A MOTORCYCLE racing fan’s scheme to raise money in memory of Moto GP star Marco Simoncelli exceeded all expectations, smashing the original target by more than £1,000.
Supporter Simon Tappin set out to raise £5,800 (100 times Simoncelli’s race number of 58) by producing a commemorative sticker showing Simocelli’s race number, which could be put on the back of a car for example.
As a fan of the racer who had already won a 250cc World Championship in 2008, Simon said he wanted to show support for Simoncelli’s family as well as appreciation for the rider himself.
Recalling the MotoGP round in Sepang in October last year when Simoncelli died he said: ‘Sadly at Sepang, viewers witnessed a freak crash involving Marco Simoncelli getting entangled as he tried to save his falling bike with Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.
The horrific accident saw Marco fighting for his life and a few short hours later he passed away as a result of his injuries. The Sepang MotoGP race was cancelled and the normally bustling, raucous paddock fell silent.
‘Marco’s love of his sport, laid back, fun-loving style and sheer zest for life and racing endeared him to millions.’
After producing the first of his stickers, Simon listed them on eBay with all proceeds to be donated to the Rob Vine Fund, which he had supported for a number of years.
He said: ‘The response was instant. Perhaps underestimating the support Marco enjoyed, orders started flooding in.’
Each sticker took a couple of minutes to make and within days Simon was returning home from work then toiling into the small hours to dispatch orders arriving from across the globe.
‘The orders were from fans, journalists, racers and even TT winners,’ he said.
This began three hard months of late nights and weekends, making stickers and stuffing envelopes with considerable help from his wife Lisa.
Added to a charity cake sale he organised at work in December and matched charity funding from Barclays Bank where he works, and the total raised for the Rob Vine Fund currently stands at £7,157.47 and is still rising slowly as eBay sales of the ‘58’ stickers continue.
Commenting on the stickers’ success, Simon said: ‘It’s been a hard three months fulfilling orders against such an overwhelming response.
‘Even though there is now a Marco Simoncelli foundation for charitable donations, I wanted to do something in Marco’s name in support of the racers and their families. Being a long time supporter of the Rob Vine Fund and huge fan of real road racing in the Isle of Man, the Rob Vine Fund and Dr David Stevens provided the ideal partnership to achieve what I set out to do on that dark day back in October 2011 and in some small way, Marco lives on by helping supply medical services to support our precious road racing community through the fantastic work that Dr Stevens and his dedicated team of volunteers provide.’
David Stevens, director of the Rob Vine Fund, said: ‘Simon’s dedicated and time-consuming effort on behalf of our charity, has been a really quite unique fundraiser, and has made us all very conscious of the tragedies that can occur in the sport we all love and support.’
The stickers are still available on eBay and have the words ‘100 per cent charity’ in the title or via Simon’s web site which is www.moonpie.co.uk.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Sunday 19 May 2013
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Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
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