Obituary: Colin Appleyard

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Colin Appleyard MBE, who passed away this afternoon, was a typical Yorkshireman - hard headed in business, a great lover and supporter of his sporting passion of motorcycle racing, and a gentle giant who was in many ways 'The father of the British Superbike paddock' with his humour, sense of direction and viewpoint.

He established his car and motorcycle dealerships in 1971, but still maintained a family business feel to them as they grew in towns across his home county with four wheel franchises for Suzuki (the longest established in the UK), Nissan and Subaru. On two wheels Colin Appleyard Motorcycles has twice been awarded the coveted MCN Dealer of the Year Award.

Colin established his motorcycle racing team over two decades ago, supporting his son Robin who became a dominant force in the 125GP class, winning the British title in the colours of his father's team and graced the World stage on seven occasions in 250cc Grand Prix action.

When Robin retired from competition Colin maintained the family's link within the racing paddock and he continued to run his team with the aim of giving opportunities to young British talent to bring forward the stars of tomorrow, which he has continued to the present day. That is the case at present with the team, now fully titled Appleyard/Macadam and Doodson, continuing under the guidance of Robin to run Danny Webb in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship.

Colin's services to motorcycle sport were widely recognised and he received an MBE in the New Year honours at the end of 2012.

Colin was a man who always had time for everyone, he enjoyed discussing his sport and he was one of the most respected of team principals in the British Championship paddock - he was a gentleman who will be sorely missed. 

To the end, Colin was taking a keen interest in both his quarterly reports on his thriving business empire but also questioning if Harry Hartley would be fit to ride his team's second bike at Knockhill.

Colin died this afternoon with his wife Peggy at his bedside, along with Robin and his sister Judith, who had been able to spend some quality time with him and chat over family memories. 

RIP Colin, and the thoughts and sympathies of everyone in the MCE BSB paddock are with his family and friends at this time of loss. 

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Stuart Higgs

By Stuart Higgs