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‘our robbie had a heart of gold’

Lanterns lit in memory of popular Melton teenager and BMX rider Robbie Pickard (19) float off into the night sky after friends gathered at Melton Skate Park to pay their respects on Monday

Lanterns lit in memory of popular Melton teenager and BMX rider Robbie Pickard (19) float off into the night sky after friends gathered at Melton Skate Park to pay their respects on Monday

HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a Melton BMX rider who was killed in a crash as he was cycling home from a skatepark.

HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a Melton BMX rider who was killed in a crash as he was cycling home from a skatepark.

Robbie Pickard (19) died on Sunday night on the B6047 Dalby Road when his BMX was involved in a collision with a Ford Focus.

The tragedy happened about 100m before the entrance to the industrial estate on Melton Airfield which is home to Terminal 1 BMX and Skatepark, a favourite venue of the teenager.

BMXing was Robbie’s life. He spent lots of time and money fixing up his custom-made bike and was always down at the skatepark showing off his skills.

He was also a true friend who was loved by so many people. The affection and respect he was held in was clear for all to see on Monday when hundreds of people gathered at Melton Skatepark in Play Close for a vigil and released Chinese lanterns and balloons into the air.

His family plan to arrange for a convoy of Robbie’s BMXing pals to follow his coffin on its way to the funeral at St Mary’s Church.

Many tributes have been paid to him on Facebook and one of his friends has published a moving memorial tribute on You Tube. T-shirts emblazoned with the words ‘Robbie ride in peace’ are also being sold in his memory.

Robbie’s mum, Stephanie, said: “He was such a popular lad. Most of his friends have been together right through school.

“His BMX and his girlfriend, Jess, were his life really. If he wasn’t at Jess’ house he’d be at the skatepark.

“Robbie was a very caring person who wasn’t afraid to show his emotions. He would always give you a kiss and tell you he loved you.”

Dad John added: “Robbie had a solid heart of gold. He was so gentle and wouldn’t have wished harm on anyone.

“He was a loving child who was passionate about everything he did. He didn’t do anything half-heartedly.”

Robbie met his childhood sweetheart, Jess (19), about four-and-half years ago at Melton Skatepark. He had proposed to her on Christmas Day last year and the pair had been saving up to get a place of their own.

She said: “Robbie ran into me on his bike when we first met. I was going mad at him!

“I’ll miss the time we had together, the cuddles he used to give me and all his mannerisms.

“He was a wonderful boyfriend and he’ll never be forgotten.”

Robbie’s younger brother Jack (17) teaches scooter lessons at Terminal 1 and, despite the rivalry between scooter riders and BMX riders, they had a special bond.

Jack said: “We used to spend a lot of time together and we always had banter. Robbie always tried to make people laugh and he’d joke about anything but he wouldn’t want to hurt anyone.”

Robbie’s step-dad, Neil, added: “If you spoke to Robbie you would have a friend for life. The respect and love for him was overwhelming. He’ll always be in our hearts and will be the brightest shining star in the sky.”

Robbie, a former Grove, Long Field and King Edward VII pupil, did a carpentry and joinery course at Grantham College before going to work with his shopfitter dad, John. He was qualified to run his own work site and wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

Robbie’s family said one of his friends usually gave him a lift home from Terminal 1 but on Sunday he had set off to cycle home with a friend in the dark, without lights on his bike.

But his tragic death has sparked safety calls along the busy road.

Police said a number of vehicles were travelling along the road at the time of the collision. A grey Ford Focus estate and a silver Mercedes estate car were heading towards Great Dalby from Melton. Two BMX bikes and a white Vauxhall Astra van were going the other way at the time of the collision between the Focus and purple and black BMX.

Officers are appealing for any witnesses to contact them. Call Det Con 1288 Paul Bingham on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 

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