Hartlepool youngster Alfie Smith hits the road

Battling Alfie Smith has hit the road as he gets set to undergo a life-changing operation.

Sunday, 12th March 2017, 11:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:04 am
Alfie and his mum Annie with members of the North East Bikers returning from a ride along the coast road on Saturday with Norman Page

Nine-year-old Alfie, who has cerebral palsy, will travel to Leeds with mum Annie Stalley this week for surgery which will help him to walk unaided and pain-free.

And to send him off in style, the motorbike-mad youngster received dozens of special visitors at the weekend.

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Members of motorcycle club North East Bikers turned up at Alfie’s aunt Melanie Stalley’s home on Saturday morning to wish him well - and Alfie even got a chance to head out on the highway himself.

The visit was the brainchild of club member Grant Robson, who had heard about Alfie’s passion for bikes and got in touch with Melanie to arrange the visit.

Alfie had no idea of what was about to happen when he arrived at his aunt’s address in The Coast Road, Blackhall Rocks, on Saturday morning, as Melanie explained.

“They asked me if they could bring everybody over to give Alfie a great send-off,” she said.

Alfie and his mum Annie with members of the North East Bikers setting off on a ride along the coast road on Saturday with Norman Page

“We just told him he had a surprise, but we did not tell him what the surprise was going to be.

“He just went out the front as they were coming, and they all came along tooting their horns and stopping to speak to him

“Then they took him out on the trike for a ride just from my house down to Crimdon.”

It was a dream come true for Alfie.

Alfie and his mum Annie with the North East Bikers arrive at his aunty's house in Blackhall Rocks on Saturday

“His face just lit up,” said Melanie.

“He was really excited - he never stopped smiling.”

Even Melanie was amazed by the number of bikers who turned out to wish Alfie well.

“It was amazing, to be honest,” she said.

Alfie and his mum Annie watch as members of the North East Bikers arrive at his aunty's house in Blackhall Rocks on Saturday

“There just have been 60 of them at least.

“Alfie was absolutely over the moon.”

Alfie’s family had to raise a minimum of £50,000 to cover the costs of at least two years aftercare before this week’s operation - selective dorsal rhizotomy - could be scheduled.

Fundraising to cover the cost of a third year and specialist equipment which will also be needed to give the youngster the best chance of walking, is already underway.

Donations can be made to Alfie’s Trust Fund, sortcode 30-98-90 Account 16304360.

Alfie Smith with his mum Annie Stalley, watches as dozens of motorbikes arrive at his Aunt's house in Blackhall Rocks on Saturday.
Alfie and his mum Annie with members of the North East Bikers setting off on a ride along the coast road on Saturday with Norman Page
Alfie and his mum Annie with the North East Bikers arrive at his aunty's house in Blackhall Rocks on Saturday
Alfie and his mum Annie watch as members of the North East Bikers arrive at his aunty's house in Blackhall Rocks on Saturday
Alfie Smith with his mum Annie Stalley, watches as dozens of motorbikes arrive at his Aunt's house in Blackhall Rocks on Saturday.