Mayall Charity Donations Raise Head Injury Issue

Appeal Linked To Comedian Raises Thousands For Head Injury Charity

13.06.2014

Thousands of pounds have been raised for Headway in an appeal linked to the late comedian Rik Mayall, who died suddenly on June 9th at the age of 56.

Mayall suffered a severe head injury in a quad bike accident in 1998 that nearly claimed his life. He was in a coma for five days before coming round and subsequently suffered from epilepsy, which he controlled through daily medication.

Whether or not the injuries he received in that accident contributed to his sudden death 16 years on has not been established, but the owners of a Facebook fan page responded by setting up a JustGiving site to raise money for Headway.

The fans who established the fundraising initiative said: "This page was set up to raise money for Headway, a charity that works with people who have suffered head injuries and helps them on the road to recovery.

"As you all know, Rik suffered serious head injuries in 1998 so we thought this charity was an appropriate recipient to receive donations in Rik's memory."

So far, the page has received around £12,500 in donations from fans of the comedian.

While no link between Mayall's early death and the 1998 accident has been established - his wife said he was probably killed by a heart attack - the fact that the entertainer was able to resume a normal life and carry on making TV programmes is an indication that some people who suffer severe head and brain injuries can make a substantial recovery. 

Rik Mayall first sprang to prominence alongside his comedy sidekick Ade Edmondson - who he attended university with - in the 1980s show the Young Ones, when he played the role of student Rik. Subsequent roles included the lothario Lord Flashheart in Blackadder, flatmate Richie Richard in the comedy Bottom and politician Alan B'Stard in The New Statesman.

He also featured in the Bombardier beer adverts, with a character who reprised aspects of Lord Flashheart's personality.

Expert Opinion
Rik Mayall is a great example of how victims of serious head injuries can make strong recovery from the huge difficulties that they have faced.

"Our work means we see numerous examples when people have suffered severe injuries in a range of circumstances, often needing long-term rehabilitation and support in order to aid their recovery. By taking legal action, people are able to access vital funds which ensure they are able to get that level of help.

"As supporters of Headway, we also know the fantastic work that the charity does – so the money raised as part of this fantastic appeal will undoubtedly be put to a great use."
Stephen Nye, Partner