Cycling in memory of bike-mad Charlie

In May, the sudden death of eight year old Charlie Morettes shocked his family. Now his stepfather is cycling to Paris to raise money for the memorial fund. Charlotte McDonald finds out more.

Charlie Morettes had been playing rounders at Sutton-at-Hone CoE Primary School, Church Road, on May 16, just before home time. The eight year -old had just hit the ball and was running around the posts when he suddenly collapsed and died.

Four months on, his mother, Allison Spalding, 33 and his stepfather, Tony Spalding, 34, are attempting to deal with the grief.

Mr Spalding, said: Every day is just as hard as the others. It doesn’t get any easier.

“We are coping as well as you can.

“Our daughters keep us busy. I have been crying quite a lot and Alison has been organising a charity ball in November.”

The couple, who are both sales managers, live with daughters Holly, four, and Scarlett, who is 12 weeks old, in Cedar Drive, Sutton-at-Hone.

In a bid to find our more about their son’s death, Mr & Mrs Spalding got in touch with the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

The charity focuses on helping families with relatives who had died from sudden death syndrome.

“It also promotes awareness and provides resources to test people for heart conditions.”

Mr Spalding said: “When I was trying to find out a bit more about CRY on their website, I stumbled across a bike ride which was being organised in Paris.

“I decided it was something I wanted to do. I didn’t even have a bike at the time.”

Mr Spalding is now preparing for the four-day ride which sets off in Blackheath on September 12 and ends at the Eiffel Tower on September 15.

He has been training three to four times a week and at the weekends, doing 20 to 30 miles a time.

He said: “It’s important to be doing this. Charlie was always on his bike, Every now and then we would go on bike rides.

“At just seven he had no problems cycling 10 miles. He would have to stop a couple of times for breaks, but he would do it.

“He loved his bike so much. I will carry on cycling, doing other cycling events.”

On August 30 the Spalding family paid a visit to Lewisham Hospital where they spoke to heart specialist Dr Sanjay Sharma who explained to them the condition their son had.

The whole family also had an ECG test to check for similar conditions (checking what result as happening on Thurs).

Mr Spalding is now encouraging people to get tested so problems can be picked up sooner.

“He said: “I didn’t know about this until Charlie died from it.”

The money, which goes towards Charlie’s memorial fund, and ultimately to CRY, will help raise awareness of heart conditions and pay for equipment and resources to test for them.

For more details of Charlie’s fund and to make a donation, log on to the website