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Alfie Lewis (11) gets on his bike to raise £2k in memory of 'hero' Dr John Hinds

By Laura Abernethy

Published 16/08/2016

Alfie Lewis from Dungannon rode the Ulster Grand Prix course in memory of Dr John Hinds
Alfie Lewis from Dungannon rode the Ulster Grand Prix course in memory of Dr John Hinds
Alfie Lewis from Dungannon rode the Ulster Grand Prix course in memory of Dr John Hinds

An 11-year-old boy has raised over £2,100 in memory of his hero Dr John Hinds.

Dr Hinds died last July while providing medical cover at the Skerries 100 road race practice.

Alfie Lewis, from Dungannon, met Dr Hinds a few years ago and he had been in awe of the 'Flying Doctor', who helped to save the lives of riders injured while competing. He was a consultant at Craigavon Area Hospital.

Alfie was left "heartbroken" by the news of the medic's death and wanted to do something in his memory.

After receiving a replica of Dr Hinds' helmet for Christmas, he decided he wanted to cycle the Ulster Grand Prix circuit to pay tribute to his hero and to raise money for the air ambulance that is being established following his death.

Dr Hinds had been a long-term campaigner to get Northern Ireland its own air ambulance, and following his death a petition backing the service received more than 65,000 signatures.

In February the then Chancellor George Osborne announced £4.5 million to help provide an air ambulance here.

Alfie set up his own fundraising page and was delighted to receive a brand new bike for the cycle from Scottish businessman Ian Garden of Rig Deluge.

His mother Andrea and dad Shaun were worried about how Alfie would tackle the hilly course but he took it all in his stride, telling his mum: "Don't worry, I've got Dr John with me to help me round."

The ride took place last Friday, and although it was race week, the road was open as it was a non-race day.

Alfie was accompanied by Danny Horne, a mechanic with RC Express racing team, who had got in touch and asked the youngster if he could join him.

Dad Shaun said: "We were worried to start with because of the distance and the circuit itself. We were concerned he wouldn't be able to complete it, but he was adamant. He wanted to make everyone proud and to raise the money for Dr John.

"We were so proud of him and amazed at how fast (he was) and the ease that he completed it." Alfie has already raised more than £2,100 for the Air Ambulance Fund, smashing his initial target of £1,000

Shaun added: "He can't believe just how much he has raised. He was ecstatic, and was speechless when we counted the money. The generosity has been immense."

The Northern Ireland Air Ambulance (NIAA) said it had been following Alfie's progress and was proud of him. It said for a young lad to have the determination to organise such an event was "amazing".

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