BIKERS gathered to accompany ones of their friends on his final journey following a short battle with cancer.

Michael Bailey, 37, of Silvertown Avenue, Stanford-le-Hope, died recently just three weeks after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of blood cancer.

The keen biker and Star Wars fan was a member of the London Bikers group and had spent much of his life raising cash for various charities, including the Little Havens Children’s Hospice.

Michael, a father-of-two, had worked at Coryton, but lost his job last year when the refinery closed after its parent company Petroplus went bust.

In honour of his memory, bikers and friends gathered at Basildon’s Festival Leisure Park before driving in convoy to Pitsea Crematorium for his funeral.

To pay further tribute to Mr Bailey and his fundraising efforts, his biker pals will be holding a charity bike run for Macmillan.

Motorcyclists can meet at the Moto Services on the M25 at Thurrock at 8am on Sunday, January 20.

For £5 they can join a group ride to the Royals Shopping Centre in Southend High Street, where Star Wars tribute group the Star Warriors will be dressed up and entertaining the crowds from 2pm.

Michael himself had designed and built a Chewbacca costume, which is widely regarded as the best replica outfit of the famous Star Wars character in the UK.

Michael’s friend, Bartholomew Simpson, who is organising the ride, said: “Michael was brilliant. Everything he did was charitable.

“One of his last wishes was that we would do something for Macmillan.”