BIG EVENT: Thomas Brown, from Marwood
BIG EVENT: Thomas Brown, from Marwood

FAMILY and friends of a dale motocross rider who died in a tragic accident on the track are gearing up for another memorial weekend.

Thomas Brown, from Marwood, was killed in a crash at a motocross event near Low Hardwick Farm, at Sedgefield, on April 30 last year. The 27-year-old suffered a broken collarbone, nine broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Despite the efforts of the Great North Air Ambulance Service team, the motocross enthusiast was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.

An inquest into his death is due to be held on May 21. Mr Brown’s family believe that the medical cover at the track the day Mr Brown died was minimal. They are increasingly led to believe that had paramedics been on hand, his life could have been saved.

The Thomas Brown Memorial Fund was set up to campaign for Thomas’ Law which aims to raise awareness of practise track safety and encourage track owners to take more responsibility with the presence of medics and equipment. It is hoped that improvements will be made to ensure such tragedies don’t happen again.

Now one year on from his death and after the success of last year’s debut event, the TB44 committee is organising the second Thomas Brown Memorial Weekend in September.

The event is being run in association with the MCF and Cumbria Motocross Club. It will be held on September 8 and 9 at Cumbria MX’s Haverigg practice track which was revamped and renamed Route 44 Thomas Brown The People’s Track.

Ex-British and GP racer Alfie Smith designed the new track using money collected from an online fundraising page set up in Mr Brown’s memory. Donations were made including time, fuel and sponsorship. Machinery from Thor Atkinson, Mr Brown’s last employer, was also used to create the new-look site which is said to draw comparisons to the iconic Belgian track Lommel. The family said in a statement: “We cannot thank everyone enough for the help, support and kindness shown to us since we lost Thomas.

“He is greatly missed by us all but we feel sure that the fun weekend running now for the second year is something he would be very proud of so get entered and ride hard and play hard in his memory.”

Blenkiron

Since Mr Brown’s death, about £15,000 has been raised. One of Mr Brown’s sisters, Charlotte, raised just over £2,500 after running the Greater Manchester marathon last month.

More than £3,000 has also been donated to the air ambulance.

Friend Karen Law, who helped set up the initial fundraising page, said: “The coming together of our motocross families in remembering Thomas fondly as one of the brightest characters within our sport is very moving.

“Thomas was fun, loving and unique and that is why this is a fun weekend. It is awful to lose anyone but because he touched so many people, this is why so many people come together to remember him.”

The memorial weekend will cater for youth and adult racers with prizes and a fun race for dads and mechanics followed by Thomas’ afterparty.

There will also be a bar and a disco with auctions and raffles. Trophies will be awarded over the two days but one-day race entries will also be available.

Enter online at www.mcfederation.com/event-entries. Closing date for entries is August 31.

To help, sponsor, donate or book a trade stand call Ms Law on 07725 235818.