Wigan family's life-saving pledge

June Rigby, second from right, with daughter Shireen, second from left, with grandchildren, Jacob, three, left, Laicey, eight, centre, and Sofia, four, right
June Rigby, second from right, with daughter Shireen, second from left, with grandchildren, Jacob, three, left, Laicey, eight, centre, and Sofia, four, right
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The family of a Wigan man who died during a family-fun run, is holding a party in his memory to pay for another defibrilator in the borough.


Neil Rigby was 47 when he died unexpectedly at the Wigan and Leigh 5k Colour Run.

The grandad-of-six was part-way through the charity dash at Pennington Flash last September when he collapsed.

Despite paramedics’ best efforts they were not able to resuscitate him and he died at the scene.

Neil, who is survived by his wife June and his two daughters Shireen and Stacey, was part of the annual fundraising efforts for Wigan and Leigh Hospice and the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation.

Ahead of his first-year anniversary, on September 17, his grieving family have planned to hold a family fun day to help pay for a defibrillator in Wigan.

The family have already donated one of the life-saving devices to Frederick’s Ice-cream parlour earlier this year.

The event, which will take place at St Cuthbert’s Rugby Club on Montrose Avenue, has been organised by June herself and contributed to by local businesses.

“We have got all sorts going on,” she said. “We will be having a fun fair with inflatables.

“There will be a DJ as well as a live singer who is well-known in the area.

“The generosity of the Wigan businesses we have contacted has been unbelievable.

“We have had some fantastic prizes put forward for the raffle like days out at Smithell’s Farm, Haigh Hall have contributed and there are meals out for families available.”

June, 49, has been funding for 12-months non-stop for defibrillators so that other families may not have to go through the same grief that they have endured. “We are hoping to raise money to put another defib in the borough,” she said. “We don’t know where yet but we can put it to the Wigan people and see what they think.

“There might be somewhere out there that’s desperate and we wouldn’t know. The fundraising keeps me focused. You have to try and stay positive, it is just the way it is.”

This year’s Colour Run, which is taking place at Pennington Flash on September 16, will be in Neil’s memory. The event will take place on September 1st from 1pm.