Memorial bench fund starts well

Stephen James McCann 20-years-old from Leslie who died following an alleged hit and run incident
Stephen James McCann 20-years-old from Leslie who died following an alleged hit and run incident
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Friends of tragic Stephen James McCann have already been collecting money from kind Leslie residents to purchase a bench in his memory, reports KEVIN QUINN.

Stephen, known by friends as Jeff, was killed in a hit and run incident earlier this year on the A911, around 100 yards east of the Greenside.

Reece Bryant, Vicki Butchart, Natasha Law, Wullie McNulty - friends of Stephen James McCann who was killed in a hit-and-run earlier this year

Reece Bryant, Vicki Butchart, Natasha Law, Wullie McNulty - friends of Stephen James McCann who was killed in a hit-and-run earlier this year

A memorial bench to be placed in the Back Braes will cost his friends £1,200 and has been granted planning permission by the council, which will also install it for free.

Natash Law (20) is one of the four friends collecting the money. Also involved are William McNulty, Reece Bryant and Vicki Butchart. She revealed that the collection tins in shops around the town have got fund-raising off to a great start.

She said: “We went round all the shops in Leslie to check the tins and two of the eight tins we put out were full.

“So we opened those two and got an incredible £150. We had only put the tins out on Friday afternoon and collected those two on the Tuesday morning!

“One lady is taking a tin round with her and getting people to donate - it’s already full too. We haven’t counted that one, but it’s just notes so that will be a lot of money.”

Natasha said that she has been in contact with the CISWO and Leslie Town Hall about securing dates in May for fund-raising events, which would ensure Stephen’s family could be there.

Natasha also explained how Stephen’s unusual nickname came about.

She said: “It was one of his friends that christened him Jeff when he first moved here to Leslie.

“He said to him - ‘you don’t look like a Stephen, you look like a Jeff’. It just stuck from then on.”

The friends had planned to have an account open by now so people could donate directly, but now hope to have that open in the next week or two.