Cyclists cheer Roy on the last leg of his journey
CYCLISTS honoured Potteries sporting legend Roy Swinnerton by pedalling their way to and from a service to remember his life.
They followed the hearse carrying the 87-year-old's coffin to his funeral at St Augustine's Roman Catholic Church in Meir yesterday.
And they formed a second cortege as mourners made their way to Carmountside Crematorium.
Mr Swinnerton, from Lightwood, began his career in 1939 with St Christopher's Catholic Cycling Club.
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He went on to be named Britain's fastest cyclist on grass in the 1950s and was crowned national half-mile champion at Michelin Sports in 1956.
He was also well-known for running Fenton-based Swinnerton Cycles for several decades after the business was established in Victoria Road by his parents in 1915.
His eldest daughter Bernadette Malvern told a congregation of around 100 people that her father was a 'dedicated family man'.
The former Springcroft Primary School headteacher said: "He was a very hands on and supportive dad as his young family grew up.
"He supported his children and grandchildren in their sporting, business and academic achievements.
"He lived a full, happy and successful life, but always said he couldn't have done it without his wife Doris."
Mr Swinnerton had seven children, 22 grandchildren and 10 great-grand children.
He remained active and kept up his routine of cycling 25 miles three times a week until the age of 84.
He also devoted much of his time to nurturing cycling talent and his children all competed either nationally or internationally in road and track races.
Bernadette added: "He encouraged lots of lads and girls in their cycling.
"Quite a few people have recently said how much he did for them as youngsters."
Mr and Mrs Swinnerton took on Swinnerton Cycles when his father retired in 1954 and moved in above the shop in 1958.
At this time, Mr Swinnerton worked as general manager for a local engineering firm and Mrs Swinnerton ran the shop.
But he left the firm in 1970 to focus on the family business, which had expanded into Numbers 71, 67 and 73 Victoria Road before he retired in 1990.
The couple also found time to help organise numerous cycling events across Staffordshire in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
And they helped form a highly successful cycling section within the City of Stoke Athletic Club in 1970.
After retiring from competitive racing, Mr Swinnerton became British team manager at the 1974 world championships in Montreal.
He also took the team to the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand that same year.
Father David Hartley, who led the service, told the congregation: "We are here to celebrate the way Roy made so much of life.
"He achieved a great deal in his business, his sporting career and his family.
"His faith was something that was strong and clear for him and as we say goodbye to Roy we can cheer him on in the last leg of his journey."
Mr Swinnerton died on March 4. Donations in his memory will go to CAFOD or Down's Syndrome charities.