Biker's unusual dying wish

A MUCH loved biker has been cremated to the moving strains of The Prodigy's thumping smash Firestarter.The unusual tune was the dying request of Emma Radford, a 26-year-old motorcycle enthusiast who was cremated in Ipswich yesterday.

A MUCH loved biker has been cremated to the moving strains of The Prodigy's thumping smash Firestarter.

The unusual tune was the dying request of Emma Radford, a 26-year-old motorcycle enthusiast who was cremated in Ipswich yesterday.

A motorcycle cavalcade adorned in purple was among many tributes paid to the colourful and well-loved character.

Emma died peacefully at Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire, on April 22, after suffering from cystic fibrosis.

Her vibrant and philosophical outlook on life shaped the style of the funeral, which she has carefully arranged down to the finest detail.

Right up to her final hours, she made sure her plans were known.

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Never one to hide her charisma and remarkable sense of humour, Emma was cremated to The Prodigy's thumping smash hit Firestarter at Ipswich Crematorium.

She was adamant everyone must wear purple and has even designed the programme for the service which was also purple with Tigger, from Winnie the Pooh, on the front.

Other tunes at the service include The Verve's The Drugs Don't Work and Do Your Thing by Basement Jaxx.

Her purple coffin, carried in a sidecar, led a long courtege of up to 20 motorbikes from her sister Sarah's house in Kelvin Road along Norwich Road to the crematorium in Cemetary Lane yesterday.

Her partner Graham Richards, 42, mother Jean and father John, travelled close behind, followed by other family and friends.

Emma grew up in Nottinghamshire before moving to Hadleigh in Suffolk when she was six, where she went to the County Primary and Hadleigh schools.

Despite her condition, she was into everything from skiing and snowboarding to biking and music.

Her mother Jean, who is also a motorbike fan and used to go to the Isle of Man TT, said: "She was a wonderful, lovely daughter who was very brave. To look at Emma, you wouldn't know there was anything wrong with her. She had as normal a life as she possibly could."

Emma got her first bike, a 250cc Yamaha, when she was 18, and at around the same time started a degree in Graphic Design and Photography at Suffolk College.

She went on to own a Harley Davidson and a Buell racing bike and moved in with biker and surfer Mr Richards just seven months before she died.

Emma also made arrangements for a memorial service on July 3, the day before her 27th birthday, at Hintlesham Village Hall, where her friend Michael Westwell's band Slide will perform a rock concert.

Mrs Radford, of Hintlesham, added: "If you knew Emma, you knew she had done everything she possibly could and enjoyed life to the full."

N What unusual songs have you heard requested at funerals? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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