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Home   Medway   News   Article

Rainham widow's grief at death of veteran biker Philip Cooper on first ride with Medway Triumph Owners' Motor Cycle Club near Edenbridge

21 March 2014
by Nicola Jordan
The heartbroken widow of a veteran motorcyclist who died in an accident has lovingly described him as a "young kid at heart who kept me on my toes".

Philip Cooper, 69, was killed after coming off his bike on his first ride out with a new club at the weekend.

Wife Gloria said she had warned Mr Cooper the powerful Triumph he bought just four weeks ago might have been too heavy for him.

Philip Cooper, from Rainham, enjoyed motorbikes, martial arts, football and rock ‘n roll

Philip Cooper, from Rainham, enjoyed motorbikes, martial arts, football and rock ‘n roll

Speaking from her Rainham home, the 68-year-old said: "He has always been a Jack the lad, a young kid at heart who kept me on my toes."

Mrs Cooper, a former bank worker, was preparing Sunday lunch when police arrived to tell her that her husband had been in a serious accident and airlifted to a London hospital.

But by the time she arrived, her husband of 48 years had passed away.

She said: "I was told he had gone and he spoke just once to tell them his name."

"He led a very full life... He had many friends, was very popular and was not ready to go..." - widow Gloria Cooper

Mr Cooper, a retired construction site manager, joined the Medway Triumph Owners' Motor Cycle Club three weeks ago and was looking forward to his inaugural outing to Heathfield, Sussex.

He was with fellow bikers travelling along the B2042 Green Lane towards Four Elms near Edenbridge when the accident happened at about 10.50am.

The group were negotiating a sharp left-hand bend when Mr Cooper came off his bike into the path of a Nissan Micra. The driver was not injured.

Mrs Cooper said: "He went off quite happy and excited about joining a new club. He led a very full life. He enjoyed riding his bike but he had lots of other interests."

A massive West Ham football fan, he enjoyed martial arts and was passionate about rock 'n roll.

She said: "If anyone asks me how to describe him, I just say 'he's Phil Cooper'.

"He had many friends, was very popular and was not ready to go."

The scene of the fatal crash in Green Lane towards Four Elms. Picture Google Street View

The scene of the fatal crash in Green Lane towards Four Elms. Picture: Google Street View

The couple have two sons, Paul, 43, and Nick, 40, and two grandchildren.

Before moving to their current home 26 years ago, they lived in Upchurch where they brought up their boys.

Old friend Vic Allen said: "It's terrible news. We have known each other since we were 15.

"He came from a Naval family. His father and brother were in the Navy. He was sent to a Navy school, but did not like it and ran away."

Mr Cooper chose instead to go into the building trade and trained as a bricklayer.

"He was a keen biker and we talked about hiring a couple of Harleys and doing Route 66 in the States but never got round to it..." - friend Vic Allen

He worked for Mr Allen's company, Allen Wilson building contractors on Medway City Estate, for eight years as a brickie and site manager.

Mr Allen, 69, of Featherby Road, Gillingham, said: "He did both well. He was a good boss and he loved being outside.

"He was a keen biker and we talked about hiring a couple of Harleys and doing Route 66 in the States but never got round to it.

"I last saw him about a year ago and we popped into a cafe in Rainham and reminisced about old times. He was a good man."

Some of Mr Cooper's favourite music by Chuck Berry and Status Quo will be played at his funeral at Vinters Park Crematorium in Maidstone. The funeral will be held on Monday, April 7, at 10.15am.

Donations welcome to the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity, via John Weir Funeral Directors, 130-132 High Street, Rainham ME8 8AR, 01634 373111.

Did you know Philip Cooper? Pay your tributes below.


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