East Leeds: Kippax festive ‘switch-on’ in memory of a fundraiser champ

The Olympic torch Ian Meek carried in the relay this summer will be taken by his widow to the Kippax lights switch-on.
The Olympic torch Ian Meek carried in the relay this summer will be taken by his widow to the Kippax lights switch-on.
Have your say

The widow of champion fundraiser Ian Meek is to switch on Kippax Christmas lights in his memory later this month.

Sally-Anne Meek, 39, has also been asked to bring the Olympic torch carried by her late husband as part of the 2012 London Games celebrations this summer to the event on Thursday, November 29.

Ian and his team raised £110,000 for Brain Tumour Research and Support (BTRS) across Yorkshire through a series of physical challenges after he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour.

The father-of-three was too ill to complete the last charity fundraiser, a bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

He died aged 42 on August 1, Yorkshire Day – the day the bikers arrived back into Leeds.

Sally said: “I am delighted and honoured that Kippax Parish Council has asked me to do this. Ian would have been absolutely thrilled.

“He was very proud of being an Olympic torch bearer, and taking on that honour.

“It was the last time he walked in public without aid so it was also a very significant day for everybody who knew him. I am really pleased I was asked.”

Kippax Christmas Lights will be switched on at 7.45pm on November 29, followed by a fireworks display.

Entertainment will start from 6pm, with music provided by both Kippax Brass Band and the Kippax Amateur Operatic Society.

Special guests will include Ronnie the Rhino and Katie Bear, the mascot for Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal.

Doug Morley, chairman of Kippax Parish Council said: “We try to feature as many local talents as we can find.”

He added: “Ian was very well known and well respected in Kippax, and we are delighted to celebrate what he achieved with help from his wife Sally-Anne.”

BTRS plan to use the money raised by Ian to fund the Ian Meek studentship, a three-year PhD brain tumour research post at the University of Leeds.

Ian Meek - Let’s Cure Brain Tumours is continuing to raise money for BTRS.

To donate, visit: www.justgiving.com/Meeksfeats

Tony Yeboah scores in the 1995 Christmas Eve clash between Leeds and Manchester United.

Rob Atkinson: A very Leeds United Christmas Eve