A former Olympic cyclist and ‘true gentleman’ passed away surrounded by his family.
Mirfield man Desmond Robinson died peacefully aged 87 on December 10, leaving his wife of 62 years, Beryl, and daughters Linda, Denise and Jane and five grandchildren.
He had suffered a stroke in May and later developed a chest infection.
Daughter Denise Edwards, 56, said: "He was a lovely man, a true gentleman. He loved his family and would do anything for them. He had a really full and interesting life."
Born in Ravensthorpe on December 30, 1927, Des attended the former St Saviour's Church and school and later went to Victoria Central School. He gained an HNC in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and undertook an apprenticeship at Hopkinsons in Huddersfield, where he became a draughtsman. He then worked at his father’s joinery firm, HF Robinson and Sons in Battyeford, Mirfield.
In his youth, Des enjoyed cycling trips with his father and brother Brian, who went on to become a Tour de France rider. His cycling career began in earnest in 1945, when he joined Huddersfield Road Club.
The highlights were winning The Manx International TT in 1949 and being part of the British Olympic team in the 1952 Helsinki Games, where he competed in the road race. In 1955 he won the amateur Tour of Britain which was sponsored by Quaker Oats.
In 1953 he married Beryl and built his own house and furniture which meant his cycling took a back seat that year. Daughter Linda was born in 1954. Denise and Jane being born in 1958 and 1964 respectively. He retired from racing in 1955 to concentrate on family life and a new career.
On leaving the family firm he became an engineer for ICI, Wilton, Redcar, where he was quickly promoted to train others. He then obtained a lecturer position at Wakefield Technical College in the Engineering Department, which led to him becoming a training adviser for an industrial training board. He completed his career by returning to lecturing at Barnsley College.
Des’s passion for cycling remained and he developed circuit training devised by Carnegie College in Leeds and led local rides with young club members. He remained a member of Ravensthorpe Cycling Club until the age of 62.
His funeral takes place at Christ The King Church, Stocksbank Road, Mirfield at 11.30 am on December 23.