Tributes to man who inspired sporting stars

Missed: John Mallinson, who has died aged 82
Missed: John Mallinson, who has died aged 82
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Tributes have been paid to a “stalwart of cycling”, who influenced some of the sports top stars.

John Mallinson, who threw himself into chairing bodies and organising events across the North West alongside his wife Doreen, died after a long illness aged 82 on January 31.

Originally from Liverpool, but later living in Centurion Way, Farington, Mr Mallinson helped coach the likes of Chris Boardman and Jason Quelly to Olympic gold.

Former British Cycling President and current UCI President Brian Cookson said: “John and Doreen were amongst the very first people that I came across when I was a young rider.

“They helped me on many occasions, including my earliest time as a local official, during which time John was, for many years, Chairman of Lakeland and Lancashire Division.

“It was fitting that he and Doreen were amongst the first group to be made members of the British Cycling Hall of Fame when we established it in 2009.

“Cycling in Great Britain will forever be in their debt”.

Mrs Mallinson said: “He was a fantastic man and we did everything together.

“We didn’t do it for gain, we did it because, apart from our four wonderful children and eight grandchildren, cycling was our lives.

“We’ve worked with everyone in the sport and loved it all. We’ve also been involved with the Paralympics. Working with disabled people was wonderful.”

Peter Ward, driving force behind Preston’s Guild Wheel, and founder member of the Ribble Valley (RV) Cycling Club, described Mr Mallinson an “exceptional man”.

He said: “John and his wife Doreen have given the Ribble Valley and NW Cycle sport virtually a lifetime of dedicated service.

“They have held most senior positions in the club with distinction. When the RV organised more events at National and divisional level, each year, than most top clubs, I can’t recall any event when John and Doreen did not volunteer to help, either as leading officials, or doing the basic but essential jobs.”

Bill Greenhalgh, co-founder of the Cycling Development North West Road Race league with Mr Mallinson, described him as “an outstanding man.”

A funeral service will be at Charnock Richard Crematotium on February 10 at 1pm.