Grandmother inspires Roy’s riders on 750-mile Marie Curie fundraiser

BALLYMENA native and BBC-TV continuity announcer, Roy Willighan is gearing up with his brother and two friends for a marathon fund-raising motorcycle tour of Scotland in aid of Belfast’s Marie Curie Hospice and nurses.

From July 23-30, the members of ‘Riders of the Lost Ark Motorcycle Club’ will be hoping to raise at least £1,000 with their Scottish ride-out which will see them head for Loch Lomond and Pitlochry, then through the Cairngorms National Park before reaching Inverness.

Then it will be off to the Isle of Skye and Fort William, passing through Glen Coe and back to Cairnryan.

Said Roy: “Last year as part of a much bigger group which toured County Donegal, I raised £660 for Down’s Syndrome. This year, just four of us will be on the bikes and the charity chosen is Marie Curie Cancer Care, a charity close to my heart”.

Roy, a former pupil of Ballymena Academy, revealed that last year’s fund raiser was inspired by a friend who has a Downs’ child while this year he chose Marie Curie in memory of his grandmother, May Willighan, who died from breast cancer in 1998 aged 62.

Taking part with him in this year’s trip will be his brother Graham, who now lives in Manchester; and friends and fellow Ballymena natives Gareth McClure and Sharon Clarke.

Roy pointed out that his “very understanding” partner, Gillian, who has ridden pillion on the previous trips, is very disappointed to be missing out this time round but is staying at home to look after the couple’s two-month-old baby, Bobby.

If you would like to help Roy and his fellow ‘Riders of the Lost Ark’ make their £1,000 target, or even surpass it, donations can be made at