Remembering Scotty through fundraising

Loving Sheffield dad Scott Vessey lost his battle against cancer five years ago – but his legacy is still winning the hearts of the community, thanks to his dedicated family and friends.

Monday, 30th September 2019, 4:17 pm
Scott with his wife, Judith and their children.

Avid footballer Scott – fondly known as ‘Scotty’ – had been fighting prostate cancer for a few years before he died in January 2014, leaving behind his wife and three children.

Family and friends have been raising money for Prostate Cancer UK in his memory and have now completed a two-day fundraising quest by cycling 120 miles from Southport to Sheffield, which they hoped will have raised £5,000.

His sister, Gay Fletcher, 47, said they started the ride on August 31 – which would have been Scott’s 56th birthday – and finished the following day in Sheffield at The Rivelin pub.

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Gay said: “The most challenging part would have to be cycling with 14 blokes who aren’t great with directions. Other challenges were part of the route being blocked off due to a police incident and having to find an alternative route, but it all added to the adventure.

“Scott would have laughed at the thought of some of the group riding, as some had not been on a bike for years and probably won’t again after two days in the saddle!”

Gay said fundraising efforts started before Scott’s death when a group of friends and family staged the Hull to Sheffield ‘Tour De Vessey’ (TDV) cycle ride in December 2013 to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK and Marie Curie Cancer. “My way to remember Scott was on my walks, runs and bike rides around our lovely local countryside, places and paths that we’d walked together as a family such as Bradfield Crags, Loxley Trail and up through Stannington. This helped me feel calm and close to him,” said Gay.

“We raised a massive £12,000 for both Prostate Cancer UK and Marie Curie Cancer, but sadly Scott passed away shortly after and my dear friend Fiona also lost her father Pat Tillery to this terrible disease.

Scott and Gay when they were little.

“As a close family, you never get over the loss of a loved one. There’s always something missing, a loss, a hole, a void.

“But you try your best to pull together and carry on,” she said.

The fundraising efforts ranged from walks, runs and bike rides involving the community, to remember Scott and raise money.

Gay said: “Over the years my mum, dad and family have continued to volunteer in the community to raise money for Marie Curie, take part in St Luke’s Night Strider events and Weston Park Hospital’s Light the Night Walk, all in the hope that we can help other families going through the same as we did.

Gay Fletcher has spearheaded various fundraising efforts for Prostate Cancer UK and Marie Curie Cancer in the memory of her late brother, Scott.

“Scott spent a lot of time being cared for by the amazing staff at Weston Park Hospital, they are truly amazing, but wanted to be at home and so returned to be with his family supported by the loving care of Marie Curie nurses.”

This year Gay has challenged herself to complete 56 half marathon distances.

She added: “The year started well as I had completed 11 half marathons and various monthly challenges like Keilder Dark Skies Marathon, Edale Skyline Hike, Ride for Eric among others.

“However, injury struck and I was forced to re-evaluate my fundraising quest.

Friends and family at the end of their bike ride on Tour De Vessey (TDV) Part 2 that was organised for September, where they cycled 120 miles from Southport to Sheffield all in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.

“My year of challenges continues with revamped ideas.

“This month I will cycle one of the Grindleford Goat sportive routes and next month will be walking from Whitby to Scarborough in memory of Scott and Fiona’s dad Pat Tillery.

“I am looking for challenges for November and December and welcome anyone to join me if they wish to also raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.”

n Those who would like to donate can go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/doingitforscott, which will remain open until January 2020.

Scott and his wife, Judith