TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved member of the biking community in North Wales with a “heart of gold” following his recent passing.

Ian Critchley, from Rhyl, died aged 56 on Saturday (May 14) after suffering a heart attack, and is survived by wife Debbie and his children and grandchildren.

An online fundraiser page has also been set up to help pay for costs for Ian’s funeral, with any money left over going to his family – it has currently raised more than £2,400.

Ian grew up in Prestatyn, owned the FSABC School of Motoring based at Rhyl’s football ground, formerly served in the Navy and worked as a taxi driver, and was also described as an avid Wrexham FC supporter.

His friend, Clive Senior, who set up the fundraiser page, said Ian was “a well-loved guy who was passionate about bikes and motorcycling”.

Clive added: “He owned FSABC School of Motoring, where he put many through CBT (compulsory basic training) and full tests.

“I am sure we can give this memorable person a wonderful send-off. (There is) no such thing in biker code as outsiders... we are all brothers and sisters.

“At the end of the day, bikers are family, not friends. We look out for each other and are there for each other if needed, and that goes for their loved ones as well.

“We all share a common interest and passion for the two-wheel machines, yet we are all from different backgrounds but come together as one big family.

“We all lost a brother the other day.

“RIP Ian – ride free in the sky.”


Winners of Denbighshire’s Platinum Jubilee school competitions

Plans for new Meliden homes and road blocked after appeals turned down

Simon Acton, one of Ian’s closest friends, told of how Ian helped him set up the Kinmel Bay-based Unit 1 Motorcycle Club, and what a selfless individual Ian was.

A “final ride” for Ian has also been organised on June 6, the date of his funeral, as part of the celebrations of his life.

Simon said: “I knew him for longer, but we were close friends for about 10 years. I got to know him through bikes, more than anything. He was one of the founding members to help me set it (Unit 1) up. It just grew from there.

“He was a massive Wrexham fan, as well. When he was younger, he used to follow them to all of the home and away games. He later bought the bike school, where he wouldn’t let you go and put extra hours in until he knew you were safe.

“On a group ride out with the club we organised, he would always go at the back, smiling, joking and laughing, but there would be moments where, all of a sudden, he would fly past you from the back.

“That was just Ian – if he made you smile, he was happy.

“There will be what we’re calling Ian’s ‘final ride’ on the date of his funeral – June 6. We’re setting off from his bike school (at Rhyl’s football ground), meeting at 11.30am and setting off at 12.40pm.

“We’re expecting a couple of hundred bikes. Ian’s going to be on a motorbike hearse, at the back, like he liked to be for all of his rides. His friends and I will be riding his bikes.

“He’d do anything for anybody; he’d put himself out to help you. He would put his business first, to make sure people were still earning, and his wife, to make sure she was OK.

“He just had a heart of gold.”

To donate to the online fundraiser in memory of Ian, which is aiming to reach a £3,000 target, go to: