Villagers rally to remember young accident victim with charity run
- Credit: Lyn Gibb de Swarte
The Paul Murfitt inspired ‘Paul’s Memory Runs On’ event raised £1,000 plus for Littleport fire and rescue.
December 19, 1986, is a date seared into the memory of Paul Murfitt’s family. It was the day they heard Paul lost his life in a car crash while giving a friend a lift home from an evening out in Ely.
On Saturday December 19, 2020, family and friends gathered in the grounds of Littleport Leisure to pay their respects and raise some money for Littleport’s fire and rescue crew.
Paul was a keen runner and many present-day running buddies from Littleport parkrun turned up for this special 5k.
Eighteen of them wore specially printed up tee shirts with Paul’s picture and the legend ‘Paul’s Memory Runs On’ printed on them courtesy of sponsor, his sister’s husband, Mark Sullivan.
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Present to watch - and hold the finishing red ribbon - were Paul’s parents, Diane and Brian Murfitt who were amazed when the runners assembled for the start suddenly took off their jackets to reveal these specially produced tops.
After the run everyone took off for the Grange Care Home where Kathryn McGuirk, the manager, was to give a cheque donation for £500 to the fire crew.
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It more than doubled the bucket collection given at the run itself raising something over the same amount again!
Paul’s sister Andrea, one of those running, said: “I am delighted that so many people have been in touch since we announced plans for this memorial event and also so many taking part.
“My brother’s schoolfriend Angela now moved from Littleport to Scotland ran this morning and fellow Littleport park runner Tali Iserles did a 5k treadmill run! “Mum and dad were very touched by the outpouring of sympathy and love for Paul even after all this time.”
The family laid a Christmas wreath on Paul’s grave in Littleport Cemetery in the afternoon.
Paul Murfitt, who played hockey for Ely and District Young Farmers, was driving friend Kevin Hartley home from Ely to Three Holes when his vehicle skidded into a ditch along the A1101 and burst into flames on December 19, 1986.
Alastair Page, who was with them at the time, survived the crash.