Bench will be memorial to tragic Rigside schoolboy

The bench set up as a memorial to Ryan at Rigside Primary School           (Pic by Sarah Peters)
The bench set up as a memorial to Ryan at Rigside Primary School (Pic by Sarah Peters)

A memorial bench has been installed at Rigside Primary School commemorating a tragic former pupil on what would have been his 21st birthday.

Ryan Williamson, nine, suffered head injuries in a collision with a car while cycling on the road out of the village on September 21, 2005, and died in hospital three days later.

Ryan's photo on the bench, on what would have been his 21st birthday.

Ryan's photo on the bench, on what would have been his 21st birthday.

In the aftermath of his death, his dad Stephen donated the Ryan Williamson Memorial Trophy to the school, to be given to pupils for outstanding football achievements each year, but the family did not feel ready then to have a lasting memorial at the school.

“Given that the accident was 11 years ago, staff and pupils were unsure of who Ryan was and why the trophy was there,” said headteacher Laura Mitchell.

“I got in touch with Mr Williamson, and after a long chat, Mr Williamson and I felt it was time to have a lasting memorial at the school for Ryan.

“This was welcomed and will help ensure all new staff and pupils remember Ryan, a much-loved former pupil.”

Everyone in the village was invited, and the bench was unveiled in the school grounds at a memorial service on what would have been Ryan’s 21st birthday.

Steve Marr, the school chaplain, led the prayer and remembrance.

“We are delighted that after 11 years, we can give Ryan and his family the memorial he deserves,” said Laura.

“It will help us remember Ryan, who Mr Williamson describes as a typical young boy who was much loved and well thought of throughout the village.

“He loved to play football and golf, and to climb, especially trees.

“He had many friends in Rigside. He was loving and kind. He wasn’t just my son but my best friend.”

Hamilton’s Nando’s restaurant gave £150 towards it.