THE family and friends of a man who drowned in a York river are planning to scale the national Three Peaks next month in his memory.

They want to raise funds for a bench to be installed near Steven O’Neill’s grave.

Steven, 29, from The Wirral, was one of five people who died in the city’s rivers in a tragic three-week period in April.

He fell in the Ouse early on Saturday, April 20, during a night out in York city centre.

His mother Sharon said yesterday: “He has been missed endlessly by myself and Beth, his partner. He’s been 17 weeks and five days at rest, and it still feels like yesterday.”

She said Stephen’s brother Michael and some close friends were now planning an attempt at the National Three Peak challenge on Saturday, September 21, in his memory.

The challenge involves climbing the three highest mountains of Wales, England and Scotland - Snowdon, Scafell and Ben Nevis - in 24 hours.

She said Steven was a strong supporter of The K Woods Foundation, a charity in The Wirral which supports people with dementia. He volunteered at many events and did many walks for it, even completing the challenge himself a couple of years ago.

The new challenge is intended to repay him by funding a bench near his grave in Frankby Cemetery in Pensby, Wirral, where his family and friends can sit as they remember him.

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Meanwhile, a brass plaque in Steven’s memory has been attached to a riverside tree downstream of Skeldergate Bridge, where scarves for his team, Liverpool FC, have already been placed.