Sunday 25 August 2019

'He was my everything' - wife in moving tribute to tragic cyclist

Philip Corr with his wife Kelly
Philip Corr with his wife Kelly

Allan Preston

The wife of a popular Cookstown father has paid a heartfelt tribute to him after he died suddenly while cycling home on Saturday.

Philip Corr (41) was a founding member of the Titanic Quarter Cycling Club (TQCC) and had travelled with club members to Castlewellan, Co Down on Saturday morning.

The father-of-three, who worked as a project manager with Titanic Quarter, had left to cycle home by himself but was later found collapsed at 1.05pm on the Ballynahinch Road in Dromara.

Police and ambulance attended but were unable to revive him and pronounced him dead at the scene.

The PSNI said that his death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage.

His wife Kelly paid tribute over the weekend, with hundreds more also expressing their shock at the tragedy.

"Today a light went out... I can't breathe with the pain," Mrs Corr said.

"He was my everything... he was life... he was everything I could possibly have dreamed and so much more.

"Philip Corr please walk through the door I don't know how to do all this without you."

Close friend Alex McGreevy (47) helped found the cycling club with Mr Corr in 2014 and visited his family yesterday.

"We're just devastated and really shocked," he said.

"Philip was always so active and on the go and people in the cycling community can't believe it.

"On Wednesday he was bantering with me about being a fairweather cyclist.

"This is the last person you would ever think this would happen to."

Funeral details have yet to be announced as the family are still waiting on further details.

"That sense of not knowing what happened is really hard to take," added Mr McGreevy.

"Phil has three children and it's going to be a long journey ahead for them.

"They come from a big family (Mr Corr had eight sisters and two brothers) and community, and there will be a lot of support and they will need it. It's tough. It's just so hard to take in someone like Phil is gone who was always so cheerful.

"You never saw him angry or upset - always up for conversations or having a laugh."

Mr Corr had worked behind the scenes on bringing major cycling events like the Giro D'Italia and Gran Fondo to Belfast.

Today the club he started boasts 150 members of all ages and abilities from across Belfast.

"It's something we put a lot of time and effort into," Mr McGreevy said.

"He wanted to give the Titanic area a sporting brand, something for people to be proud of and shout about."

Earlier this year the club was nominated for a prize at the Eastside Awards.

"We thought it was funny a west Belfast man (like myself) and a Cookstown man were nominated for an award for sport in east Belfast," Mr McGreevy said.

"It shows how much he valued community involvement."

One particularly happy memory, he said, was a spur-of-the-moment bike trip.

"We did the Gilnahirk hills and stopped in Killyleagh for cake and on the way home we were laughing about how we were acting like mischievous kids," he said.

"Our wives or workplaces didn't know where we were.

"It was a glorious unbelievable day that sticks with me."

Mr McGreevy said the cycling club has previously lost two members to cancer.

"That hit Phil hard," he explained.

"They became good friends after joining the club and Phil was very instrumental in making sure we honoured their passing.

"None of us ever thought we would have to do the same thing for him."

Childhood friend Adrian Mullan (38) said the cycling community was in disbelief. "We grew up together in different sporting circles like football. He actually got me into cycling," he said.

"We're just shocked to the core, I can't get my head round it.

"My heart goes out to Kelly and his kids. He always had a smile on his face and was such a gentleman, and he always will be in my eyes. It's a very hard thing to put into words.

"I was speaking to him during the week as we were due to go to Mallorca with the club.

"Everyone in the club was totally shocked and saddened when we got the news yesterday."

Mr Corr had been raising money for a charity cycle this Saturday in aid of promoting mental health for students.

The Mind Your Mood challenge will see cyclists take on a 100-mile route between Ulster University's four campuses.

A fundraising page had already been set up by Mr Corr raising £250 so far and can be viewed at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/philip-corr.

Belfast Telegraph

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