Death of cyclist Leonard Finch in Great Waldingfield not caused by collision, police conclude

Leonard Finch Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Leonard Finch Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY - Credit: Archant

The death of a cyclist in Great Waldingfield last week was not caused by a traffic collision, a police investigation has concluded.

Officers were called by the East of England Ambulance Service just before 3pm on Thursday, May 17, to reports that a cyclist was in need of urgent medical attention after potentially colliding with a stationary lorry in Lavenham Road.

Leonard Finch, aged 86 and from Chilton, died at the scene of the incident.

The road in the west Suffolk village was closed for several hours while a police investigation took place.

A post-mortem examination has now determined that Mr Finch died of natural causes and police investigators are now satisfied that his death was not as a result of a collision.


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In a tribute, his family said Mr Finch “lived for his cycling” after he took up the sport at the age of 16 in 1946.

He was one of the original “skid kids” who rode cycle speedway around crumbling bombsites in the East End of London.

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He went on to help found Walthamstow Wolves cycling club and years later the Cycle Club Sudbury in Suffolk.

His family said in a statement: “Len was always a great help and inspiration to all of us.

“He was a founding member of Cycle Club Sudbury and an honorary member.

“He was always cheerful and friendly and would do anything for anyone - provided it was to do with cycling!

“Leonard lived for his cycling, he raced throughout his life and was still breaking records into his 80s.

“He was truly one of the greats. RIP Leonard - you will be missed.”

In a BBC interview in 2015, Mr Finch said: “When we lived in the East End there were lots of bomb sites.

“They were a draw for kids - they were untamed land.”

He said his bike was an old frame his father had bought for five shillings, some old wheels, no brakes, and handlebars were often made of gas piping.

“After the war it was just a matter of make do and mend,” he said.

“It was a Cinderella sport.”

Cycle Club Sudbury also paid tribute on its website, with a post alongside two pictures saying: “Len Finch CCS founder member and life member tragically died while cycling. RIP.”

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