Tributes are paid to cyclist

THE SUDDEN death of a talented cyclist who was also a successful businessman has come as a shock to those who knew him.

Brian Phillips, 51, from Horringer, near Bury St Edmunds, had been competing in a team time trial event in Italy when he collapsed and died.

He had been competing with club-mates from East Grinstead Cycling Club, in West Sussex, of which he was a life member.

He had also been a member of the West Suffolk Wheelers cycling and triathlon club since last year, taking part in club events on a regular basis.

A statement released on behalf of the Suffolk cycling community said they were shocked to hear of the sudden death of Mr Phillips.

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It said: “Always noted for his quiet, polite and helpful ways, Brian Phillips will be sadly missed.”

Barry Denny, chairman of West Suffolk Wheelers, said he was “very well-respected” in the cycling community.

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He said: “Brian Phillips is a cyclist of considerable note, being in his time a British champion, a British time trial champion.”

He said he was a “very accomplished cyclist” whose home club was the East Grinstead Cycling Club, where he was a great club mate of the legendary Sean Yates who went onto international stardom.

“But Brian Phillips was a national star,” he said. “He had lived in this area for quite some while, a very successful businessman. He ran a business in Newmarket, but he has always been an active cyclist.”

Mr Phillips, who it is understood leaves a wife and three children, was founder and managing director of Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas at Cheveley.

A statement on the company website said he was one of the most respected experts in the field of antenna design in the UK.

It said: “Brian’s intelligent wit and humour, with his kind, generous personality, is leaving a huge gap in the lives of his staff whose thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

His funeral is due to take place on April 12. This is family only. Friends are invited to a memorial reception at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds from 12pm to 3pm that day.

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