Alumnus prepares to cycle more than 200 miles in memory of university friend

Two photos side by side. On the left there are two people  and in the other image is a group of people in suits.

In the left photo David Bone is holding a drink at a Summer Ball in 1998. He is with Steve Dixon. A group of students are featured in the photo on the right at a Christmas Ball in 1998: clockwise from bottom left is Jason Edwards, David Bone, Andy Crabtree, Paul Quarterly, Matt Lord, Matt Lumb and Wes Fernandez. Photos provided by Jason Edwards.

David Bone passed away whilst playing football at university on 23 March 1999. Now, 25 years later, Jason Edwards shares his memories of that day and his plans to take on a 230-mile cycling challenge for the British Heart Foundation in David’s memory.

Jason stands with his bike
Jason Edwards

“23 March 1999: A poignant day for me and many other students at Loughborough University and its residents of Forest Court. David Bone was playing football with me and his mates as part of the Halls of Residence football competition one evening, which normally ended with purple nasties until 2am and loads of laughs at the Students’ Union. But not on 23 March 1999.  

“David was the goalkeeper and bravely prevented a goal by diving at the feet of a centre-forward. It happens every game, only this time David didn’t get up. An ambulance was called and a fellow student with some basic knowledge started CPR, but David didn’t survive and we were informed that the incident on the pitch caused a serious cardiac event from which he was never going to recover. He was aged 20 and in the second year of his engineering degree. 

“I first met Dave on my first day of Fresher’s Week in September 1997, as fellow students arrived in dribs and drabs across the day at Forest Court (FC). FC was unique in that as the cheapest university halls it had flats of 5 with shared rooms for first and second years, while finalists had a single room. The Forest Court Fresher’s Week Lottery paired me and Dave as roommates and we hit it off immediately. Boy it was such a laugh those 18 months. Which makes his loss, even writing this now, nearly 25 years on, really tough. 

“There wasn’t the same support afforded for well-being and mental trauma in universities and workplaces like we have now, so as 18-22 year old young men and women we had to be there for each other to get through the remainder of our degrees. Those bonds formed have remained tightly bound for me ever since. We rallied together to raise money for the British Heart Foundation with a charity Forest Court ‘past and present’ football match and had the competition he died in named as the David Bone Football Trophy.

A group of people in football kits. Half stand and half crouch. There is text on the image that reads “The importance of the community spirit of Loughborough University and the work done by the British Heart Foundation to raise awareness of the importance of basic first aid cannot be overstated.  

“On Sunday 16 June 2024 I’m cycling the British Heart Foundation’s London to Brighton event; but with a twist. I live in Folkestone, some 85 miles from the start line, and I’ll be cycling to the start line before undertaking the 54 miles to Brighton. And then cycling home. A total of 230 miles in one hit. The physical pain and mental torment this is likely to provoke will be nothing to what David’s close friends and dear 2 elder brothers and parents will have had overcome on that fateful evening. And it is this thought that will drive me, and those riding with me, to complete this challenge.” 

Thank you to Jason for sharing this story and for his commitment to honour David’s memory. Jason has been able to make some contact with David’s family on this journey to remember his dear friend. To find out more about Jason’s challenge, you can head to his Just Giving page.