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John Coles, 83, sadly passed away peacefully after a very short illness on 20th June. John was probably the longest serving member of Oxford Ixion and held nearly every role, including latterly that of President.

Born in Wheatley, just outside Oxford, John lived most of his life not far away in Garsington and married Audrey in 1960. They were fortunate enough to build their marital home on a small plot on her father’s land. (As it turned out this was opposite and alongside two of the Club’s 1980’s motocross tracks in the village, the land belonging to John’s brothers-in-law.)

John did his national service as an RAF telephonist, 1955-57, serving in Hong Kong and Singapore, and upon his return took up cycle speedway. However, he was quickly drawn to the popular scrambling trend of the era and represented Oxford Ixion at South Midland and Southern Centre events on his BSA Gold Star.

When John retired from competition he stayed very much involved in motorcycle sport running what we now know as motocross meetings, including the last ever British 500 Grand Prix at Culham in 2000. He was also instrumental in finding other venues and running events for the Oxford Ixion at Bletchingdon, Cuddesdon Mill, Deddington, Garsington and Shotover Park.

Not just content at Oxford Ixion, John took his organisational abilities further into the organising body of motocross, the Auto Cycle Union (ACU), and became a member of the South Midland Centre Board, again taking many roles, finally as chairman. He was also a Centre and National Steward and Clerk of the Course at many British Motocross Championships.

John seemed to have a level and rational approach to everything that earned him great respect within his chosen sport as well as further afield. He was also meticulously organised and as such was often invited to join many organisations, including The New Club in Wheatley, where he was also one of the longest serving members. Alongside this John was an active member of the RAF National Service Association and enjoyed many trips with them - how did he find the time !

John’s nature was reliable, courteous and friendly and he always made himself available should anyone need advice. These honest characteristics unsurprisingly meant he collected many life-long friends with whom he enjoyed long conversations, many cups of tea and the odd glass of red wine.

Greatly missed by us all, John leaves his wife Audrey, daughters Jayne and Judith and a granddaughter Ellen.

Details of his memorial service will follow. Meanwhile donations on his behalf are requested to the ACU Benevolent Fund and RAF Benevolent Fund.