Memorial Cycle Ride - 50th Anniversary

Memorial Cycle Ride - 50th Anniversary


This September, a group that includes our Director Gordon Ellis, will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Ermondville Air Disaster of 1974. To honour the 18 rugby club members lost in the tragedy, a dedicated team will embark on a challenging 354-mile cycle ride from Ermondville, Paris, to Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club. This journey aims to raise funds for St Nicholas Hospice and the development of a new all-weather pitch at the rugby club.

Gordon has already been training hard and will be riding in memory of his father Bryan and his 17 friends, ensuring their legacy lives on through the support and development of community resources. The cycle ride should take approximately 6 days.

Example route

Aiming to recreate the success of the 2014 ride where the team raised a remarkable £187,000, we need your help to spread the word. To support Gordon, to donate, or to share, please visit Gordon's JustGiving page.

Your support will help honour the memory of those we lost and support the vital services and communities in Bury St Edmunds.

1974 Air Disaster

The plane crash in March 3, 1974, was the worst the world had ever seen. The players, staff and colleagues at the club had visited France to watch the England versus France Five Nations match and take part in a friendly against a local side.

But after their friendly scheduled for the day of the crash was postponed, 18 of the 21-strong party opted to take an earlier flight as a two-day strike at Heathrow had halted any British flights.

In total 346 people perished in the tragedy, which caused incomparable grief in West Suffolk and the rugby community. The Rugby Club set up a Disaster Fund to give immediate assistance, which had phenomenal support from the public.

St Nicholas Hospice

For over 40 years St Nicholas Hospice has been providing specialist palliative care and support for those faced with dying, caring and grief in the Bury St Edmunds area. Costing over £8 million to run every year, the hospice must generate £17,500 of income every day to continue to support our community.

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