Horsforth death crash tragedy brings mothers of four victims together

Horsforth crash victims  (top left to bottom right) Declan Grove, Matt Walshaw, Brandon Frew, Caelan Megson
Horsforth crash victims (top left to bottom right) Declan Grove, Matt Walshaw, Brandon Frew, Caelan Megson
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THE MOTHERS of four young Leeds men killed in a horror crash in Horsforth have become close friends as they support each other following the tragedy.


The four mums meet up regularly as fundraising events continue to be held in memory of their sons.

Paula Knight with son Declan Grove.

Paula Knight with son Declan Grove.


Brandon Frew, 19, Caelan Megson, 21, Matty Walshaw, 18, and Declan Grove, 19, all died when the SEAT Leon they were travelling in was involved in collision with a taxi on the A6120 in

Horsforth in the early hours of June 30.


Robyn Hoban, 17, another 17-year-old girl and the taxi driver all survived but suffered serious injuries.


Matty’s mother Jill Walshaw, 53, said: “Me and the three other mums are in regular contact and are supporting each other. We have become great friends.”

Jill Walshaw pictured with son Matty.

Jill Walshaw pictured with son Matty.


Declan’s mother Paula Knight, 48, added: “The support we have had from each other has been overwhelming.


“The camaraderie and the friendship and support that we give each other through these dark days is where we get the strength to carry on for our other children, our family and our own lives which will never be the same again.”


Paula, who has two other children Lauren, 24 and Tyler, 10, added: “The amount of support we have had from the community has been incredible and the police liaison team has been

absolutely outstanding.”


Paula said Declan, known as ‘Decky,’ had played at Farsley Celtic Football Club from the age of six.


A charity football tournament was held on August 19 at Bradford Academy to raise funds for his headstone.


There will be a fundraising evening in memory of Caelan Megson from 7pm on Friday, September 21 at Horsforth Hall Park Cricket Club.


Two singers will perform and there will be a buffet and a raffle at the event to raise cash for a headstone for Caelan.


Memorial fundraising events will be organised in the near future for Matty and Brandon.


Jill Walshaw, who has two other sons Joe, 21 and Andy, 15, said: “Nobody knows what it’s like to lose a child until you have lost a child, especially in these circumstances.


“It’s helping me to be proactive by fundraising and keeping the boys’ memories’ alive.


“They had such a massive group of close friends, who are grieving and still in shock.


“It’s nice to get everybody together and keep them talking about the boys.


“It’s giving me some purpose and focus and at the same time keep all the friends together and raising money.

“I feel like I’m doing something for my son, even though he’s not here.


“Matty was a hard-working apprentice builder. He loved his job and had high hopes for the future and his career.


“He was quite sensible and had a great sense of humour, always smiling. He was very focussed on everything he did and was kind and caring.


“He was a Leeds United season ticket holder and used to go all the home games with his dad.”


Mrs Walshaw said Squire barbers shop owner Sarah McDonnell and her son Nathan will be carrying out a 12-hour non-stop hair cutting event at the shop on Town Street, Horsforth,

tomorrow (Sunday Sept 16) to raise cash for Matty’s headstone.


And Mrs Walshaw has designed a tattoo of a heart containing all four boys’ initials, which she has had tattooed on her left arm.


She said the Station Tattoo Studio on Station Road in Horsforth has agreed to repeat the tattoo for anyone who wants it.


A donation will be made for each tattoo to a charity which helps people who have lost loved ones in road traffic accidents.


Paying tribute to her apprentice plasterer son Declan, Paula Knight, said: “He was free spirited and fun-loving and loved his friends and family.


“He had a massive group of friends. He loved his football and going to the gym and was really outgoing and full of life.


“He was a charismatic charmer and was just a really beautiful boy inside and out who would do anything for anybody.


“The realisation that you are never going to see him again is impossible to come to terms with.


“To see them full of life one minute and not there the next is every parents’ worst nightmare.”


Inquests into the four deaths have been opened and adjourned.