Hundreds gather to fundraise and release balloons in memory of South Yorkshire teen killed in hit-and-run collision

A beloved South Yorkshire teenager killed in a hit-and-run collision has been honoured with a charity day that saw people release balloons in his memory and raise over £3,000 for his devastated family.

By Sarah Marshall
Sunday, 05 May, 2019, 10:23
Balloon release in memory of Ryan Durkin at Phoenix sports and social Club in Brinsworth. Picture Scott Merrylees. Ryan Durkin pictured inset.

Ryan Durkin was just 15-years-old when he died from the injuries he suffered when he was struck by a stolen silver BMW on Brinsworth Lane, Brinsworth, at around 11pm on Friday, April 19. 

Hundreds turned out for the at the day of fundraising at the Phoenix Sport and Social Club, Pavilion Lane in Rotherham yesterday. 

Kerry Ward, whose daughter Jordon Purser was with Ryan on the night, helped to organise the event, and said she was ‘really pleased’ with the number of people who turned out to support the teen’s family. 

“It was really busy all the way through. Ryan’s mum is doing surprisingly well, and has commented on how pleased she was to see everyone there yesterday,” said Kerry. 

As part of the fundraising activities some of Ryan’s former teammates from Brinsworth Whitehill were among those who took part in a ‘young ones versus old ones’ 11-a-side football match after releasing dozens of balloons in his memory.

Kerry said: “The old ones won 9-8, but I think the young ones probably let them win! Everyone stayed to watch the match, which was really good.”

Ryan Durkin



She added: “We raised £3,500 yesterday, with people paying £2 for adult tickets and £1 for children’s tickets for the match. We’re going to give the money raised to his family directly.”

Balloon release in memory of Ryan Durkin at Phoenix sports and social Club in Brinsworth. Picture Scott Merrylees

A GoFundMe page set up to help support his family has already raised more than £6,000 since it was set up and a sea of floral tributes have been left at the scene.

After being hit by the BMW, which failed to stop at the scene, a black Seat Ibiza also travelling along the lane then collided with Ryan as he lay in the road. 

Sheffield United fan, Ryan, was taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital with life threatening injuries following the incident but he died one week later on Saturday, April 27.


Balloon release in memory of Ryan Durkin at Phoenix sports and social Club in Brinsworth. Picture Scott Merrylees


A sea of floral tributes, balloons and Blades merchandise adorn railings on Brinsworth near to where he was killed. 

Andy Richie, chief executive officer of the LEAP Multi Academy Trust, which runs Brinsworth Academy, which Ryan attended, said: “We are all deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Ryan.

“News of this tragedy has been felt across the academy and the whole Brinsworth community.  The loss will be felt for a considerable time. Ryan was a quiet, popular student with a fun sense of humour.

“He had great potential and a bright future ahead of him, particularly in sport, where he was a crucial member of the school football team.He will be remembered by staff as a polite, well-mannered student with a wonderful smile.”

Floral tributes on Brinsworth Lane in Rotherham to Ryan Durkin who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in a stolen car. Picture: Scott Merrylees

Mitchell Hughes, 24, of no fixed address, has appeared at court charged in connection with the fatal collision.