Grantham family pays tribute to son who died in motorcycle accident

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A family has paid tribute to a son who loved motorbikes and horses after he died in a road accident last week.

The devastated family of 21-year-old Powys-Llewellyn Cook say he was a passionate and intelligent young man who dedicated himself to those things he loved.

His mother, Mandy Smith, of Almond Grove, Grantham, said: “If he wanted to do something he would put 100 per cent into it. He put every bit of energy into what he wanted to do.”

Powys died last Tuesday riding his motorcycle to the funeral of another biker, James Weston, who had died a few weeks before in a road accident. Powys died after a collision with a lorry in Bitchfield.

The former Melton Brooksby College student was born in Wales and moved with his mum to Grantham when he was three.

Mandy told the Journal that Powys had a difficult time at school growing up with Asperger’s Syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and ADHD. He struggled at primary school, but a move to the Phoenix School in Grantham turned his life around and he became the school’s highest achiever, leaving with 10 GCSEs with grades of C and above.

He went on to Melton College where he passed his diploma in equine studies with distinction and took up an apprenticeship there before moving to Essex for a while. He then came back to Grantham and secured a job at Lambley House Sports Horses in Nottingham. He also went on to get his HGV licence at the age of 19 so he could transport horses.

Mandy said: “I think he got a passion for horses because when he was younger he could not communicate with people properly. He struggled to get on public tranport because of his Asperger’s.”

Mandy said that Powys wanted to take his motorcycle test as soon as he could. He first learned to ride at the age of 15 on motocross bikes at the barracks in Grantham. The family are all keen on bikes and Powys grew up tinkering with motorcycles. He trained with Alpha Rider Training in Grantham. He would visit Cadwell Park to see races there with Mandy and motorcycling friends. He got his car and bike license at the age of 17 and was a very experienced rider and driver and had never had a accident.

Powys’ father Gary, who now lives in Wales since being divorced from Mandy, said: “He loved fixing things. He always needed to be doing something, He would always be fiddling with something.

“Powys went from being quiet, self-conscious and reclusive to stepping up and saying let’s do this. He wanted to know everything. If he didn’t know something he had to research it. If you asked him something he would tell you every single little detail. He wouldn’t shut up!”

Powys took up martial arts and learned to play the drums. Gary remembers him at the age of nine, watching a band in a pub and asking them if he could play the drums. He went on stage, played the drums on his own and kept the audience enthralled.

Powys leaves behind a brother, Ieuan, 16, sister Catherine, niece Amber and nephew Chris.

Ieuan said: “He would stand by me. We fought and we joked a lot. I wanted to catch up with him. He had a lot going for him. I wanted to be better than him because you see your big brother as somebody you have to beat because he has a head start on you.

“He was confident in everything he did. He was not scared or timid.”

On the day he died, Powys was riding to the funeral with his friend Ryan Kinning. Ryan said: “We were like brothers. If he got an idea into his head, nobody could change it. In the last six months he hung around with a good crowd of friends.”

The family hopes a Memorial Cup will be inaugurated in memory of Powys at the Belton Horse Trials because of his love of horses. They also hope a special Rubik’s Cube fence will be created to be jumped by competitors at events around the country. Powys liked to play with the 3D puzzle.

The death of Powys is the second tragic event to hit the family in ten years following the death of Becky Smith, daughter of Mandy’s husband Geoff. Becky lived and worked in Lincoln, but often stayed in Grantham where she was well-know. She died in a motorcycle accident in Lincoln in 2007.