THE HEARTBROKEN father of an Evesham rider who died following a crash at a popular motorbike event has paid tribute to his son.
Simon Andrews crashed on the approach to Metropole corner on lap four of the Superstock race in the Vauxhall International North West 200 in Northern Ireland on Saturday.
The 29-year-old was tended to by paramedics at the trackside and was taken to Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital’s intensive care unit.
However, Simon lost his fight for life on Monday and passed away with his parents Stuart and Dee, his girlfriend Lisa and best friend Breakers by his bedside.
The former Prince Henry’s High School pupil who grew up in Wickhamford was riding for the Penz13.com BMW team when he crashed. No other riders were involved in the incident.
Grieving father Stuart said his son loved road racing and loved competing at the popular Irish event.
“He has had a motorbike since he was four years old and started racing when he was 16. From that first race Simon progressed to riding for the factory Honda TT Legends team and his Mum and I are very proud of his racing achievements.”
Simon had also competed in the British Superbike Championship.
“Road racing was in his blood and Simon preferred the roads to short circuits. He was fully aware of the dangers involved but he loved the challenge that that offered.
“Simon always said ‘Once you’ve been on the roads there’s nothing else to compare with it’.”
The tragedy occurred just three years after Simon made his road racing debut at the same venue in 2011 and Stuart said his son had developed a real affinity with local fans.
“He loved the racing, the relaxed atmosphere and the fans he met there. Simon always said that the North West fans were the most knowledgeable in the world as they knew everything about the sport and the bikes.” he added.
“Ireland had a special place in his heart as he scored his first ever championship point in a meeting at Mondello Park.”
“Simon loved children and I always remember how he would kneel down to be at the same height as the kids who asked him for his autograph or picture.
“Throughout his career Simon has always been involved with various charities and that is why we have made a donation of his organs. Simon always wanted that to happen.”
A tribute sticker has been designed in Simon’s memory with donations set to go to a charity to be chosen by his parents.
Visit www.gofundme.com/9dowl4 to make a donation and for more information.
* THE TRAGIC death of Simon Andrews saw many well-known motorcycle stars past and present take to Twitter to express their condolences.
Double World Superbike Champion James Toseland @JamesMToseland, said: “My thoughts are with Simon Andrews’ family and friends. Another great loss in motorcycle racing.”
Superbike star Leon Haslam @realleonhaslam, said: “Such sad news to hear about Simon Andrews RIP mate. Thoughts and wishes to all his family..”
Current MotoGP commentator and former GP rider Steve Parrish @Stavros6, said: “So sad to hear #SimonAndrews has passed away. Thoughts with his family at this time.
Grieving father Stuart said Simon loved road racing and had developed a real affinity with the Irish fans. Picture by Alan Heal