MORE than 300 bikers took part in an emotional 'ride of respect' in memory of much-loved pub landlord Christian Thornton.

In total, 310 set off from Tesco Extra in Ashley Retail Park, Widnes to the Hammer & Pincers pub in Hough Green during the event on Monday night.

They were watched by hundreds of people who had lined the streets.

A minute's silence was also held for Chris who was extremely well known in the area.

More than 250 people took part in a Widnes walk to support the bikers. The Castles Pub, The Basils, The Welly and Horse & Jockey were also involved in the event.

The 'ride of respect' was organised by friends of Mr Thornton, aged 49, who sustained fatal stab wounds following an incident near the pub in Liverpool Road on the afternoon of Sunday, August 11.

The bikers, who used to meet weekly at the Hammer and Pincers, where landlord Christian would put on food and refreshments for them, described him as a "friendly, happy and outgoing" man.

Organiser Michael Old told Runcorn & Widnes World: "The evening was fantastic and very emotional, 310 bikes were counted plus over 250 walkers and hundreds of people lined the streets.

"I would like to thank Tesco's again for bringing bottled water and boxes of crisps out for the riders also the police for all the help.

"A massive thank you to everyone who supported the event including Merseyside & Cheshre Blood Bikes #itswhatwedo #LiveYourLifeDropTheKnife


Friends of Mr Thornton have also launched a fundraising campaign in aid of his family.

Tributes have also poured in from World readers.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by friend Mike O'Connor, to help support Mr Thornton's wife Pam and their children.

Urging our readers to support the campaign, Mr O'Connor said: "Following the terrible events of late - I'd like to ask everyone to donate what you can in order to help support Chris' wife Pam and their children through this very difficult time.

"Chris in his role as landlord of the Hammer & Pincers was actively involved within the local community and helped to raise thousands of pounds for charities as well as supporting the local music scene and much more.

"Please give what you can, to show that we all care.

"If you can't donate - please help by sharing this Go Fund Me page to spread awareness."

To support the campaign, go to

Meanwhile, tributes have poured in for Mr Thornton on social media.

Joanne Roach wrote: "So sad. thinking of the family and friends. Xx"

Cherril Mercer said: "This needs to STOP so sad. Thoughts to family and friends xx"

Ged Flynn wrote: "Love this pic. God rest you, my friend."

Jacqueline Nichol added: "Cannot believe this. Thoughts and prayers to all x"

Paul Tyler wrote: "He gave us some top nights loved the banter we had lots for charity too Rip mate"

Michelle Mulqueen said: "Act of selfishness has robbed so many people, rip and love to your family xxx"

Lee Abbott, aged 35, of no fixed abode, Widnes, was arrested and charged with Mr Thornton's murder and possession of an offensive weapon following the fatal stabbing on Sunday.

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter during an appearance at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday.

A trial date has been set for February 10 next year.

A 39-year-old woman who was also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has subsequently been bailed pending further inquiries.