A man is due to appear at Doncaster Magistrates Court today after being charged with the manslaughter of former British 100-mile time trial champion Ray Eden, who died on March 21 three days after suffering head injuries in an incident near his home in Scawthorpe.
Luke Jolly, aged 24 and also of Scawthorpe, had originally been charged with causing grevious bodily harm, but that was changed to manslaughter following Ray’s death at the age of 42.
Originally from Liverpool, Ray first fell in love with cycling after finding work as a bike courier in London during the 1980s, and competitive cycling proved to be his forte.
His national 100-mile time trial title came in 1995, and he also represented Great Britain on the road that year, winning a stage and the points jersey in Ireland’s Ras race.
In recent years, he had also become involved in rowing, in which he competed with his wife Gail and son, Finn.
In 1995, Ray became the first ever employee of Planet X, which says he “gave unstinting service and loyalty to our company. Ray had Planet X written through him and we are what we are only through Ray's efforts over those years.”
The company has opened an e-book of condolence, which you can find here.
Andy Brookes, co-owner of Planet X, told the Sheffield Star: "As a young man he went down to London to start a new life. When he first went he was quite unfit, but he got a job riding courier bikes. That is how he got started in cycling. He had a massive chest and great lungs, which were perfect for cycling.
“Ray had a huge personality and his death has left a large hole here. We told everyone on Monday that things were not looking too good and the atmosphere has been silent ever since.
“Everyone here is absolutely stunned. Ray was a big man, 6ft 2ins tall, 16 stone, and all muscle. But most of all he was kind and big hearted.”
In a statement, Ray's wife Gail said: "He was an outstanding husband, father, son, son-in-law, brother-in-law and friend, whose love, kindness and sense of friendship will remain in the hearts of everyone he knew.
“Ray was an extremely talented and keen sportsman who strove to be the best he could be. He was well known as a national cycling champion and was extremely proud to represent his country and Planet X Bikes, for whom he worked for 17 years.
“He was also an enthusiastic member of Doncaster Rowing Club in which he trained and competed along with his son and myself.
“Ray will leave a huge hole in the lives of so many people. He touched the hearts of everyone who met him and he will live on in the happy memories he gave to others.
“I take some comfort from the fact he believed in organ donation, and that was one of the most generous gifts he could give to come out of this tragedy.
“It took me a long time to find the love of my life but most of all I have lost my lifelong soulmate, best friend and husband, and my son has lost a great, inspirational father.”
There will doubtless be many among you who knew Ray personally and we are sure that you will join us in offering our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.