Tributes paid to Diss dad Graham Turner, who dies during bicycle ride
A former Army private from Diss has died after collapsing on a bike ride last month.
The family of 41-year-old Graham Turner have described their shock following his death on January 30 – just five and a half years after the loss of his daughter, Maddison.
Mr Turner, of Ladbroke Close, was out on a bike ride in Swaffham with two friends when they came to a halt. The self-employed taxi driver suddenly collapsed and died at the scene.
Barry Sadler, the father to Mr Turner’s long time partner, Kelly Sadler, said that his death had come as such a shock to the family as he had no history of medical problems.
“He used to run for children’s charities but had stopped because his knees were bad, and had taken up cycling instead,” said Mr Sadler, who is 62.
“He loved it and would go out four or five times a week, doing anything from 50km up to 100km at a time.
“He was a fit and healthy person. There was no history of any heart problems – he didn’t smoke or go out drinking.”
The family are still waiting on post-mortem results to determine the exact cause of Mr Turner’s death, but Mr Sadler said he had died almost immediately after collapsing.
“He left at about 8am and drove to Swaffham,” he said. “He’d been cycling for about two miles when they stopped. He just fell forward and that was it.
“There was no holding his chest or anything – he just went.”
Mr Turner had served as a private in the Royal Anglian Regiment for eight years, and used his spare time taking on fundraisers following the death of his daughter, Maddison, from lung cancer in 2015.
He had competed in the London Marathon and Run Norwich, raising money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, which cared for Maddison in the later stages of her life.
He leaves behind wife Kelly and 10-year-old daughter Chloeanne.
“It’s just tragic really,” added Mr Sadler. “It was bad enough losing one sister and daughter at this age, but then to lose your father and partner as well.
“Kelly’s been through this before and she’s a strong girl – she’s got loads of friends, family and work colleagues around her, supporting her.”
A fundraising page has been set up to support the family, which so far has amassed nearly £4,000.
Mr Sadler, who is from Dudley, added: “The support we’ve had from people has been unbelievable.
“There’s been donations coming in from people Kelly has never even heard of – it’s just been overwhelming.
“It just shows how much of a friendly, likeable guy Graham was. He would never stop talking.
“People knew him as a great person to be around.
“The only thing I can say is to live your life the fullest because you never know what the future may bring.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the fundraiser click here.