Bikers’ salute to ill soldier
A TOWN came to a standstill to salute a terminally ill soldier.
A convoy of bikers and truckers made their way to the Don Bar, Stockton’s war memorial pub, on Saturday.
The event was held to raise money for the young family of Billingham dad Phil Cox, who was told he could have just months to live after his cancer spread.
Don Bar landlady Julie Cooper said she was moved by the scenes she said shut down Silver Street.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Julie.
“You couldn’t get down the street, it was that manic, and the generosity of the bikers and everyone who has given something for Phil has been out of this world.”
A raffle was being held on Saturday night to raise some of the £110,000 supporters want to make sure Phil’s family don’t have to sell their home.
“I don’t know how much money we’ve raised but it is a lot,” added Julie.
“I’ve seen people coming over and just throwing £40 in, and for the raffle people have come in and donated iPads while a taxi company gave us a brand new 55 inch TV.
“It is like a family the Army and, like a family, once someone becomes sick everyone gets on board to help out no questions asked.”
Around 150 bikes are thought to have taken part in the convoy, with organisers telling Julie they plan on making it an annual fundraising tradition for various good causes.
Phil has spent more than 16 months battling aggressive tumours which are rapidly growing throughout his body.
He received the devastating diagnosis of leptomeningeal disease - an incurable complication of cancer which spreads to the brain and spinal cord.
The 36-year-old, who lives in Billingham with his wife Kerri, 41, their son Joe, four, and Phil’s step-daughter Keira, 10, has been told he could have less than a year - or as little as a few months - left to live.
One of the vehicles