Boat race in memory of Mercury reporter

Blood donors are being urged to sign up for boat race in memory of a former Matlock Mercury journalist.

Richard Woolley, 26, worked for the Mercury and its sister paper in Ripley before sadly losing his battle with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2009. He had chronicled his experiences of the disease in a book, Leukaemia - My Marathon for Love.

However, his father Mike Woolley, together with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), is calling on people to help others in his memory by taking part in a charity boat race at Rotherham’s Rother Valley Country Park on Saturday, June 9.

The event, which will see teams take to the water in stunning Chinese dragon-themed boats, will raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research and the Anthony Nolan Trust. As Richard’s treatment saw him receive many blood and platelet transfusions, NHSBT is also hoping that competitors will consider signing up as blood donors on the day.

Holly Mason, NHSBT’s lead donor relations manager for the South Yorkshire area, said: “The festival promises a fantastic day for competitors and spectators alike.”

Anyone interested in taking part can find out more about the event and book a place via