A mammoth cycling challenge in memory of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty has raised more than £14,000.
The ‘Fulton500’ saw three retired officers ride more than 500 miles in just six days to mark the 25th anniversary of PC Lewis Fulton’s death.
The trio battled rain, wind and sleet during the cycle around the North Coast 500 before finishing up at Inverness Castle on Sunday May 12.
PC Tommy Loan, 57, Chief Superintendent Alan Gall, 55, and PC David Brannan, 63, were blown away by the generosity shown to them by the Highland community.
The donations, which continue to pour in, will be given to the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity which was co-founded by the fallen PC’s widow Christine.
Police constable Lewis Fulton, 28, died after being stabbed in the Gorbals area of Glasgow in June 1994 whilst responding to an emergency call.
He was rushed to hospital but was tragically pronounced dead a short time later, leaving behind his wife and then seven-month-old son Luke.
Alan Gall yesterday said: “I think we all found it harder than we anticipated. It wasn’t helped by the fact the wind was in our face for the first four days.
“Day two was probably the worst experience of my life. It was always going to be the longest day but what we hadn’t expected was the wind speed and the sleety rain came on.
“We were 13 hours in the saddle after setting off early at 7am. We didn’t finish until 8pm that night. It wasn’t fun that day.”
While on the route, the group realised that their mascot – a stuffed toy police dog puppy called Jock – had become somewhat of a celebrity online.
Members of the public heard about their mission and regularly stopped the cyclists for photographs with them and Jock.
Alan added: “While we were doing it in Lewis’s name and to raise money for the charity, we also wanted to try and ingratiate the police with the local community as well.
“I have to say that they are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. There is a tremendous relationship with the public and the police in the Highlands.
“The amount of support we’ve received both online and in person has been humbling.
“The Highlands and Islands divisional commander George MacDonald just went above and beyond with the amount of things he did for us.
“His officers were turning up on their days off to support us and they had arranged for cake and coffee at various spots around the route.
“The hospitality from the police in that division and also from members of the public was just fantastic.”
Christine, 59, of Kilmarnock, has issued her heartfelt thanks to the retired officers and said: “The amount raised by the team is way beyond anything we imagined and is a testament to the high regard they and Lewis are held in.
“I know that there were days that were incredibly difficult but their determination kept them going right to the end.
“I am very proud of them and what they have achieved in Lewis’s memory, I can’t thank them enough.”
To donate, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fulton500