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Fundraiser for film director killed in USA nears £10K target

Jonathan Gales (Picture supplied by Claire Pepper) (37476605)

A FUNDRAISER celebrating the life of a UUֱman who was knocked down and killed by a drink-driver in the USA is nearing its £10,000 target.

Jonathan Gales, a Bafta award-winning film and animation director, died after being hit by a vehicle on a pedestrian crossing in Los Angeles in 2022 while he was visiting the city for work.

His wife, Claire Pepper, who lives with their two children in south London, explained that Mr Gales was a talented cyclist who had competed in multiple races – and could often be found at the nearby Herne Hill velodrome.

She has established a fundraiser in his name that will be used to purchase a small fleet of road bikes for the facility, to help make it easier for people to get into road and circuit racing.

“It’s a really amazing place,” she said, adding that the velodrome also supported a lot of community outreach work, including teaching children how to cycle.

“Jono used to go there to train and he was really embedded in that scene, it’s the heart of the cycling scene in south London.

“They do really good work and I wanted to do something that celebrated his life. I do believe that cycling and sport can help change people’s lives, especially young people, and put them on the right track.” She added that the fund had so far raised nearly £8,000 and needed a “final push” to hit its £10,000 target. “Where we live is a diverse area and not every person – especially young people – will be able to afford a road bike, so the fund is going towards a small fleet for people to use.

“It [the facility] is mostly track riding but people do use it to train for road racing, which was Jono’s main thing.”

She noted that many cyclists in UUֱ were likely to have met Mr Gales at a race or ride and that his uncle, Tony Richomme, was also well-known in the community having coached the Commonwealth team.

Those who would like to donate to the fund can find it online

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