Bikers come together to remember Lee, 26
Hundreds of motorcyclists joined a mass ride-out to remember a young biker.
The huge gathering in memory of tragic 26-year-old Lee Newsome will now become an annual event, his family say.
Father-of-three Lee, from Stoke, was found dead at his flat on January 5.
He had previously endured a five-year battle against both leukaemia and a rare blood disease.
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Bikers from all over the region descended on Plymouth yesterday – just days after what would have been Lee’s 27th birthday.
Led by pal Phil Ranford, they rode along one of Lee’s favourite routes, taking in Elburton, Tavistock, Liskeard, Torpoint and, finally, popular Barbican snack bar Cap’n Jaspers.
Two of his daughters – seven-year-old Chloe and three-year-old Sarah – launched the event.
Lee’s mother, Julie Saunders, said: “Yesterday made me proud to be a biker.
“It is such a special community and it made me so proud that literally hundreds turned up.
“It was awesome, really overwhelming.
“People were joining in as we rode, too, so it was several hundred in the end.
“It couldn’t have been any better.”
The memorial ride also helped raise money for a trust fund and for the Birch ward at Derriford Hospital, where Lee had been treated.
“I have pots full of money,” said Julie. “We haven’t counted it yet because they’re sealed but people were so generous.”
She gave a special thanks to Mike Grainger of GT Motorcycles and Mark Trueman for their assistance at the event.
Those closest to Lee held a barbecue after the ride, where they vowed to make the Lee Newsome Memorial Ride-Out an annual event.
Lee grew up in Liskeard before moving to Plymouth.
He attended St Petrock’s School in Bude, Plymouth College and Liskeard School.
He was diagnosed with leukaemia shortly after his 21st birthday and was also told he had a dangerous blood disease called PNH.
The condition only affects one or two in every million people.
Lee went through repeated periods of intensive treatment.
The cause of his death, in January, has not yet been officially announced.