A KEEN sailor has founded a charity in memory of her partner who was killed in a motorbike accident.

Neil Murphy was killed in September 2011 when he came off his bike on the M61 southbound between the Kearsley Spur and the East Lancashire Road.

As well as his love of motorcycling, the 39-year-old, from Lostock, was said to live for sailing, and had qualified as an instructor shortly before his death.

He and his partner Maddie King took up the sport together and used to spend almost every weekend sailing on Ullswater in the Lake District.

Now she has launched the Neil Murphy Sailing Trust in his memory. The trust aims to provide funding for disadvantaged young people who might otherwise never have the chance to enjoy sailing.

Ms King said: “On hearing of Neil’s death, many of his friends and family were keen to donate money to a charity in his name. As none of the existing charities seemed appropriate, I approached a number of friends and asked if they would get involved in establishing a trust, and here we are. All we need now is to start putting to good use some of the money we’ve been given.”

The trust will offer entry-level sailing in the Lake District to anybody — including members of youth groups, young offenders and people with disabilities.

The trust is not yet registered with the Charities Commission but it is registered with HM Revenue and Customs, and has recently enjoyed its first fundraising event which generated just over £2,000.

Businesses have already started talking to the trust about how they can get involved over the course of 2013.

More information about can be found online at neilmurphy sailingtrust.org.uk.