A PROCESSION of motorcyclists turned out to say goodbye to a much-loved father-of-three as he took his “final ride”.

Motorcycling friends of David Bowen, 44, from Bryn-y-Baal, Mold, who worked in Wrexham, joined the funeral procession to Coed Bell Cemetery, Gronant, yesterday morning.

Mr Bowen’s coffin was carried in a motorbike and side car hearse from his home in Alwen Avenue, which was followed by about 40 of his friends on their motorcycles.

One friend, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “This was organised by all Dave’s close friends. Most of us have been out on rides with Dave, so we wanted to pay tribute to him and be with him for his final ride.

“He was a very good friend. I had known him for many, many years and we were always there for each other.”

Mr Bowen, who worked for a contracting firm based at JCB in Wrexham, was killed when his motorcycle was involved in a collision with a Ford Mondeo on Broughton Mills Road, close to Broughton Shopping Park, on Tuesday, April 26.

He had recently finished building a “chopper” and had taken it out for the first time to get an MoT when he was involved in the horror crash.

Friends said Mr Bowen, a former pupil at the Argoed High School in Mynydd Isa, was an experienced motorcyclist who had been riding for many years.

Mark Williams, who worked with Mr Bowen at JCB, said: “He was a great workmate, everyone got on with him and no one had a bad word to say about him. He will be missed.

“It was a very sombre occasion. The service was one of the best send-offs you could have.

“It was a nice service and was all about Dave. There were things that made you smile.

“On the way the lads were blocking off the roads like the police would do. Other people let us go when they saw us, it was a nice mark of respect.”

Mr Bowen’s colleagues at JCB raised £342 in his memory and £50 was donated to the Welsh Air Ambulance on his behalf.

Mr Bowen was buried at the cemetery in Gronant because, as Mr Williams added: “He always said he wanted to live by the sea when he retired.”

In a non-religious ceremony conducted by Linda Thew, dozens of mourners heard moving tributes from family members about Mr Bowen.

The funeral included a touching poem that began, “Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep.”

Miss Thew ended the funeral by recalling one of Mr Bowen’s favourite sayings: “Anything is possible with a little patience.”

Mr Bowen leaves his partner Denise Couzens, two sons and a daughter.

Family members thanked all who had expressed sympathy .

Donations from the funeral will be donated to the Welsh Air Ambulance and the RNLI.