Cycling champ’s killer guilty plea

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THE FORMER neighbour of a top cycling champion has admitted killing him in a fight on their street.

Ray Eden, who was described by friends as a “gentle giant” died in hospital three days after suffering serious head injuries after he was assaulted on Moat Croft, Scawthorpe, in March.

The 42-year-old had just set off for work when the incident happened.

Now, Luke Jolly, aged 24, who was living on the same street at the time, has pleaded guilty to Mr Eden’s manslaughter at Sheffield Crown Court.

Jolly was remanded on bail and will be sentenced next month.

Mr Eden, who was also a keen oarsman with Doncaster Rowing Club, won the national 100-mile time-trial cycling championship in 1995 on only his second attempt, and the same year represented Great Britain four times in stage racing.

Dave Brailsford, the GB Olympic cycling team chief, was one of dozens of people from across the UK and Europe to pay tribute to him after his death.

Ray left behind his widow, Gail, and son, Finn.

He had worked for Rotherham specialist cycle manufacturers Planet X since the company was formed in the mid-1990s.

Andy Brookes, friend and joint owner of the Templeborough-based firm said Ray single-handedly ran the company’s warehouse when it was based in Carcroft, processing orders, sending them out, and overseeing customer services.

His wife described him as an ‘outstanding husband, father, son, son-in-law, brother-in-law and friend, whose love, kindness and sense of friendship would remain in the hearts of everyone he knew’.

At the time of his death she said his loss would leave a huge hole in the lives of many people.

“He touched the hearts of everyone who met him and he will live on in the happy memories he gave to others,” she said.

At his funeral at Doncaster Minster in April, dozens of cyclists followed his funeral cortege to the venue.