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Bikers say goodbye at funeral of Sunderland couple killed in French crash

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A CAVALCADE of bikers has honoured French crash tragedy couple Malcolm and Beverley Hagan.

The “devoted” pair died after a fatal collision on a bike on the motorway between Nancy and Dijon, while travelling home from a holiday in Northern France, on September 3.

Malcolm suffered a heart attack while riding their motorcycle. They had been attending The Northern Pan Riders annual bikers meeting.

Scores of bikes accompanied the hearses carrying the couple’s coffins to Sunderland Crematorium, Chester Road, for the joint funeral yesterday.

The moving tribute was welcomed by the family of Malcolm, 56, and Beverley, 53, who said “a heartfelt thank-you for the love and support.”

Friends and family, including Malcolm’s four siblings and Beverley’s sister, and Army personnel, packed the crematorium to listen to the service, lead by humanist minister Ian Hunter. Some had to stand outside as the chapel was full.

Mr Hunter said the occasion was a chance to celebrate the lives of the “unique” couple from South Hylton, who were together for 37 years.

Their only daughter Gemma Hagan-McGrandle, 32, also of South Hylton, who attended with husband Jason, paid tribute to her parents.

She said: “Some people can’t help making a difference in our lives. The world has lost two very special people.

“From such a young age, my dad always talked about this day. My mam was adamant she was going with my dad.

“He used to say ‘one day I’ll go out on the bike and not come back.’ They always got what they wanted, even in death.

“Take comfort in knowing they went how they wanted to. Together, on the bike, and no one else suffered.”

Army representatives displayed military standards in honour of Malcolm, a former squadron sergeant major.

The time the pair spent as a service couple, and the impact that had on their years of charity work, was also noted.

Beverley, who worked in Wilkinson’s in the city centre, was described in the eulogy as “irritatingly perfect,” and “quietly mischievous.” Malcolm, was called “funny, fun, and protective.”

Songs played at the funeral included Get Here (If You Can) while the coffins were carried in.

Beverley, originally of Thorney Close, then Hendon, was taken first “in a break from tradition”, while Always look on the Bright Side of Life, was played at the request of Malcolm, originally of East Boldon.

In her reading, Malcolm’s sister Lynne Hagan, 59, said: “The only people ever hurt by Mal and Bev are those here today, from grief.”

“Malcolm will be enjoying your tributes, and Beverley will be saying ‘you’re not going anywhere without me.’”

A wake followed the funeral at the Alexandra pub, Grangetown.

The family are collecting donations for Help for Heroes.

Visit www.justgiving.com/malandbev.

 

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