The brother of a teenager who died after a motorcycle crash 15 years ago has raised more than £50,000 in his memory.

Tom Heath, from Redcar, began fundraising for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) after his brother, Matthew, died in a crash travelling between Dunsdale and Guisborough in July 2008.

Matthew, from Marske, died after his Aprilia motorbike collided with a Land Rover Freelander on the B1269 in July 2008.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) flew to the scene but Matthew died from his injuries.

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The Northern Echo: Matty and Tom HeathMatty and Tom Heath (Image: GNAAS)

Tom, who has organised several fundraising events over the years to support GNAAS, said he has been doing all he can to help the charity after their efforts to save Matthew.

He said: “I’ve supported GNAAS for 15 years following the death of Matty because they had landed for my brother to help him and if they could have done anything to save him then they would have.

“Sadly, he had already passed and there was nothing anyone could have done, so I started fundraising in his memory to help save lives and stop other families going through what we have in losing our Matty, whilst keeping his memory very much alive.

“It also gave me something to focus on during the hardest times of my life and try to make something good out of losing someone so close to us.”

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The Northern Echo: Matthew Heath with his nephew JosephMatthew Heath with his nephew Joseph (Image: GNAAS)

Mr Heath has organised several football tournaments and 11-a-side games, music events with help from his friend Daniel Wilkinson, horse race nights, family fun days, raffles, Boxing Day Dips, and some of his friends have run half marathons

He said his brother was a "kind and happy young man" who always had a smile on his face, and was a huge fan of Moto GP and Valentino Rossi.

He said: “He was a kind and happy young man, always smiling, he had a love for motorbikes and watching the Moto GP following Valentino Rossi 46.

"He actually went to Valencia to watch his idol for his 18th birthday.

“He was an excellent archer and went to shoot competitions with our dad David. 

The Northern Echo: GNAAS paramedic Paul Burnage with Joseph and Jacob Heath in the helicopterGNAAS paramedic Paul Burnage with Joseph and Jacob Heath in the helicopter (Image: GNAAS)

“He also loved fishing, football, socialising with his friends and he was a big family man just like myself.

“He was so proud when we had our first son Joseph and he became an uncle for the first time but it certainly breaks my heart that he only had a month with Joe and sadly never met our Jacob”.

So far, Mr Heath and his friends and family have raised £53,882.43 in memory of his brother.

Following his Boxing Day Dip, Mr Heath, his wife Nicola, and their children Joseph and Jacob visited GNAAS’ base near Eaglescliffe.

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The Northern Echo: Nicola, Jacob, Tom, and Joseph Heath in 2015Nicola, Jacob, Tom, and Joseph Heath in 2015 (Image: GNAAS)

He said he thought GNAAS' new base was wonderful and was happy to see how far they had come in 15 years since he started fundraising.

He added he and his family really enjoyed the outing, particularly his sons who loved sitting in the helicopter.

“It’s always emotional when we come up to visit as we do talk a lot about Matty and it does bring back a lot of memories, but it’s also a feeling of proudness that I’ve done all this in his memory and that he would be proud of me for doing so," Mr Heath added.

The Northern Echo: Joseph and Tom Heath doing the Boxing day dipJoseph and Tom Heath doing the Boxing day dip (Image: GNAAS)