Birthday bash in soldier’s memory

Serving soldiers: Corporal Liam Riley with Prince Harry, who described him as a 'legend'.
Serving soldiers: Corporal Liam Riley with Prince Harry, who described him as a 'legend'.

TOMORROW would have been his 24th birthday.

And the family of friends of fallen war hero Corporal Liam Riley will mark the day as they usually do – by holding a big party.

Hundreds of people are expected to gather at The Fox Inn, Robin Lane, Beighton, for the fun day in Liam’s memory.

And, as in previous years, the party will serve as a fundraiser for Help For Heroes.

Cpl Riley, a former Westfield School pupil who grew up in Beighton and Killamarsh, was killed in Helmand Province attempting to rescue his friend Lance Corporal Graham Shaw following an explosion in February 2010.

Cpl Riley, then aged 21, and L/Cpl Shaw, 27, from Huddersfield, were on patrol with 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, when they stood on improvised explosive devices.

Prince Harry later paid tribute to his former colleague.

The Prince, who trained alongside him in Canada, described him as ‘a legend’ after learning of his death.

Cpl Riley’s mum Cheryl Routledge said Saturday’s event would celebrate both Liam’s life and that of his mate Graham.

The fun day, arranged by Liam’s aunt Marie Gregg and her friend Sarah Beck, will start with a balloon launch at noon on Reignhead Playing Fields, across the road from The Fox.

There will then be the Liam Riley Charity Cup football tournament featuring Liam’s All Stars, Beighton Falcons, The Fox and Mosborough FC.

Elsewhere, four giant marquees will feature a range of stalls, while eight bands will entertain the crowds.

There will also be a rodeo bull, gyroscope and a charity auction for a host of prizes including a Sheffield United season ticket.

Liam’s mum Cheryl hopes the day will be as successful as other fund raising activities which have so far raised an incredible total of £59,000 in her son’s memory for Help for Heroes.

She said: “The event is especially poignant to myself and the rest of Liam’s family as today is Liam’s 24th Birthday.

“Not ideally how a parent wishes to spend their child’s birthday but unfortunately we are where we are.

“With this in mind lets all make it a special birthday celebration for our hero today by having the best time possible and partying as he would have himself and at the same time raising a hopefully fantastic amount of money for charity.

“I am so sure he will be along side us all enjoying the day.

“It would be nice if at some part of the day you could raise your glass and wish Liam a Happy Birthday.”