Billy Livesley: Funeral fund for families will be Wigan dad-to-be's legacy

Robbie Valentine with Billy Livesley
Robbie Valentine with Billy Livesley

A lasting legacy to help grieving families is being created in memory of tragic father-to-be Billy Livesley.

The 21-year-old died on December 29, the day after being found seriously injured on Bickershaw Lane in Abram, sparking a murder investigation.

Close friend Robbie Valentine launched a fund-raising appeal and organised a rugby match to help pay for a funeral for Billy, collecting a massive £32,000 in total.

Now, Robbie wants to help other families who suddenly lose a loved one by setting up a charity to help cover the costs of their send-offs.

He said: “It’s just a bit of something. It will take a bit of stress off the families. They don’t need to be worrying, there’s something out there that can help them.

“I don’t want them to borrow money or get themselves in debt to bury a child. If something can be done, it should be done.”

Robbie, from Spring View, plans to name the charity Young And Unexpected Deaths and it will help the families of young people who die suddenly.

It will be a way to remember Billy, who Robbie became friends with at the age of 10.

He said: “It’s happened because of Billy, but it will help people who die like Billy or die by suicide or in other circumstances.”

Robbie, 23, is organising a comedy night, named Banter For Billy, which will be held on Saturday, April 20 at Ince Rosebridge Sports and Community Club.

It will be the first fund-raiser for the charity, with plans for him to take part in Tough Mudder in September with some of Billy’s friends.

Robbie also plans to make the rugby match held in January on Billy’s 22nd birthday, which raised money for his funeral, an annual charity event.

He said: “The rugby game raised nearly £16,000 and if I can do that once a year on top of other things.

“I can make at least £20,000 a year hopefully.

“We should never have these deaths but the money will be there and can be used if it does happen.”

Two men have been charged with Billy’s murder - Peter Connor, 31, of no fixed address, and Myles Connors, 26, of Layton Street Caravan Park, Layton Road, Preston. They have been remanded in custody and will next appear at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday, April

18.