A WELL-LIKED community figure known for his love of cycling died when his bike was hit by a van.

Brian Ward, 70, of Springfield Close, in Ongar, was cycling with fellow members of the Hainault Roads Club, when he was struck by the Mercedes Sprinter, in Houblons Hill, Epping.

Members of his club rushed to his aid and managed to revive him at the roadside, but he died a short time later in hospital.

How Mr Ward, an experienced cyclist who served as time trials secretary for his club, came to be struck by the van is unknown.

Members of the club said he was riding down the hill when he seemed to swing wide and was struck by the vehicle as it came in the opposite direction.

Roads Club general secretary Bill Godfrey who was riding just behind Mr Ward said: “He was in front of me and when I went round the corner he was on the ground. No-one saw what happened.”

A former president of Ilford Probus Club and a member of the Masons, Mr Ward is remembered as a community-minded and friendly man.

He met his wife Barbara while doing his national service in the Royal Corps of Signals in the late 1950s and in recent years the two of them would cycle around Ongar together.

Mr Godfrey said: “In 80 plus years of the Hainault Roads Club he was one of the members and officials of outstanding ability who will be greatly missed.

“There was nothing left to chance when Brian was in charge and under his guidance there was a resurgence of racing activities in the club much of which is to his credit.

“Unassuming and friendly, Brian was always a pleasure to be with and to cycle along with and it is an irony that the his cycling hobby, of which he was so fond, was the cause of his premature and tragic death.

“The Hainault Roads Club sends its deepest sympathy to Barbara and children Andrew and Lesley and their families, with the hope that the esteem with which Brian was held is some small consolation on the loss of a loving husband and father.”

Any witnesses to the collision, which took place Thursday, June 17 at around 2.45pm are asked to contact officers at the Chigwell Road Policing Unit on 0300 333 4444.