The motorcycle instructor who died in his wife’s arms was a ‘huge character with an even bigger heart’

A motorcycle instructor, described as “huge character” died in the arms of his wife. Ian Critchley, of Rhyl, died suddenly after suffering a heart attack on Saturday night

The 56-year-old passed away in the arms of his wife Debbie in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, leaving behind his beloved children and grandchildren. Ian was a much valued member of the cycling community who helped hundreds of people across North Wales pass their Rhyl-based FSABC Motoring School tests.

A lover of heavy metal music and with his big beard, Ian seemed like a badass with a dry sense of humor, his friends said. But, he had a heart of gold and more than a typical family man and friend, in many ways.

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His devastated family and friends have paid a moving tribute to a man who they say ‘puts everyone before himself in every way possible’. “If you needed anything he would do his best to give it to you, even if it was something as simple as his time. His door was always open and the kettle always on – Although nine times on 10, you would make this infusion yourself, and his too.

“People say someone lights up a room when they walk through the door and no one more than Ian. He would walk in and literally everyone would want his attention for one reason or another and somehow he would make sure he spoke to absolutely everyone.

Motorcycle enthusiast Ian Critchley leaves behind his wife Debbie Critchley

“He was a little man with a huge character and an even bigger heart. He helped hundreds of people of all ages get their motorcycle licenses, with many people coming back afterward just for a fuss because he made you feel so welcome.

“Ian had so many stories from his time in the Navy, some you just couldn’t repeat. He was an avid Wrexham AFC fan all his life.

“He was also a local taxi driver in Rhyl for many years before moving to his cycling school. It would be hard to put in numbers how many hearts such a kind man has touched, in such a short life of 56 years. .”

“It’s amazing how well our cycling community has come together and we can’t thank them enough. Absolutely everyone he spoke to will miss him.

“He was basically the ugliest, handsomest man you’ve ever met who many were proud to call their friend”

“He leaves behind his wife Debbie, and their children and grandchildren whom he loved more than life itself.”

The family was inundated with messages of support so a fundraiser was set up. You can donate to the GoFundMe page here.

The page, set up by friend Clive Senior, has a £3,000 goal to help Ian’s family with funeral costs. He has so far raised over £1,700.

He described Ian as follows: “Another biker taken too young, I’m sure we can give this memorable person a wonderful send off. Nothing in biker code like strangers… We’re all brothers and sisters – RIP Ian rides free in The Sky.”

You can share your condolences with Ian Critchley’s family in the comments section below.

About Tracy G. Larimore

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