Family finishes run in memory of Neil

Tributes are laid in memory of Neil Rigby at the completion of the run
Tributes are laid in memory of Neil Rigby at the completion of the run

Family and friends of a Wigan grandad who died suddenly during a borough fundraiser have finished the race that he did not have chance to finish.


Neil Rigby, 47, was part-way through the Wigan and Leigh 5k Colour Run at Pennington Flash last Sunday when he collapsed.

Despite paramedics best efforts they were not able to resuscitate him and he died at the scene.

The father-of-two was part of the annual fundraising efforts for Wigan and Leigh Hospice and the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation.

One of his daughters, Shireen, invited members of the community to join the tribute run, which took place at the country park on Saturday morning.

She posted the invitation on social media, saying: "On Sunday 17th September my dad, Neil Rigby gained his angel wings taking part in the colour run. On Saturday at 10:30am we are going to finish the race for him.

"We will be starting at the point where he gained his wings. Everyone is more than welcome to join❤️ myself and my family can’t thank everyone enough who has helped us and sent us kind words and donations."

Tributes have poured in for the "fun loving" Manchester United fan, with family and friends reminiscing about his "great sense of humour" and his loving and "caring" nature.

A fundraising page to help provide the family with financial support for Neil’s funeral, has gained almost £1,500 with donations coming in from close family and friends, but also people who were at the colour run when the tragic events unfolded.

Lynn Harrison wrote: "Truly heartbroken at the sad loss of my big brother Neil love you all the world and more love your little sis."

Emma, Nick and Niamh Grady also contributed to the cause, saying: "We didn’t know Neil but were there on the day and saw the attempts to save him. Neil and family haven’t been far from our thoughts since that day & if we can help by giving a little then we will. RIP."

Neil’s other daughter Stacey Rigby, told the Wigan Post about her dad, who was well known as a family man who loved his grandchildren.

In a moving tribute she said: "He was just so
loving always put his family first and adored his grandchildren.

"He was funny and always had us in stitches but all we have now is an empty chair where he was always sat.

"My dad was the heart of our family and our whole world has been turned upside down and will never be the same. We are truly broken and we will miss him so much.

"He was a happy loving family man who adored his six grandchildren. And the family would like to say thank you to everybody who helped from the bottom of our broken hearts."

The official link to Neil Rigby’s fundraising page is www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/grace-hill