‘An amazing, inspirational man’ - tributes to cyclist who died in Swannington crash
Tributes have been paid to a popular athlete who was killed in a crash on Norfolk’s roads, with one of his former running clubs set to honour his memory at a race tomorrow.
Sze-Ming Cheung was cycling on Reepham Road in Swannington at about 4pm on Thursday when he was in a crash with a grey Nissan Navara.
The road was closed for more than five hours while emergency services attended. The driver of the car, a 55-year-old from the Reepham area, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
Mr Cheung ran Casey’s fish and chip shop in Reepham Road, Hellesdon, with his family also running the next door Chung Hing Chinese take away.
But the former Hellesdon High School pupil was also very well-known as a runner, cyclist, swimmer and triathlete in the local sporting scene.
He was a member of Norwich Road Runners, had run with Coltishall Jaguars for many years and was a regular at Catton Parkrun.
Chris Harrison, Norwich Road Runners spokesman, said: “Sze-Ming was a friendly and well known character with Norwich Road Runners, with a beaming smile that couldn’t be removed and he was always willing to help out.
“His enthusiasm for the sport was infectious to others, he was always happy to give advice and support to those striving to achieve their own targets.
“While his outside aura was friendly in every way, the inside marked a man with incredible steely determination mixed with a competitive spirit, a driven athlete who was always pushing himself and looking for that extra edge to achieve his dreams.
“Aside from just running his love for triathlon was enormous, with some inspiring swimming and cycling feats well known to those involved in the local sport scene. He had been training hard this year to participate in the IronMan event in Italy this coming September.
“Everyone at Norwich Road Runners is deeply shocked at his untimely and devastating passing, he will be greatly missed.
“All our thoughts are with his family and close friends at this tragic time.”
Coltishall Jaguars will hold their 10k run at RAF Coltishall tomorrow and a minute’s silence/applause will be held for Mr Cheung.
In a Facebook post, Paul Taylor, on behalf of Coltishall Jaguars coaches and committee, said: “Sze Ming was responsible for designing our awesome club kit and logo and to celebrate his life and the many contributions he made to the club, please can all members wear a club vest or t-shirt at our race tomorrow.
“If possible, this should be the current two-colour orange and black design. There will also be a minute’s silence/applause before the start of the race and we’ll announce that over the radios so that everyone out on the course can participate.”
Alan Grove, president of Coltishall Jaguars, said of the minute’s silence: “It’s the least we can do. He left us in 2015 but remained friends. He wasn’t a Jaguar member but he was a Jaguar friend.”
News of his death is also affecting the community in Hellesdon, where he has long been the owner of Casey’s fish and chip shop.
Shelagh Gurney, Norfolk county councillor for Hellesdon and Broadland district councillor for Hellesdon North West, said: “The community is terribly saddened to hear this news, and, as a community we would want to send our condolences to his partner Alexandra and his family at this very difficult time.”
Casey’s fish and chip shop and the Chung Hing takeaway are both shut. A sign in the window reads that they will remain closed until further notice because of a family bereavement.
Organisers of Catton parkrun tweeted that they were “very sad” to hear the news that Mr Cheung, who regularly took part at runs in Catton Park, had died and said their thoughts were with the family.
Mr Cheung’s partner Alexandra Bland posted about Mr Cheung’s death on Facebook and thanked people for the kind messages and calls she had received.
In response to her post, tributes were paid to “an amazing, inspirational man”, who was also described as “a brilliant soul”.
Norfolk police are appealing for witnesses to the crash to come forward.
They particularly want to trace the driver of a small black van, who was driving along that stretch of road at the time of the crash.
Officers are also keen for any motorists with dash-cam footage of the incident to contact them.
Anyone with information should contact Norfolk police’s serious collision investigation team at Wymondham on 101.