‘Overwhelming’ ride out in tribute to Stevenage teenager who died suddenly
PUBLISHED: 08:30 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:25 24 September 2019
Up to 150 people gathered on bicycles for a ride out on Saturday in tribute to a teenage boy who collapsed and died suddenly in August last year.
Jordon Bell, a pupil at Barnwell School in Stevenage, died just hours after complaining of backache.
Scans showed a small tear to the 14-year-old's aorta had led to his lungs filling with blood, causing the back pain.
Jordon had a passion for bikes and his friend Danny Turner organised Saturday's ride out in conjunction with Jordon's family.
Jordon's friends and family gathered at Fairlands Valley Showground on Stevenage's Broadhall Way for a bike swerve competition and then took a route through town which finished at Weston Road Cemetery, where Jordon is buried. There they held a minute's silence and a balloon release, as well as a 'find the fleece' competition away from the graves.
Jordon's aunt, Charmain Bell, said; "I'm so proud of how respectful everyone was. It was overwhelming.
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"We did Jordon proud and it shows he was so well-loved. There was never a dull moment with Jordon. He was such a loving boy.
"Danny was brilliant and organised everything in agreement with the family."
Danny, 15, said: "It took about nine months to organise and went really well, with the police being a big help. Jordon was a close friend - bubbly and unique." Danny organised a similar ride out last year, a week after Jordon's death, and had T-shirts printed with Jordon's image and the dates of his birth and death.
The title of the ride out this time was 'knives down, bikes up for Jordon'.
Danny said: "Jordon wasn't directly involved in anything, but knife crime has gone up a lot in Stevenage."
The ride out took place during national knife amnesty Operation Sceptre, when people could surrender knives to the police anonymously and without fear of prosecution.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Herts, David Lloyd, said: "There is always work to be done to educate the public, and young people in particular, that carrying a knife won't keep you safe and won't be tolerated."
If you have information about knife crime, or someone carrying knives, call Herts police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.