Sheffield man raffles off Top Gun motorbike for good cause
A Sheffield man is hoping this raffle prize will take your breath away '“ as he raffles off a Top Gun-inspired superbike for a good cause.
Jay McGreneghan aims to raise up to £100,000 for Stroke Association Support with the sensational motorbike in memory of his father, Tony, who was left severely paralysed by a devastating stroke.
Jay, aged 43, from Norfolk Park, bought the shabby 1985 Kawasaki GPZ900R Ninja motorbike to restore it in 2012, hoping it would help him to rediscover an old passion for motorbikes while helping him remember the good memories of his childhood.
The bike is the same model used by Tom Cruise in the Top Gun movie.
His dad Tony, who was also a motorbike lover, had suffered a devastating stroke in 2003 which left him bed bound, tube-fed and unable to communicate clearly for the final 12 years of his life.
The stroke had a massive impact on the family and Jay was recently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a traumatic experience in his teens, which had haunted him into his adult years.
He said: “In 1988, when I was 16 years old, I helped rescue my dad from drowning in the bath tub after he suffered a brain bleed.
“I still have disrupting thoughts and images of that day and I haven’t slept well for many, many years.”
Restoring the Kawasaki motorbike helped Jay to cope with his condition.
He said: “When you have PTSD, bad memories are so vivid and the bike helps me remember the good moments, like the stories my dad used to tell me of when he was a biker or when he taught me how to drive in his workplace car park in his Jaguar.
“The project also became a way of communicating with my dad. I used to talk to him about it before he passed away on April 17 last year.”
In 2013, a year after obtaining his motorbike, Jay approached Kawasaki Motors, who were celebrating 30 years of the Ninja brand.
They agreed to help him to lovingly restore the bike so he could raffle it off to raise money for Stroke Association Support.
Others from the motorcycle trade also came on board to donate thousands of pounds worth of new parts to create a true superbike.
Jay, who works in Decathlon’s car park, monitoring it and keeping it tidy, decided to call his motorbike ‘Fast Ninja’ to help people remember the signs of stroke: Facial weakness, Arms weakness, Speech difficulty and Time to call 999.
He said: “My dad’s passion for motorcycles inspired me to find a way for him to still make a difference in the world through me, by raising stroke awareness.
“Hopefully, I will help save one or two lives while raising awareness for Stroke Association Support.”
The bike can be viewed at the Decathlon store in Sheffield until the end of the month. The online raffle ends on January 31. To buy tickets for £1 each, visit www.raffleplayer.com/strokekawasaki