Residents rally in tribute to late Leeds teens Rhys Baker and George Wharton one year on from tragic crash

One year on from the tragic deaths of two popular Leeds teenagers a community club has helped to raise vital funds in their memory.

Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 7:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 11:51 am
Family, friends and classmates gathered at a candle lit vigil at the scene of the crash in Morley last year. Picture by Ian Hinchliffe/

Holbeck Working Mens Club, in Jenkinson Lawn, Holbeck, rallied south Leeds locals and held a special fundraising night on Saturday to mark the loss of Rhys Baker, 13, from Holbeck, and George Wharton, 14, from Churwell.

Family and friends of the boys are also set to gather at the club, where Rhys’ dad Mark is a member, to remember the youngsters tonight – exactly one year on from the accident.

The boys died after the 21-year-old driver of the Peugeot 206 they were passengers in lost control while trying to overtake on the A62 Gelderd Road, in Morley, and hit a tree on March 7 last year. The driver and two others were seriously hurt.

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Rhys Baker.

More than 80 people turned out for Saturday’s event, which featured bingo, a buffet and tombola, and raised more than £600 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA).

Mark said: “We just wanted to get together as it was the anniversary and we also thought we may as well make it for a good cause. We thought because they [YAA] attended that it would be a good thing to do.

“It’s absolutely brilliant that we have had such support. We’ve had lots of support all the way through.

“I can’t put it into words – it’s just great knowing you’ve got that kind of support.”

Holbeck Working Mens Club.

South Leeds was in mourning following the deaths last year. Leeds United shirts, football boots, photos and candles were left at the scene in tribute to them, while around 600 pupils from nearby Woodkirk Academy, where many knew the boys, held an impromptu minutes silence.

Ian Pickup, volunteer at the Holbeck club, said: “Rhys was a great lad and we used to have a right laugh. The family are lovely and it’s something we wanted to do – it’s amazing how everybody came together to support the family, they’ve got many friends here.”

Rhys Baker.
Holbeck Working Mens Club.