Lee Wilby fundraiser will mark 10th anniversary of death

Car crash victim Lee Wilby from Lupset, pictured here with his mum, Karen Wilkinson.'w7218a909
Car crash victim Lee Wilby from Lupset, pictured here with his mum, Karen Wilkinson.'w7218a909

A fundraiser to mark the 10th anniversary of a popular Kettlethorpe man’s untimely death is on course to be a sell out, his mother has confirmed.

Karen Smith is holding the event to celebrate the life of 23-year-old Lee Wilby who lost his life in a road smash in November 2008.

Stanley Utd v Nightingale'Stanley Utd's Lee Wilby (in red) and Nightingale's Andy McKelvie (in yellow).

Stanley Utd v Nightingale'Stanley Utd's Lee Wilby (in red) and Nightingale's Andy McKelvie (in yellow).

And the all-ticket gathering will see around 250 people join her to help raise cash for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Karen, 54, said: “I got over 200 tickets printed three of four weeks ago and they’re almost gone.

“A few of his friends had been asking me if I was doing anything, because we had a fundraiser on the fifth anniversary, but it takes a lot of hard work.

“I was surprised at how quick the tickets have sold, but then again he was a very popular lad and his friends keep his memory alive by always posting things on Facebook.

“They all got together at his grave on the anniversary of his death earlier this month and had a drink for him.”

Budding footballer Lee, who played for Stanley United, died when his car was hit side-on. Lee was pulling out of Hendal Lane onto Standbridge Lane, in Kettlethorpe, when he was struck by a vehicle travelling almost twice the 30mph speed limit.

The driver had no licence or insurance and was eventually handed a four-year jail term, which was heavily criticised by Lee’s family for its leniency.

For Mrs Smith, she says even 10 years on Lee is still never far from her thoughts.

She said: “It’s still pretty raw and it never leaves you.

“You still have days when you are down and you think ‘why Lee?’ You can never get over it but I can talk about him now without crying.”

The fundraiser will take place at the Legends Bar in Batley on December 2 where there will be Elvis tribute performances from Jim Santana and Lee Arron King.

There will be also be a raffle and an auction.