A dramatic crash on the banks of Newcastle’s velodrome left Brian Radcliffe - a veteran of some 40 years of cycling in all disciplines - in a coma for over three weeks and with a serious brain injury. While doctors have given no assurance that the 57-year-old will recover entirely from the accident, the Hunter District Cycling Club is helping raise funds to allow the 2008 World Masters Championships bronze medallist to return home.
Riding high on the bank during the last race of the night, Radcliffe – who won his division at the Grafton to Inverell Cycling Classic in 1984 – swerved to avoid a fall after two riders clipped wheels ahead. With nowhere to go Radcliffe hit the riders, sending him face first into the concrete track.
The much-loved aficionado of cycling has spent last 13 months at the Rankin Park Rehabilitation Centre, bound to a wheel chair, partially paralysed and unable to recall any events or people from the past 10 years of his life.
As Radcliffe prepares to return to his family home in Greenhills for the first time, local cycling clubs in the Australian city of Newcastle are helping raise funds to help make his homecoming possible. The funds will contribute to the estimated $50–60,000 required to modify Radcliffe’s family home and car to accommodate the wheel chair, to which doctors believe Radcliffe will be bound for the rest of his life.
A fund raising event, which will take place on Saturday, May 8 at the South League Club in Newcastle, has so far raised $7000 in ticket sales and donations. Organisers hope to double that on the night through further donations and auctions of items which include an autographed Chris Hoy jersey, supplied by Cycling NSW.
While seats for the event have sold out, donations to the Radcliffe family can still be made to Brian and Robyn Radcliffe care of Hunter District Cycling Club, PO Box 211, Cardiff NSW 2285, Australia or by contacting organising committee member Ian Lovell via at firstname.lastname@example.org.