Eddie Johnson, one of the North East’s best known and most successful racers of the 1960s and 70s, has died.
He collapsed while cycling on the coast road at Tynemouth on Tuesday afternoon and died in hospital the following day. He was 79.
His son Martin said:“He sat down in a bus shelter saying he was waiting for other riders to catch up but when he tried to rise he collapsed. A nurse who was on the ride called the ambulance and he was taken to hospital after on the spot treatment. But the following morning he passed away.”
Johnson, one of racing’s more colourful characters, won a number of Scottish Championships, was a TT replica winner and competed with success at circuits in the UK and Europe.
For many years he was a driving force in the North East Motor Cycle Racing Club, organising meetings at Croft, Scarborough and other Northern circuits. But the sport to which he was so devoted brought tragedy in the death of his oldest son Stephen at the Ulster Grand Prix and his younger son Martin was seriously injured in a crash at Cadwell Park. His enthusiasm remained undimmed, however, and he was a proud supporter of his grandson Cody in junior racing.
He is survived by his wife Noparat and family. The funeral is on Thursday, February 4, at St Edwards Church, Whitley Bay, at 10am followed by interment at Preston Cemetery at 11am.