The family of Angus murder victim Steven Donaldson say they hope Scotland’s bikers will turn out for a summer memorial ride to help celebrate the 30th birthday of their son and brother in the “way he would have wanted to”.
In what is hoped to be a repeat of the remarkable scenes of last July, friends of the popular figure and bikers from across Scotland have been encouraged to join the ride-out on Saturday July 25, two days after what would have been the milestone birthday.
The rallying call has been made by north east man Billy Connell, who was touched by the tragedy of the 27-year-old’s murder in June 2018.
Mr Donaldson was a keen motorcyclist and with the support of hi family, Mr Connell came up with the idea of the memorial run from Arbroath to Kinnordy Loch, near Kirriemuir.
It was in the car park of the RSPB nature reserve there that Mr Donaldson’s body was found on the early morning of June 7 2018.
Video of last year’s ride is above this article
Family and friends of Steven have been keen to leave behind the beauty spot’s macabre past by planting an oak tree in his memory there and using it as the destination for the memorial ride.
The Donaldson family and Mr Connell were staggered by the reaction to the inaugural ride-out, which saw hundreds of motorbikes leave Arbroath’s Victoria Park in a cavalcade which prompted spontaneous applause from people on the streets of Forfar and Kirriemuir as it passed through.
Some Kirrie businesses closed their doors as a mark of respect while the ride revved through the wee red town.
Steven’s family were involved in the event, which included a short service of remembrance at Kinnordy.
Last year Mr Donaldson’s sister, Lori, described Mr Connell and his wife, Irina, as “a thoughtful couple with the kindest of hearts”.
She said she hopes July’s event will be a similar success, to “celebrate his 30th birthday in the way he would want to”.
Mr Connell said: “It’s nice that the bad memories the family have of these places now hold amazing memories of everyone that showed up in support for Steven and his family.”
He is confident of a similarly huge response to July’s second ride, which the Donaldson family are once again fully supportive of.
Murderer Callum Davidson continues to serve a 24-year sentence for the murder of Mr Donaldson and Tasmin Glass a 10-year term for his culpable homicide after luring her former boyfriend to his death.
In November, both failed in attempts to have their sentences cut in an Edinburgh appeal hearing which took place on the same day the body of Steven Dickie – who was sentenced to 23-year for the murder – was found in his cell at Perth prison.