A tragic motorcyclist will be remembered when a Wigan pub hosts a veterans’ fun day this weekend.
Karen Aston, of the Old Springs inn at Kitt Green, is pulling together a major fund-raiser for the Bolton Armed Forces Centre.
And one of the most poignant parts of Saturday’s get-together will be when a Yahama YZF bike is auctioned off in memory of Rickie Johnson.
The 34-year-old lost his life when his bike collided with a tree on Wigan Road in Golborne, in August 2016.
His parents Elaine and Ian are supporting the memorial motorbike project.
He has also served with the armed forces previously.
Karen said: “They are very excited to see the final version of the bike and we think they will be coming down on the day.
“We’ve been planning this for some time and the regulars are all on board with it.”
The landlady has been encouraged to pull out all the stops for the army centre as her son-in-law, Dylan Boardman, is in the process of returning to civvy street, having served with the Royal Military Police.
The centre in Bolton, which assist ex-soldiers with issues such as housing, education, mental health and general welfare, caters for a number of former squaddies from the Wigan and Leigh areas.
She added: “Dylan is coming out of the Army at the moment and the centre is set to help soldiers make the adjustment.
“The staff there are currently looking for better transport, so they can bring more people to the centre.”
The Wigan-based Brigantia Revels Motorcycle Club, which meets regularly at the Old Springs, has supported the initiative.
Plans are already in place at the Spring Road hostelry for some live music, a 30ft inflatable pirate boat bouncy castle and barbecue.
An admission charge of £2 will be made and stalls and fairground rides are also anticipated.
Karen and colleagues have a strong track record when it comes to charity pursuits, having organised fund-raisers over the past year for the Christie Hospital in Manchester and the premature baby charity Bliss.