicated to their colleague who died on his way to work.

Thirteen Blue Watch crew members of all ages set off from the Euston Road base to Brighton Pier last week with some of them not having been on bikes for decades.

They are hoping to raise £5,000 to split between three good causes.

Ten per cent of what is raised will pay for a peaceful garden around the back of the station and a plaque in memory of Rob Pope.

Mr Pope, an ex-Olympic bobsledder, was one of the longest serving firefighters of more than 20 years at the station before his motorbike smashed into a stationary taxi on the A1M at Hatfield in 2013.

The cab driver was jailed for three-and-a-half years for causing death by dangerous driving after stopping in an outside lane to examine damage to the car, the court heard at the time.

Firefighter John Leavens said the garden will be a “special place” at the station.

He added: “Rob was a nice guy who had been in the fire brigade a long time and be to a lot of major incidents. He was a big character on the watch and the go to guy.”

Half of what is raised will go to the Firefighters Charity which provides physical and mental rehabilitation to injured crew. Forty per cent will go the family of a mother who died from cancer, who was a close friend of Mr Leavers.

So far, £1,400 has been raised.

To support the cause, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/daniel-sanchez

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