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Farewell dad.


THE last of the four Rhyl Cycling Club crash victims was laid to rest yesterday.

Dad-of-four Wayne Wilkes was killed when a car skidded on ice and ploughed into the group of cyclists out on a early-morning training ride.

The service at St Thomas' Church, Rhyl, marked the end of a traumatic week for the families and friends of those who died on Sunday, January 8.

Many of the mourners were attending their fourth funeral in the same number of days.

Close to 150 people packed the Russell Road church yesterday morning to pay their last respects to the 42-year-old cycling enthusiasts.

The ceremony was followed by committal at Brony Nant crematorium, in Colwyn Bay.

Mr Wilkes, of Holland Park Drive, Rhyl, was out cycling with sons Jo, 15, and 13-year-old Ray, when he was killed.

The teenagers, both promising cyclists, took part in a memorial ride a week later alongside other members of Rhyl Cycling Club.

An electronic engineer, Mr Wilkes worked at RAF Sealand and had been a Rhyl Cycling Club members for almost 20 years.

A veteran competitor he was also acknowledged as a talented cyclist.

Rhos on Sea social secretary Graham Hartley, who knew Mr Wilkes for 15 years, said in the wake of the tragedy: "He wasn't one for all the latest fancy gear and certainly wasn't a poseur.

"He was just an honest chap."

A former pupil at Holywell High School, Mr Wilkes leaves a wife, Jeanette, sons Jo and Ray, and daughters Anna, nine, and Sarah, 27.

He was also the proud granddad of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl.

Family members carried bicycle wheels adorned with white flowers to the funeral later placing them next to Mr Wilkes coffin.

Cyclists dressed in Rhyl Cycling Club kit attended the service which closed with the theme to 70s show Van Der Valk - Eye Level by the Simon Park Orchestra.

The moving words of WH Auden's poem Funeral Blues brought the funeral to an end.

Abergele town councillors were last night considering a letter from a bike safety group asking them for more cycle routes in the town.

Southport-based group Path 'n' Pedal wrote to the council urging them to look into adopting plans for roadside cycle paths.

Welsh secretary Peter Hain will today meet members of the club close to the scene of the crash which also claimed the lives of club chairman Maurice Broadbent, 62, David Horrocks, 55, and 14-year-old Thomas Harland.


Jo, 15, and Ray, 13, with mum Jeanette (left), carry bicycle wheels adorned in flowers at their dad Wayne's funeral Picture: JEFF PITT' Cyclist Wayne Wilkes' coffin is carried out of St Thomas' Church, Rhyl
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 20, 2006
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