Beloved biker’s last journey

Funeral service of William Hopkins at St Marys Church, Ecclesfield,'Wife Kelly cries as she follows the coffin into church
Funeral service of William Hopkins at St Marys Church, Ecclesfield,'Wife Kelly cries as she follows the coffin into church
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HUNDREDS of people gathered to say a fond farewell to loving dad-of-two William Hopkins, who died suddenly of a tiny crack in an artery.

Keen biker Willy was buried at Ecclesfield Cemetery on what would have been his 40th birthday, surrounded by 300 friends and family from across the country.

His devastated wife Kelly, 33, asked mourners to wear bright clothes to celebrate Willy’s colourful life.

Willy’s children Harry, six, and Grace, four, wore jumpers displaying photos of their father.

The coffin was followed by dozens of motorbikes.

Willy had continued to ride his Kawasaki even after losing his right leg in crash. He survived a terrible accident on the moors outside Sheffield 12 years ago but was killed suddenly by a hidden condition early on January 4.

He started having fits at home on Monteney Road, Parson Cross and stopped breathing on the way to hospital.

A post-mortem revealed the cause of death to be aortic arch dissection - a condition caused by a torn wall in an artery from the heart.

Kelly said her husband was a ‘loving man’ and a ‘wonderful father’.

“Words can’t describe his kindness. The young people in our community really looked up to him. He would do anything for them,” she said.

Willy leaves older brothers Peter, 54, Stephen, 53 and Nicholas, 43 and sister Jo, 48.

After the ceremony at St Mary’s Church in Ecclesfield and burial at Ecclesfield Cemetery, mourners held a wake at The Ranch in Chapeltown, where Willy had planned to celebrate his birthday.