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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Gary Dighton 1968-2015


The devastatingly sad news of the death of British time trialling legend, Gary Dighton has numbed the cycling community in Dorset. The former Olympian, British Best All-Rounder & competition record holder at 25 miles lived near Wareham and is believed to have taken his own life. Successful in the early nineties, Gary took a break from competition before returning, keen as ever in 2008. Despite competing at the highest level Gary always had time to chat and encourage all riders and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Crowding around result boards in 2015, there will be a space once filled by a champion. Our thoughts are with Gary's family.
Message me to add your Tribute: moses.deane@virgin.net/07977985933

“just heard about the sad loss of Gary Dighton local rider and all round top guy rip thoughts to family and friends from all at sarum velo please pass on our condolences” Paul Sloper

"Lovely guy who always came in with a big smile. Super fast on a bike and a genuine great all round person. Raced TT's for us and was very professional at all times. He will be missed by lots of people but will never be forgotten.
Rest in peace Gary." Bill Temple, Primera

"Devastating News,i only had the pleasure of meeting him a handful of times but he was so kind and supportive to lesser atletes like myself" Grant Drummond

"Desparately sad News" Barney Storey MBE

"Sad News, RIP mate" Paul Stockley

"So so sad, top bloke, my condolences to his family" Gary Fodden

"RIP, so sad" Tom Reid

"Shocked and saddened Really sad. Same age as me and we raced a lot of same events back in the day. Always quick! Sad news indeed." David Walters

"Gary was my inspiration and idol in the early ninties and I was overwelmed to know he was joining our club. I felt unworthy of beating him in a few TT's when he first joined and told him so, but he soon supassed me and had targeted our other legend Mr Icke. He was and will always be a legend and great mate to me in my eyes. To Zena and family our deepest thoughts are with you from the Tuskin family" Gary Tuskin

"Absolutely shocked at this news Gary was an amazing rider and proud to have known him RIP thoughts go to his family"Geoff Giddings

"So sad to read this, Gary was a super cyclist and genuine nice guy, his name ruled the top line in the results, but he would always ask
"how'd it go" Jon Clemas (BJW)

"Shocked and absolutely devestated. Words cannot express how we feel. Gary a lovely person,good friend, great bike rider, proud to have been in the leo and manchester wheelers with him.Shared some happy moments with him. Our thoughts are with Zena Luke Emily, and both sets of parents. RIP Gary. Ed and Jan. x" Janet Adkins

“numb just numb , such a great loss. Thoughts go out to his family and friends.” Steve Berry

"Whilst this is one of the saddest days of my life I would like to speak for the immediate family and Gary's closest friends and say how touched we are that so many people remember this special man so fondly and I'd like to thank everyone for their thoughts and kind words.
Perhaps Gary never realised how much we friends all thought of him but I hope that he's looking down on this and is overwhelmed.
A fierce competitor and nice guy to so many who have paid tribute to him. I'll miss him dishing out pain, I'll miss his dry sense of humour and I'll miss him when he's not looking across a dual carriageway at me, trying to work out how far ahead he was
Where ever you are mate, I hope you're giving it some good old fashioned RootyToot! It won't be the same here without you."
Les Pick
“Tragic news and a tragic loss to cycling. Gary was a fierce competitor, an absolute gentleman and an inspiration to many others. He will be sorely missed. Condolences to his family and friends”
Andy Langdown

“So shocked and saddened to read this today , happy memories of Gary at TT events and also his wedding to Zena.”
“Love and prayers are with Zena and his family . RIP Gary”
Dawn and Phil Courage (Australia) formerly of Vectis RCC


“I was shocked and saddened when Adam called me. Gary was a legend in cycling, he was one of the boys, didn't let success go to his head. I think we can all feel, if only we could have been there in Gary's hour of need, Why didn't he talk to his closest friends? I am sure you would have been there like a shot, so sad. RIP Gary and my sincere condolences to your family”
Dave Le Grys

Ian Locock “Utterly shocked and deeply saddened to read this. RIP Gary.”

“So sad.. I only spoke with Gary a few times and admired him from afar/sometimes closer as he eased past me on the upton bypass...being new to the scene I noted he had time/gave advice and encouragement to his closer competitors as well as someone like me....sign of a true champ!! Arrow youth riders take note! Thoughts are very much with his wife and son/daughter who were always close by and supporting. RIP champ. Gary Cure BACC

Picture after a minutes silence in memory of Gary Dighton, respectfully honoured by Bournemouth Arrow Youth Squad and parents at the Bournemouth Track before our ride over to Bulbarrow on Sunday 11th January

Andy Pritchett “ KING OF THE MOUNTAIN.. Purbeck LEGEND .. Sad sad loss .”

Barrie Watkinson “shocked and saddened by this terrible news, as every body who know Gary has said, he was always encouraging and took a personal interest in how your ride went, rather that about his own. A wonderfully loved and magnanimous guy, you will be sadly missed by all.”


Rob Koppenhol “Such sad news, hard to take in. He was such an inspiration, my thoughts are with his family.”

Maria Golden “So very sad, our thoughts go out to Zena, Luke and Emily. RIP Gary from all the members of the A3crg who knew him.”
Kelvin Pinchen “Can't believe it, for all those who have raced against him, a gentleman.”

Dave Doust “ Great loss to cycling & his family:( RIP Gary)"

Jacky Prosser "Absolutely dreadful news, still cannot take it in. Our thoughts are with Zena and children."

@neilonthebike (twitter) “Very sad day. He was a bit of a local legend when I first started racing in Ipswich in the early 90s. Class rider, RIP.”

Greg Parker(VC ST Raphael) "Gary truly was an inspiration to me...used to watch this guy go flying past me and thought 'i wanna go like that'. In the last couple of years we have had some great battles but whatever the outcome his words were always the same 'great ride Greg , you're flying at the moment'. When you were beaten by Gary (most of the time) it truly didnt matter because you knew it was by a genuine, class rider, stand up bloke, and someone i was proud to call a friend. My thoughts are with Zena, Luke and Emily. You will be sorely missed mate. Rest in peace."


"Shocked and saddened when I heard the news of Gary's death. Although I didn't know him very well, He always had a smile on his face and took time to chat to me at TT's. Like many, if only we could have been there in his hour of need. He will be very sadly missed."
Louise Burman

“I have literally just caught up with this terribly sad news. I didn't know Gary well, but having spoken to him at the Poole Wheelers dinner a few years back, his renewed passion for the sport was really evident, and to be honest also very infectious.Don't really know what to say, but wanted to write something. Only a couple of days ago I was admiring the speed of some of his Strava records! What a talent. Sincere condolences to Zena, Luke, Emily, Les, Wendy, and everybody who knew him” Daniel Lloyd

"I did my first ride of 2015 and it is sadly in memory of Gary Dighton who died a few days ago.

When I was in the RAF representing them in cycling I had the pleasure of racing against Gary most weeks when I lived near Peterborough (RAF Wittering) in the late 80's. Gary was a member of the Fenland Clarion and as a young rider he showed great talent which as many of us know took him on to brake the 25 mile time trial record in 1991 with a time of 48.07 and he also rode in the team time trail at the Barcelona Olympics.
But more than that he always stuck me as such a nice guy. It really is very sad news and I know he is going to be missed by so many not least his family and close friends but by everybody that met him.
Cycling has lost a great rider - R.I.P Gary, I rode today with you in mind Gary just as I did when we raced on the 10 course at Helpston.
Gary - words really cannot express how greatly you will be missed." Rupert Rivett

Steve Pink (CC Weymouth)
To my friend

I first met Gary a few years back on a cool windy day on top of Whiteways hill. Having already been made aware of his achievements I was a little in awe of him but we exchanged brief hello's before I rode back down the hill.

Later that winter Chippers invited me to join in a group training ride. Basically Gary, Terry Icke and Paul Jones would tow four or five us around Dorset for about three and a half hours, or as long as we could hang on! Being my sociable self I made a point of saying hello to everyone properly. Gary was instantly warm and friendly, he asked how long I'd been cycling and credited me for how well I was doing (which wasn't exactly that well).

After a few of these rides Gary always made a point of sparing a few minutes at every TT to say hello and ask how I was going, "pleased with your ride Steve?" was his usual opening line. It felt great to have an Olympian taking an interest in my little hobby.

The following year Gary called me at work. He needed help finding a contact at DCC and knew I was there so knew I could help. The conversation obviously quickly turned to bikes and before we knew it we'd probably wasted far to much council tax payers money chatting about anything but work. From then on Gary and I used to email almost every week to see how each other was getting on. What training were we doing, what races were we planning and often how was Greg Parker, Gary's chief rival (and close friend) going this week. Gary would be asking me advice - me advice??? and opinions on his training or kit, he never saw me as a lesser and we became good friends.

It's these emails that I will miss the most. We only mailed this week and were planning on a social ride and coffee as I knew Christmas had been tough on him. We never will get that ride in.

However a will also miss (if not so much) the pain he dished out on the Thursday lunch chain gain. Gary, again with Paul Jones and also Lewis Keightley, Andy Symes and Wayne Pitman would tear up 50 miles of the Purbecks flatter countryside at a hefty 25mph. I coined it 'find a wheel and hang on'. Gary was a great leader on the crew. He'd set everyone their own length on the front as such to keep the pace up and make the training as fair as possible for everyone's abilities. My best ever ride came clean off of the back of these sessions and I was looking forward to getting these going again once Paul was back on his bike.

Gary didn't come alone though, I've also been lucky to meet Zena, Luke and Emily. A lovely family. Zena was always so supportive of Gary's riding and Luke clearly idolised his amazing dad. They came on race day as a team and their support spread wider than just for Gary. I can't imagine what they're going through and I can only send them all my love and hope they know both myself and the wider cycling community will be there for them if and when they need us.

To Gary. You were, are and always will be an inspiration to myself and many like me. You've show me what it takes to be a winner whilst being humble and a loving, caring father. I didn't become friends with you because you were an Olympian, I became friends with you because you were a great bloke!

Rest in peace Gary, see you up the road!

6 comments:

  1. Tragic news and a tragic loss to cycling. Gary was a fierce competitor, an absolute gentleman and an inspiration to many others. He will be sorely missed. Condolences to his family and friends
    Andy Langdown

    ReplyDelete
  2. So shocked and saddened to read this today , happy memories of Gary at TT events and also his wedding to Zena.
    Love and prayers are with Zena and his family . RIP Gary
    Dawn and Phil Courage (Australia) formerly of Vectis RCC

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was shocked and Stunned when Adam called my with this sad news. I said to Adam, if only Gary talked to his close friends in his hour of need, I wish I could have been there for him, I think what I am saying is, we all feel helpless and all felt like we could have helped Gary at some point, but to be honest I never knew he was so depressed. RIP Gary you will be missed so much by your family and friends. My sincere condolences go out to Gary's family
    Dave Le Grys

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was shocked and saddened when Adam called me. Gary was a legend in cycling, he was one of the boys, didn't let success go to his head. I think we can all feel, if only we could have been there in Gary's hour of need, Why didn't he talk to his closest friends? I am sure you would have been there like a shot, so sad. RIP Gary and my sincere condolences to your family
    Dave Le Grys

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have literally just caught up with this terribly sad news.

    I didn't know Gary well, but having spoken to him at the Poole Wheelers dinner a few years back, his renewed passion for the sport was really evident, and to be honest also very infectious.

    Don't really know what to say, but wanted to write something. Only a couple of days ago I was admiring the speed of some of his Strava records! What a talent.

    Sincere condolences to Zena, Luke, Emily, Les, Wendy, and everybody who knew him.

    Dan

    ReplyDelete
  6. I did my first ride of 2015 and it is sadly in memory of Gary Dighton who died a few days ago.

    When I was in the RAF representing them in cycling I had the pleasure of racing against Gary most weeks when I lived near Peterborough (RAF Wittering) in the late 80's. Gary was a member of the Fenland Clarion and as a young rider he showed great talent which as many of us know took him on to brake the 25 mile time trial record in 1991 with a time of 48.07 and he also rode in the team time trail at the Barcelona Olympics.

    But more than that he always stuck me as such a nice guy. It really is very sad news and I know he is going to be missed by so many not least his family and close friends but by everybody that met him.

    Cycling has lost a great rider - R.I.P Gary, I rode today with you in mind Gary just as I did when we raced on the 10 course at Helpston.

    Gary - words really cannot express how greatly you will be missed.

    ReplyDelete