A Rye man who had his treasured electric bicycle stolen was over the moon as the company presented him with a new one yesterday (Tuesday, November 29).
Barry Cooper’s FreeGo bike, which he bought using money left to him by his deceased parents, was taken from his Rye Harbour storage unit on November 11.
The company’s staff saw his appeal for information and were so touched, they decided to give him a custom-made electric bicycle ‘to restore his faith in humanity’.
The 55-year-old football coach from Rye thanked marketing director Keith Wilson and business development manager Richard Davies for driving three-and-a-half hours from their Southampton base to present him with the new bike.
“It’s coming up to the anniversary of mum and dad’s passing away and it’s restored a little bit of my faith in things,” Mr Cooper said.
“Now I can go up to the cemetery to see my mum and dad’s grave, as they died just before Christmas, so it’s nice that I’ve got the bike back that they left the money for me to get.
“It’s amazing, the one I had that was stolen was green and they said this was the last green one that they are doing, so it feels even more like it was meant to be.”
Mr Cooper found the front door of his lock up on one of the Harbour Road industrial estates smashed open earlier this month but only his bike, worth around £1,500, was missing.
FreeGo chairman Eric Lane said everyone at the company read the Gillingham Football Club youth coach’s ‘heart-rending’ story as his uncle wrote to them so they decided to do something about it.
“We all had a meeting here and we thought we’re going to contribute a bike to him and give him a bit more faith in human nature,” he said.
“So we all clubbed together and gave him a new bicycle.
“It was a heart-rending story read by all the staff, so we felt we had to do something for him.”
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