TRIBUTES have been paid to a school sports coach killed in a motorcycle crash in Stratford at the weekend.
Jonathan ‘Jo’ Walker died when his motorbike was involved in a crash with car near the Rybrook Mini Garage on the A3400 Stratford Road at around 2.45pm on Sunday (June 14).
Despite the best efforts of emergency services, including the Air Ambulance which flew him to hospital for emergency treatment, he was pronounced dead at around 5pm.
The 42 year-old was a freelance sports coach who taught for a number of years at primary schools in Bidford and Kineton.
He coached the girl’s football team at Bidford Primary School every Monday.
Deputy headteacher Laurie Whiting said: “Jo coached our girls at football. They learnt a lot from him, not only about playing the game, but also about sportsmanship.
“He was very special and very dear – a cheerful friendly face who will be much missed.
“Everyone at the school is devastated. Next Monday is going to be very strange.”
Jo also coached for several years at Kineton Primary School where they are planning to hold a celebration of his life in the near future.
Jo, who lived in Solihull, leaves behind mum and dad Carole and Robert, brothers Mark, Adam and Nick and his many nieces and nephews.
Speaking to The Observer this week his family paid tribute to the a coach and a man who will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
They said: “Jo will be greatly missed by all his family and friends who are extremely grateful for all the lovely messages of support and sympathy.
“Jo lived life to the full and was enjoying one of his favourite pastimes before the accident.
“He was a much-loved sports coach and he will be missed by all the schools and children he has coached over the past 12 years.
“We would also like to say a big thank you to all of the emergency services who tried to save Jo’s life.”
Jo had close associations with three schools – Bishop Wilson C of E Primary in Solihull and Kineton and Bidford primary schools near Stratford.
His funeral will take place at Robin Hood Crematorium in Solihull on Thursday (June 25) at 12.30pm.
Family flowers only, but any donations to the Air Ambulance would be welcomed and can be made on the day or through the funeral directors – Thomas Bragg & Sons, 562 Stratford Road, Solihull, West Midlands B90 4AY – 0121 744 1428.
The driver of the Audi A4 – a 31-year-old man – involved in the crash sustained minor injuries.
Police want to hear from anyone who witnessed the collision or the vehicles prior to the collision. Call 101 quoting incident 220 of Sunday June 14.