FORMER colleagues of tragic Wigan submariner Ian Molyneux have passed through Wigan as they take part in a huge cycle ride in his memory.
The group called off at La Mama in Standish yesterday, meeting his widow Gill and the couple’s four children, Jamie, Aaron, Bethany and Charlie.
Lt Cdr Molyneux (pictured inset) was killed onboard HMS Astute in April last year by crew member Ryan Donovan.
Since then, there have been various charity events held in his name with this epic ride raising money for the Force’s Children Trust.
The group, which consists of some of Ian’s former collegues from HMS Ambush, HMS Artful and BAE Systems are on their way from Barrow, where he worked on HMS Ambush, to Southampton, where he lost his life.
Yesterday was the first leg of the journey and the group met Ian’s family at the Standish eatery, which was one of the couple’s favourite places to go when he was at home.
And Gill says she has been overwhelmed at the way people are keeping Ian’s memory alive.
She said: “It’s fantastic that 15, 16 months after he died people still want to do things to remember him.
“It’s nice to know that he is still on the forefront of a lot of colleagues’ minds and it is lovely for the kids too.
“It’s also nice to do things that celebrate Ian’s life as well, it really means a lot to the family.”
Speaking ahead of the ride, one of Ian’s former colleagues, CPO Craig Middleton, spoke of the importance of visiting Wigan.
He said: “We wanted to pass through where he came from too, Lt Cdr Molyneux was a real family-orientated man and we got in touch with Gill about it and asked for her advice on who she would want us to do it for.”
The charity chosen, FCT, helps children whose father or mother has died, or has sustained life-threatening injuries while serving as a member of the British Armed Forces.
After dropping in and having a drink with the Molyneux family, the cyclists continued their journey down south.
Thankfully, the rain held off during the first day of the journey and the group were hoping for the same weather today.
To find out more about the charity or to make a donation in Ian’s memory, visit www.forceschildrenstrust.org.