OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - "Owensboro is not going to forget Nicky Hayden," Tammy Burcham said American flag in hand. She had just finished proudly waving her flag as the procession for Nicky Hayden drove down Parrish Avenue in Owensboro.
She wasn't alone.
Thousands in Owensboro said goodbye to the Kentucky Kid, Nicky Hayden. He died last week after getting hit by a car while riding a bicycle in Italy.
Organizers said over 2,000 motorcycle riders showed up at the funeral today to lead the procession. They were only expecting 200, but say this is just another example of how much this one person meant to Owensboro.
Some traveled blocks and others drove hundreds of miles.
"Some came from Arizona, Georgia, Orlando Florida, Texas.." procession organizer and family member, Mike McFadden said.
Everyone was there for the same reason, to say goodbye to the Kentucky Kid.
"Always taking time for everyone. That's what he was. The guy who was always taking time for everyone," one Nicky Hayden fan said.
So friends, fans, and supporters did the same for Hayden and his family. They stood for support
And reminded the family how much Hayden meant not just to Owensboro..but people all over the world.
"I think by doing this right here, this is part of the process of healing. And I think it would also help out knowing how much Nicky's life has influenced people and inspired people. Once they see this. I think it's going to make that family pretty happy," McFadden said.
When the family gathered in the church, over 2,000 motorcycle riders got in position- ready for a final ride with number 69.
"He was our champion. He's from Kentucky, when is that ever going to happen again? We had to come honor his legacy,"
That legacy is the reason riders and community members lined the streets.
"As big of a celebrity that he was, he never forgot where he came from. and let the family know that Owensboro will never forget him," Burcham said.
And to also remind his family that Nicky Hayden will always be a hometown hero in Owensboro.