A motocross club will pay tribute to one of their young stars who tragically died doing the sport he loved.
Riders at Mid Sussex Motocross Club will mark the passing of teammate Brad Hooper this Saturday.
The 16-year-old was killed riding for another club last Sunday after his Mid Sussex team’s race in Surrey was cancelled at short notice because of bad weather.
Club officials described the teenager as a “die-hard rider who lived for the sport”.
Brad suffered serious injuries following an accident with another young rider at a race meet at Down Farm in Hampshire on Sunday and died in hospital from his injuries.
The second rider suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.
The youngster’s father Tony Hooper will open proceedings at 9.30am tomorrowwith a fewwords before youth riders will line the track at Shermanbury near Henfield and cut their engines for a two-minute silence.
Young riders will then do a lap of honour led by two of his closest friends and then ride in single file at a slow pace.
Colin Woodman, the club’s vice chairman and clerk of the course, said: “Brad had the ability to befriend anyone whether they were a six-year-old boy or a 60- year-old man, he had the ability to sit down and have a conversation with you.
“He had a sense of humour that was just fantastic, no matter what sort of day you were having, when he showed up you would smile.
“He was a beautiful, uncomplicated and talented young man and his loss has hit me and the whole club hard.”
Mr Woodman added that all riders were aware of the risks of the sport but that serious injuries and deaths were rare.
He said that Sunday would be a normal race day and that is what Brad, who lived in Farnham in Surrey, would have wanted.
He added: “Brad was an out-and-out racer and he would not have wanted the boys not to be riding.”
In a statement, his family said: “Bradley was full of life. Sadly he has been taken from us at such a young age.
“He was kind, gentle, considerate, and made everybody laugh, and always had an infectious smile on his face.”
- Frustration boils over as train passengers struggle to get home
- Villagers thwart suspected jewellery thief by chasing him down the street and grabbing him
- Goldstone glory days to be remembered 20 years on
- £20m parking profit but drivers spend 16 working days a year in traffic
- Firefighters to respond to emergency ambulance calls in pilot project