Dozens of cyclists join funeral procession for popular Ipswich man Cliff Matthews
Dozens of cyclists joined the funeral procession of popular Ipswich man Cliff Matthews today - before he was laid to rest at St Mary's Church in Nettlestead.
His wife Anna, children, family and friends met up outside his home in Norwich Road before the riders saddled up for the six mile journey to the church.
At the service, friends and loved ones gave tributes to Mr Matthews and read poems he had written - bringing laughter and a few smiles to the congregation.
A tribute from Anna was read aloud.
“In my heart he is very much alive,” she said.
“I thank Cliff from the bottom of my heart for sharing such a rich life with me.”
Mr Matthew’s eulogy was read by Lady Marcia Blakenham, who he had supported when her husband Michael passed away last year.
She said: “Cliff made me feel alive, he made me laugh, at a time when I needed both those things very much indeed.
“I think he must have done the same thing for many, many people here. “His children can be so proud of him - how wonderful to have had such a father, even if they had to lose him far too early. “Each one of them was his favourite, that was a very enjoyable on-going Cliff-like family joke.
“I believe that each one of them has written he or she was his favourite on his coffin. “And he was so proud of Anna and her community cafe and her incredible skill for linking and connecting people from all sorts of diverse areas.”
A chartered chemical engineer by trade, Mr Matthew later worked as a project manager, helping to deliver the Energy from Waste Plant at Claydon.
He then embarked, as director of Sterling Suffolk Ltd, in creating the massive aircraft hangar-sized greenhouses to grow tomatoes, a project that was featured on BBC’s The One Show.
A keen cyclist, he later opened the La Tour Cycle Café on Ipswich’s Waterfront with Anna.
Lady Blakenham added: “The day before he died, Cliff said he didn’t deserve to be so well and so lovingly cared for. “I think, on that one Cliff, we would disagree with you.
“We will always love you, you will be a part of us now and we will be grateful that we had a share in your life.”