Live Like Ralph buy new bike for young cyclist who was robbed by machete-wielding thug with Staffie dog

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The bereaved father of Ralph Roberts - a skater who died suddenly in 2021, has saved the day after a young cyclist was robbed of his brand new bike at knife-point.

Kind-hearted Neil Roberts stepped up to help the Blackpool youngster, after reading about his terrifying ordeal on Facebook.

15-year-old Callum had his bike stolen, by a man carrying a large machete, in January 2024.

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Callum with his new bikeCallum with his new bike
Callum with his new bike | Lucinda Herbert

'He called me, crying on the phone'

After sharing a post on social media, Callum's dad was 'speechless' when a complete stranger contacted him offering to buy a replacement.

Martin Wilkinson, who lives in South Shore, said: "I got a tear to my eye. He'd had a tough year, and I treated him to this [bike for Christmas]. He was made up with it, so, to hear him crying on the phone that it had been taken off him, it affected me..."

'He pulled out a large machete'

The school pupil had been practicing some tricks on his bike, near the football ground last month, when the man approached him with a 'white Staffie' dog.

He had threatened to 'set the dog' on Callum, and when he refused to hand over the bike the man pulled a 'large machete' out from his coat.

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"He handed it over, then he called me crying on the phone, saying he'd had his bike taken off him."

The man was described as 5' 11", white male, wearing a dark green coat with a fur hood, grey joggers and walking a white Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The teenager is still 'having flashbacks' from the incident.

David Nuttall and Neil Roberts take Callum to pick out a new bike after his was stolen.David Nuttall and Neil Roberts take Callum to pick out a new bike after his was stolen.
David Nuttall and Neil Roberts take Callum to pick out a new bike after his was stolen. | Lucinda Herbert

'It was taken in awful circumstances'

Mr Roberts set up the LiveLikeRalph charity in memory of his son, who was a fun-loving skater and cyclist until he sadly died, aged 26.

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They fund and organise projects to help young, often disadvantaged, people to pursue activities like skating, cycling and art.

He told Blackpool Gazette: "It must have been awful for Callum. His bike was taken in awful circumstances, we just wanted to help put a smile back on his face."

A new bike for Callum

Mr Roberts, along with some trustees from LiveLikeRalph went to Halfords, on Amy Johnson Way, so that Callum could choose a new bike.

Mr Wilkinson said: "If it wasn't for these guys, we'd still be saving up for a new bike for him. They're absolutely amazing."

To support LiveLikeRalph or find out more about their cause, visit https://www.livelikeralph.com/