In Memoriam: Debbie Cox

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Published on 7 February 2019 by Charlie Bliss

Debbie Cox (1957-2019) was a prominent and much treasured member of the BMF. She even won Miss Federation back in 1985. Her son James pays tribute

 

Debbie was a devout biker from a child, thanks to the influence of her father Derek Coote (also strongly involved with the BMF). She built bikes from boxes and rode from as young an age as she could.

She owned all sorts: Royal Enfield, Norton Commando 850, Suzuki Katana, Yamaha XS1100 and Z1300 sidecars... Riding in combinations, travelling the length and breadth of the UK, Holland, Germany, Belgium and beyond – all for the love of bikes and rallies.

In 1985 she was crowned Miss Federation, an achievement she was always very proud of.

MCN at the time also had a section about the Yamaha VMAX which featured her pictured with the bike at East Essex Motorcycles. She remained involved with various race events, whether she was in attendance or marshalling.

Sadly, this was interrupted after I was born and she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1986, which confined her to a wheelchair. She bought herself a trike and tried out various adaptations, but unfortunately due to a lack of muscle control from the waist down she could not summon the physical strength to hold herself up.

She didn’t give up though. She discovered something called Nippi – a strange invention that starts life as a Piaggio 125cc which is then drastically modified into a trike. It has a scooter chassis format with a rear ramp enabling a wheelchair to go right up to the handle bars.

The fact it was a scooter didn’t bother her, but she always wanted more speed. A couple of close friends she attended rallies with said: “She rode a mean outfit.”

Her love for bikes has been passed down through the family. I took up racing in 2005. Her other son Adam who, although hasn’t experienced the same desire to ride, enjoys bikes and is involved with my racing. Two of my children also love bikes thanks to her.

All the way up to two days before her passing, she was still asking when the next race weekend is.

Rest in Peace.

 

For those who would like to pay their respects to Debbie, her funeral will be held on February 18 in Findon, West Sussex. Please email James Caswell on james.caswell671@gmail.com for details.