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Bikers’ tribute to Grantham motorcycle fan who died 16 years after suffering serious injuries in a freak accident

Funeral cortege for Stuart Bowers
Funeral cortege for Stuart Bowers

A Grantham man who was seriously injured in a freak accident 16 years ago and who had hoped to get a kidney transplant has died in hospital.

Stuart Bowers, 62, died in Lincoln County Hospital earlier this month. Mr Bowers was seriously hurt when he was hit in the stomach by a flagpole in Springfield Road in February 2000. He took the full force of the 20-foot pole and was lucky to survive.

Stuart and Rowena Bowers. 6182 H ENGEMN00120110111152833 ENGEMN00120110111152833 ENGEMN00120110111152833
Stuart and Rowena Bowers. 6182 H ENGEMN00120110111152833 ENGEMN00120110111152833 ENGEMN00120110111152833

The flagpole was blown over in 50mph winds while Mr Bowers was riding his scooter to work. It hit him as he passed the Impress can-making factory. He was left fighting for his life in hospital. After four months he was allowed to go home. He ended up on dialysis which he needed three times a week.

His wife, Rowena, of Hillside Avenue, said Stuart beat all the odds after undergoing a life-saving operation, but would require regular hospital treatment for the rest of his life.

Mrs Bowers said: “He was on dialysis three times a week. He was always in hospital. He fought hard right to the end. He never gave up. He was a very brave man. He was in pain every day but he carried on.

“He was never fit after the accident. It finally caught up with him 16 years later.

“He died in my arms in intensive care at Lincoln. He gave me a bear hug and we left it like that.”

Mr Bowers worked as an engineer at Barford’s all his career, starting there as an apprentice. He, his family and friends enjoyed motorbikes and they regularly went to the Isle of Man TT Races before his accident.

Mrs Bowers said: “His brothers and friends all owned bikes. Before he died he bought himself an automatic car, but he could not ride a bike and that really hurt him. The accident ruined our lives. I ended up having a stroke but at least we had each other.”

Mr Bowers’ funeral took place at Grantham Crematorium Chapel on Wednesday. A procession of bikers accompanied his coffin in a motorcycle sidecar hearse to the funeral service and passed by the former Barford’s site on Houghton Road. Mr Bowers’ four brothers and two sisters accompanied the coffin into the chapel together with his brother-in-law and best friend.

“It was a fitting ending,” said Mrs Bowers. “It was a lovely turnout. I am so grateful to everybody for turning out.”

Mr Bowers’ brother, Gary, said a number of his colleagues from his Barford’s days rode their bikes alongside the hearse. He said: “We cannot thank them enough. They did a good job.”

He added: “Stuart just got on with it. He did not moan about it. He never complained.He was on dialysis three times a week for the last six months.

“Since his accident he did ride a bike again. He actually bought a 600 Honda and would ride it at night. He could not ride later on, but he did keep the bike just in case.”

He said his brother loved his motorsport. A few years ago he took him to a classic bikes race at Donington. A few days earlier he had spoken to the chief marshall at the circuit and managed to get them a spot at the exit from the pits. Gary said Mr Bowers was ‘over the moon’.

As people left the funeral service in the chapel, a CD of motorcycle racing commentary and the sounds of racing bikes was played.

In 2011, Mr Bowers gave his backing to the Journal’s Save a Life Campaign which encouraged readers to carry a donor card.


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