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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Barney Davis

Pictured: Grandad who died on ‘last ever’ London to Brighton charity cycle

Tributes have been paid to a “loving” grandfather who died cycling from London to Brighton on a charity bike ride.

David Cooper, 69, had said the 54-mile ride would “definitely [be] my last one” after first taking part in 1999 after a life-saving quadruple heart bypass surgery.

The grandfather-of-six was completing the route for the 24th time on Sunday alongside 10 family and friends having raised thousands for the British Heart Foundation over the years.

His “devastated” daughter Louisa Necib said: “Our dad first took part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride back in 1999 when he began cycling after a quadruple heart bypass. He loved taking part every year and it became a real family day out for everyone with more people joining him at every event.

“This year alone ten members of our family and friends were taking part alongside him.”

Paying tribute to Mr Cooper, from Battersea, she added: “Dad was an amazing person who would do anything for anyone. He was a massive Chelsea Football Club fan, he loved his family and loved supporting the BHF and other charities and doing what he could for other people.

“He was just days away from his 70th birthday and we were all due to go on holiday together to celebrate. We are devastated.

“On behalf of our family I would like to thank everyone who came to our dad’s aid. Especially those on the scene and the emergency services. We are so grateful for all your efforts.”

On his JustGiving page, which has raised more than £3,000, Mr Cooper wrote: “So, here we go again, and this is definitely my last one!!

“Those that don’t know, research done by the British Heart foundation probably saved my life in 1998, when I had to have major heart surgery. Because of this I have taken part in this fantastic event almost every year.”

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation said the charity was “devastated by David Cooper’s death”.

She added: “The event is such a special one and knowing that David rode in every ride since 1999 just shows what an inspirational fundraiser he was.

“His 24 years of support for the BHF will have made a huge difference to the lives of heart patients across the UK and we are so grateful for his almost quarter century of support.

“It is clear from David’s family what a loving father and grandfather he was and how much they will miss him. Our thoughts are with his heartbroken family at this terrible time.”

To donate to Mr Cooper’s fundraiser click here.

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