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Tributes paid to Levington biker David 'Zorba' Martin

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 November 2016 | UPDATED: 18:04 04 November 2016

Hundreds of motocyclists escort the coffin of David Martin on its final journey to Seven Hills Crematorium

Hundreds of motocyclists escort the coffin of David Martin on its final journey to Seven Hills Crematorium

It was a touching display of recognition as more than 100 bikers rode to Seven Hills Crematorium for the final send-off of a much-loved Levington biker.

David MartinDavid Martin

David Martin, 51, was well known in the motorcycle community in Suffolk, and died after a two-month battle with pancreatic cancer, at the end of September.

But despite jobs as a Rolls Royce-trained chauffeur, taxi driver, driving instructor and work at Felixstowe docks, the affectionately-named Zorba or Oddjob was best known for his love of motorcycles – both in Suffolk and internationally.

Alongside best friend Mick Manchester, Zorba started the Valkyrie Owners Club in February this year, which quickly grew with chapters in the USA forming, while the club organised rides through the Netherlands, Monaco, Germany, Italy, Poland and Belgium in its first six months. David became a popular figure in the European biking community.

His widow Cyndi said: “They all loved to chat and talk even though they didn’t all have the same language – he had lots of friends with these bikers.

Hundreds of motocyclists escort the coffin of David Martin on its final journey to Seven Hills CrematoriumHundreds of motocyclists escort the coffin of David Martin on its final journey to Seven Hills Crematorium

Stepson David Garnham-Weaver, 29, added: “There was never any politics – there can be quite a lot of politics within the biking fraternity and David was never into that – he loved people for being people and would ride with anybody.”

The family fondly remembers David helping Afghanistan war veteran Chris Baker, who struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder on his return from active service, by helping him get back on a bike.

And in Suffolk, Mr Martin, who was also a keen guitarist and music lover, was known for his help at the annual Copdock Bike Show, with this year’s event honouring David by having his bike on display.

His widow added: “I have always been proud to call myself Mrs Martin. He brought out the best in everybody, and it fills my heart with joy to know how much he was loved.”

As a final wish, David requested people to donate to three causes close to his heart rather than donating flowers. So far more than £3,700 has been raised, which will be split between St Elizabeth Hospice, the National Association for Bikers with a Disability and Bikers Respect All Veterans Equally (BRAVE).

And for David’s final send-off, a specially converted motorcycle and sidecar carried his coffin, followed by a procession of more than 100 bikers, while 600 people attended the service.

“It was very emotional, [funeral director] David Button was moved to tears because he had never seen anything like it,” said Mr Garnham-Weaver.

Mr Martin is survived by his wife Cyndi, children Sophie, 31, Monty, 24, Billie, 22, and Freddie, 20, step-son David and grandchildren Hayda, nine, and Dyllon, four.

If you knew Mr Martin and would like to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/David-K-Martin

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