Harborough friends set to remember Ellis White who died from Covid at the age of just 24
They will be taking part in sponsored cycle ride of almost 1,000 miles to salute their great friend
A special band of brothers from Harborough are limbering up to do a sponsored cycle ride of almost 1,000 miles to salute their great friend who has tragically died at just 24 from Covid-19.
The dynamic dozen of best mates are going to ride from John O’Groats at the tip of Scotland to Land’s End in Cornwall next month to pay their own emotion-charged tribute to Ellis White.
The pals are setting out to raise £20,000 for Leicester Hospitals Charity after Ellis, from Kibworth Beauchamp, was treated at both Leicester Royal Infirmary and Leicester General.
And they are bang on track to smash their target after already raking in £16,720.
Alice Billson, 24, whose boyfriend Chris Packwood will be taking part in the marathon lung-busting 954-mile challenge, said: “Full marks to all the lads who are tackling this because this is going to be a very tough event.
“They’re all in to their sports such as rugby and football but none of them are out and out cyclists.
“And they are setting out to ride the length of the country in just 10 days – clocking up an amazing 95 miles a day,” said Alice, of Mowsley, near Market Harborough
“But they are all determined to ride every single mile for one incredible young man – Ellis White.
“My boyfriend Chris got to know Ellis way back in Year 7 at school in Kibworth and they became inseparable.
“Nearly all the other lads knew Ellis too – and he was just a fantastic friend to all of us.
“He worked at Sigma Sports in Oakham and he just loved to get out and about on his bike.
“Ellis had a kidney transplant in 2019 and was put on anti-rejection drugs – making him very vulnerable during the pandemic.
“Despite isolating very carefully at home he somehow contracted Covid-19 in January this year.
“He was just 24 when he very sadly passed away on February 12,” said Alice, who said Ellis lived with his brother in Kibworth Beauchamp.
“The shock hit us all like a ton of bricks when he died.
“Ellis was such a huge character.
“He was a loving, charismatic friend and his infectious laugh filled every room.
“Ellis was loved so much by his family, friends and colleagues - and everyone else who had the privilege of knowing and meeting him.
“He always wanted the best for all of his friends.
“Ellis was selfless, thoughtful and supportive - and made a massive impact on all our lives.
“So we decided that we had to do something extra special, something very magical, to pay our very own salute to him.
“The crazy idea of cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End came up and the lads have gone for it lock, stock and barrel.
“They are being forced to train so hard – and this has really brought them all together again.
“We could only have 30 people at Ellis’s funeral because of the lockdown rules,” said Alice, who works in e-commerce.
“But the streets were lined with people who knew him paying their respects to one of our own on the day.
“The fact that we have already raised almost £17,000 in Ellis’s name shows just how much our entire community loved him.
“This is going to be gruelling for Chris and all the lads having to pedal almost 100 miles a day for 10 days.
“But I’m sure they will all do it because Ellis is in all our hearts – and we’ll never ever forget him.”
Pals Brett Parlour and Jack Digby will be tailing the brothers in arms driving a support vehicle as the intrepid bunch head south.
“They’re the recovery crew armed with food, energy drinks and emergency first aid.
“And all the riders’ families are heading down to St Ives to roar them on into Land’s End,” said Alice.
“There’s going to be over 100 of us down there so it’s going to be quite a party.
“I’m sure Ellis will be proud of this incredible effort that the lads are putting in as well as grateful to so many local people getting behind us.
“The magnificent response right across our community in Harborough just highlights how much he was liked and loved.”
The heroes on two wheels gearing up to put in the hard yards are Chris Packwood, Olly Povoas, Will Clow, Luke Mathers, Henry Moss, James Dixon, Ashley Seaton, Kain Rix, Henry Povoas, Charlie Guadagnini, Jon Butler and Connor Bradbury with Brett Parlour and Jack Digby backing them up.
If you would like to help them crash through their £20,000 barrier for the Leicester Hospitals Charity you can chip in on their fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/elliswhite96