Sheffield dad killed on his bike was ‘one of a kind’

Eric Codling who was killed in an RTC on Whirlowdale Road.
Eric Codling who was killed in an RTC on Whirlowdale Road.
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The devastated widow of a father-of-two who died after being knocked off his bike by a drink driver in Sheffield has spoken for the first time of her tragic loss.

Eric Codling, aged 55, from Millhouses, was killed instantly after being struck by a black Vauxhall Astra on Whirlowdale Road in Sheffield while out on his regular bike ride last Sunday morning.

The Astra driver - a 26-year-old woman - and three men from a BMW also at the scene, have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Police have confirmed the woman failed a breath test.

Today it emerged Eric’s bereft wife Karen should have been celebrating her 50th birthday tomorrow with a big party for family and friends.

Instead she is organising her husband’s funeral.

Surrounded by sympathy cards and flowers at her home in Periwood Avenue, Karen told The Star: “He was one of a kind. He loved his kids and he would have done anything for us.

“It worked - we were a team. I couldn’t have done everything I’ve done without him.”

The couple married 15 years ago in Cornwall and have two daughters Grace, aged 12, and Eve, nine.

“I’ve told the girls what has happened and they are coping,” said Karen. “But they will be without their dad for Christmas and for all those milestones in the future.”

Eric, who worked as a painter and decorator for Ponsford furniture store, was from Middlesborough originally.

Karen said he was a ‘sports mad’ Middlesborough FC fan and went running and cycling most days.

He also enjoyed taking part in the Graves Park run every Saturday and was a talented amateur photographer.

Karen said: “Eric had gone out on his regular Sunday morning bike ride - he often heads out to Fox House. He always got up early to go cycling so he could avoid the traffic.

“He was a mad cyclist, mad runner and he was very fit - he went to the gym every day.

“I was getting ready to go out with the girls, and I rang Eric to tell him where we were going, when the doorbell went at about 10.45am. It was the police.

“Eric was taken to the Northern General Hospital but he was dead when he got there.”

She said Eric loved spending time with his family.
She said: “He just liked doing dad stuff with the girls. Only last week we had a Halloween party and we were laughing at him because he was wearing a dress.”

Karen, a partner in the personal injury team at city law firm Irwin Mitchell, and who sits on the board at Cavendish Cancer Care, said she is desperate for witnesses to the collision to contact South Yorkshire Police.

She said: “My kids have lost their dad and I haven’t got Eric any more.

“I would urge anyone who saw anything to contact South Yorkshire Police.

“If anyone living on Whirlowdale Road has CCTV, I’d also appeal to them to come forward.

“I know it isn’t going to bring Eric back, but whoever has done this should not be able to get away with it.”

Eric’s funeral takes place at Hutcliffe Wood Road Crematorium at 3.30pm on Friday, November 15.

The crash happened on Whirlowdale Road near the junction with Abbey Lane, at about 8am on Sunday, November 3.

Police will return to the scene this Sunday morning to speak to motorists.

■ Anyone with information is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident 286 of November 3.