Welcome to Wrekin Rowers
Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2021
It is with great sadness that we have to inform you all that Gary Richards lost his fight for life on the 24th January 2023 aged 57 years.
What a difference a year makes! It was only 1 year and 3 days since Gary, as part of the Wrekin Rowers team finished the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, a row of 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean.
During the last couple of days of our row, Gary stated he thought he had pulled a stomach muscle. This got worse after we finished, and when Gary returned to the UK, he was diagnosed with terminal Duodenal Cancer giving him a life expectation of 3-4 months. Gary, being the strong and determined man that he was, fought this dreadful disease much longer than expected, allowing him to see his younger brother Stuart (also one of the team) get married, carry the Commonwealth Games baton, again with Stuart and to spend one final Christmas day with his family.
Gary was an extremely well known and liked personality in the Telford area where he lived. Whilst never afraid to stand up for himself and his family, what shone through to everyone who knew him well was his caring and kind personality. Combined with his determination to succeed in whatever he did, Gary was one of those rare people that just made things happen and helped other people along the way. He epitomised the phrase ‘if you can be one thing, be kind’.
His passing also shows what Gary believed about life in that you should fulfil your dreams whenever you can and not keep putting them off until tomorrow as you never know what tomorrow brings. It is a small comfort that one of the final things Gary took part in was a wonderful adventure doing something crazy and supported by so many people when he was doing it.
Severn Hospice were one of the charities Wrekin Rowers raised money for. We never expected that one of our own team would need to make use of the wonderful care they offer our community so soon. We would like to thank them for everything they have done for Gary during his last weeks with us.
Gary leaves behind his partner Alyson, his brothers Dave and Stuart and his father Mick, as well as all of the other members of what is a very close and loving family. Our thoughts are with them at this time.
We would like to thank everyone who has donated so far, and in particular these sponsors:
We are aiming to raise £100,000
Wrekin Rowers are self funding the challenge and so all the money given by our sponsors and individuals will go towards helping our charities
We were proud to be raising money in aid of:
Welcome to the Wrekin Rowers Crew
I'm Martin Skehan, Married to Lynne and formerly married to my late wife Becky who passed away in 2010. Lynne too lost her Husband, Mike, in 2010. I Have two children, Joseph (28) and Isobel (26) and two step sons Adam (31) and Matt (29). Lynne and I feel blessed that we have been able to move forward together after our previous long and happy marriages both ended by the untimely and heartfelt loss of our loved ones. For both of us part of our restorative journey together has been exercise and fitness. This has engendered in me a love for having a goal and a challenge. Rowing, initially indoor and more lately outdoor and maritime rowing has been a focus for my exercise and has brought me into a friendship group of like minded individuals who I am proud to join as a team. We are proud to be known as the 'Wrekin Rowers' looking to take on the biggest challenge of our lives. What more of a challenge could you want and particularly in these times, when the opportunity presents, "Grab It!"