1. ITV Report

Gone but not forgotten: Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club go through the pain barrier to remember plane crash victims

The cycle ride was arranged as a tribute to the 18 members of the club killed in a plane crash in France 40 years ago. Photo: ITV News Anglia

They'd been planning it for a year, but nobody at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club could ever have predicted the remarkable success their memorial cycle ride would achieve.

It was arranged as a tribute to the 18 members of the club killed in a plane crash in France 40 years ago.

The aircraft crashed in the Ermenonville Forest. Credit: ITN

To mark the anniversary, almost 100 cyclists, backed up by support teams, gathered at the crash site 25 miles north of Paris.

A wreath was laid and a poem read out as they remembered the victims, whose names are carved into a wall at the memorial in the Forest of Ermenonville.

A wreath was laid in the forest. Credit: ITV News Anglia

They were:

Brian Arthur ,Graham Levet, David Cain, John Marriage, Laurie Cornish, John McClinton, David Cowell, Rex Morley, Richard Coult, Gregory Rynsard,

Bryan Ellis, Robert Savidge, Peter Green, Mike Tilbrook, Nick Jones, Mike Whitehead, Stuart King and Peter Withers.

Club president Gerry Lowden was one of the cyclists preparing to make the 310 mile ride from Ermenonville to Bury St Edmunds.

Over 300 miles were covered. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It was certainly a very emotional ceremony.

This is the first time I've been to see where it happened and I found it quite upsetting."

– Gerry Lowden, Club president

All 346 passengers and crew on board the Turkish Airlines DC10 were killed when it came down just a few minutes after leaving Paris' Orly Airport. A faulty cargo door was responsible.

The group from Bury was in the French capital for a rugby international.

Jamie Green was just four-years-old when his father Peter died. This was also his first visit to the crash site.

Jamie Green was just four-years-old when his father Peter died. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Jamie was among the riders facing the five day cycle ride to Bury St Edmunds.

The original target was to raise £50,000 for St Nicholas hospice in Bury and youth rugby in the town, but it'll be more than double that.

"It's an amazing effort and the money's still coming in.

It is an emotional day but it is good to be here with friends and so many friends from Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club."

– Austin Cornish, organiser

He paid tribute to the volunteers supporting the cyclists. They included Maureen Tilbrook and Elspeth Nicol, both of whom have been involved with the rugby club for more than 40 years.

The names of the victims are carved into a wall at the memorial in the Forest of Ermenonville. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Maureen's late husband Chris' ashes have been spread at the memorial site. His brother Mike was among those killed in the plane crash.

Yesterday, more than 300 supporters welcomed home the cyclists. Although exhausted, every one of the riders glad to have played their part in preserving the legacy of those who never made it back.

Click below to watch the moment the riders made it back home