The mother of a legendary motorcyclist killed in a helicopter crash 13 years ago has told of her pride that his legacy is helping save lives.
Every year since he died near Teviothead in 2003 at the age of 41, a fundraising motorbike ride has been staged in honour of Hawick-born Steve ‘Hizzy’ Hislop, winner of the Isle of Man TT 11 times.
This year was no exception, with motorcyclists from across the UK setting off from the village green at Denholm on a 150-mile route through the Borders and back.
And while the riders are on the open highway, fundraisers stage raffles and an auction back on the green to raise funds for a worthy cause.
The latest ride, held at the end of August, amassed almost £1,800 for Blood Bikes Scotland, a charity offering the National Health Service a free out-of-hours courier service, and that money has now been collected and handed over.
Among the fundraisers was Steve’s proud mum Margaret, 72, of Westgate in Denholm.
She said: “Some days it seems a long time since his death, and on other days it feels just like yesterday.
“Steve wouldn’t believe that this memorial event is held every year and helping so many good causes. He was such a quiet, unassuming person.
“We have so many helpers, and it really is a team effort. We started off with the raffle, but we were getting so many donations that we started the auction, which this year raised £400.
“We’ve helped so many charities over the years, and the riders who knew Steve have been so generous in donating jackets and boots.
“In all the years we have been doing this, not one person has ever refused a request to give. That’s a testimony to the high regard in which Steve is held.”
Mrs Hislop always travelled to watch her son compete at Donington in Leicestershire and the TT Races, winning titles including the British 250cc championship in 1990 and the British superbike championship in 1995 and 2002, but she revealed that Steve’s two sons, Connor, 17 and Aaron, 19, both living on the Isle of Man, don’t share their enthusiasm for motorsports.
She added: “Neither of them have taken up motorbiking – they’re both football-mad – but it would probably have been different if Steve had lived and passed on his passion.”
Blood Bikes Scotland founder Steven Quintus, of Hawick, said: “We cover the Borders, along with the Lothians and Fife, using an eight-strong team of volunteer riders.
“Basically, we offer the NHS in these regions a free out-of-hour service operating 6pm to 6am.
“This year’s Hizzy Run was a great effort from all those involved, and every penny of the £1,774.81p raised will go to fund our work, which can see us asked to ferry samples, tissue and equipment.”