Tributes to popular Norfolk biker killed in freak crash

Stephen PullingerThe mother of a lifelong motorbike fan killed in a freak road accident has paid a warm tribute to her son following his moving funeral supported by fellow bikers.Stephen Pullinger

The mother of a lifelong motorbike fan killed in a freak road accident has paid a warm tribute to her son following his moving funeral supported by fellow bikers.

More than 50 motorcyclists from all over Britain led a funeral procession from Steven Slack's home village of Caister to Gorleston Crematorium.

Clubs represented included the Vulcan Riders Association, East Coast Harley Club and Triumph Owners' Club Norfolk.

Mourners packed in for the service included Mr Slack's sister Amanda, 46, who travelled from her home in Australia and his father Arthur who came from his home in the south of France.

Mr Slack, 50, of Rockall Way, was killed on the morning of Sunday, March 21, when his Triumph motorbike was in collision with a Peugeot that had apparently lost control and veered off the road and then rebounded into the path of a Mercedes. The Peugeot driver Andrew Newson, 46, of Priory Road, St Olaves, also died in the tragedy on the A143 Beccles Road at Toft Monks.

Mr Slack, a father of two, had been on his way to the Wortwell Bell, at Wortwell, near Harleston, for a meeting of the Vulcan Riders' Association; the members of which had just voted him in as regional club secretary.

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His lifelong friend Barry Leggett, 47, of Yarmouth Road, Caister, was following on his motorbike and was the second man to come across the accident scene, which he described as 'devastating'.

Mr Slack's mother Stella Allen, 76, of Pyke Court, Caister, said her son, widely known as 'Pug' - a reference to Captain Pugwash - after his early years in the merchant navy, had owned more than 60 motorbikes in his lifetime, beginning at the age of 16 with a Honda 50cc.

She said: 'He has always loved motorbikes; they were his life. But he was an excellent rider; he did not take chances and I never thought his life would be claimed by a road accident.'

Mr Slack, who had to give up his job as a French polisher due to degenerative arthritis in his spine, was a self-taught mechanic and always happy to help friends with repairs to motorbikes and old American cars.

His mother recalled that growing up near Great Yarmouth Town's Wellesley football ground, he had developed a love of the game and used to sneak in to join the players for a kick around. As he got older, he became a keen Arsenal supporter.

She described her son, who was educated at the town's former Styles School, as well-known and popular in the area.

She said: 'He was generally quiet going through life and would not push himself forward, but at motorcycle club rallies he would be the life and soul of the party and he loved social events like barbecues.

'He was always wandering about singing or whistling and was happy despite his bad back.'

Mr Slack leaves a son Jesse, 19, and daughter Victoria, 22, from his earlier marriage and his partner Carol Sage, who he had been with for about 10 years.

Do you wish to pay tribute to a friend or loved one? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email