John “Rocco” Richardson

Sad news again. Rocco passed away this morning. Funeral details will be published later.

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16 Responses to John “Rocco” Richardson

  1. Keith Wilmot says:

    Sad news indeed, Rocco would always raise a smile from me with his comments (usually grumpy ones). R.I.P. Rocco.

  2. Mike Jerome says:

    What a rider! I did my first time trial with Rocco and he dragged me all the way round. I remember he did so well in long distance time trials and the BBAR. And then there was when he fell in the thorn bushes while talking! Indeed R.I.P. Rocco. Much respect for you.

  3. Mike Dowling says:

    I knew Rocco from the time I came out of the Army in 1953, where we both rode for the Chichester Cycling Club. We joined the Velo club Aquila in 1954 and both of us achieved success riding for the BLRC. I gave up racing in the early 60’s ‘ and had spasmodic contact with him until a few years ago. We used to meet thee times a year at the Leaf Robinson in Stanmore with other old timers from the late 90’s and was kept up to date with his exploits. I knew Rocco as a cycling enthusiast and heard all about his generosity with time and effort to support all aspects of cycling. He will be sadly missed by all his old colleagues

  4. Lance Woodman says:

    RIP Rocco. I used to enjoy the vets riding at Hillingdon with him. I’ll miss his ‘advice’.

  5. Mick Paddington says:

    Once again another great loss for the Willesden CC. I can only add to the comments of others here about Rocco’s great contribution to the Willesden and all areas cycling. Will be sadly missed, especially at the “I’d like to take wine with ” sessions at the annual dinner and dance. One of lifes characters. Sadly missed and my thoughts are with his family at this sad time. RIP Rocco

  6. Jayne Paine says:

    Rocco was so funny! He would have us all in stitches at the dinner dances with his sharp comments and underhand remarks, especially when they were aimed at somebody else. I’m smiling now, thinking of the retorts as they were skillfully fired back across the room.
    He was a kind man as well as fun and I always enjoyed meeting him.

  7. Lucy Richardson says:

    Thanks very much for your kind comments about Dad and thanks also to everyone who has been in touch. It means a lot.

    If you are thinking twice about writing a comment here please do, as I would love to read what you have to say.

    • John Jones says:

      Hi Lucy,

      Just to offer my heartfelt condolences to all of Roccos family.

      Words cannot really express my admiration of your Dad, he was indeed a living legend of such wonderful character and I really feel proud to have known him and spent a few hours cycling with him. While riding with him he always had a good story to tell to keep you amused but I think it was part of his strategy as he got older as he felt that if he kept you talking you would cycle just that little bit slower and make his legs feel a little less tired.

      What a man, I cannot comprehend how much you will all miss him.

      I hope I will get the chance to say hello to you at his service on Friday.

      Kindest regards


  8. Tony Willard says:

    A dedicated rider and clubman, and a good mate, I always enjoyed his company. Sadly missed.

  9. Maria,Martin and Charley Docker says:

    I remember Rocco when i was racing the first time round in the 80’s.As before it was him and Brian Wright and Ray kelly who would be out training or on the chaingang groups on tuesdays and thursday.The 3 amigos!!Rocco would always say to me i knew it was you coming through when we were doing bit and bit as i could always smell your perfume without even looking!! The other time him and Brian had me out training and i fell off they both briefly said are you okay while i was rubbing my head and panicked because i had scraped the rims on my wheel !!Rip rocco lovely man.And of course Martin has known him even longer.Maria and Martin Docker

  10. John Jones says:

    Rocco was a great guy and well respected by all that came into contact with him.

    He had a heart of gold and always gave good advice and was always caring and thoughtful of others.

    Although our cycling careers must have passed in the fifties and sixties I only met him 5 years ago when he was chief marshall of the regular Tuesday and Friday mornings vets rides at Hillingdon Circuit, he really was the leader of us all and always kept us in good order with an apt comment to anyone who stepped out of line.

    He introduced me to the pleasures of his Audax events and I struggled many times up the steepest of the Chilterns Climbs always complaining about his courses under my breath. When I decided to ride La Marmotte he have me endless good advice on how to tackle my first experience of the alpine cols. If only I had listened then the experience would have been far less traumatic.

    I ventured out on my bike in York last week and met up with a local cyclist and when he found out where West Drayton was located his first question was “Did you know Rocco, boy I am so sad to hear the news?”. I am sure many such sentiments have been expressed throughout the UK cycle community and many places far beyond and we all will have there own special Rocco moment to smile about with great pleasure.

    RIP Rocco, thank you for all the support you gave me. Rest assured you will be missed by all, especially your family but with all of us, you will live on through our memories of a very special man.

  11. John Hart says:

    I rode with Rocco on and off from the 1977 W.C.W. to the 1987 one. He was the ideal randonneur; infinite stamina, well-organised and never in doubt about the route, a rock-steady pacemaker, and a friend to last a lifetime. The highlight of our rides was the 1979 W.C.W. in 27’42”.He could do everything but climb; unfortunately, that was the only thing I could do. Looking after my parents took up first most of my time, and then all of it- my mother lived to be 103; but I am still homesick for the bike and the friends I made riding it, of whom Rocco was the best.

  12. Gary Nelson says:

    I have just heard the sad news about RoccoI am gutted,very sad,I first met him on the Graham Baxter training camps in Spain,great to ride with him,taught me a lot,i looked upon him as my mentor,i liked his straight talking no nonsence approach.I had a new bike on my first outing with him and after a few days riding he put on some white gloves one morning to check my bike for cleanliness,he allways insisted on having things right,he would wash his bike in the bath each night in the appartment,priceless memories
    Rest in peace Rocco,will miss you

  13. Leigh Haigh says:

    I have only just found this article, so many apologies for it being extremely late.
    So shocked to have read the news on John.
    I met John in the early 90,s on the April training camp in Majorca.
    My first encounter of John was walking into Dave Stalkers room and seeing John having a bath!!
    From then on, we became good friends, regularly meeting up in April in Majorca.
    He stopped over once as he was racing a 12 hour event up in the North as we were living in Barnsley at the time.
    Cycling has a lost a true character and hole in everyone’s world.
    Deepest sympathies from the Haigh family.

    Leigh Haigh.

  14. Chris Wood says:

    One of cycle sport’s outstanding gentlemen, John ‘Rocco’ Richardson was a person I always looked up to. He was a member of Velo Club Aquila’s 1950’s victorious first-category team and after a spell riding for the Willesden, returned to race for the Velo Club St. Raphael in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
    I last saw him when he and Mike Dowling invited me to join them at a Pedal Club luncheon where Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen and Bob Roll were the guest speakers. Knowing ‘Rocco’ was a privilege, Rest in Peace John, and God Bless.

  15. Kevin Kewell says:

    I’ve happened upon this site after seeing Chris Froome win a 4th Tour de France through a google search. My memories of him are of knowing him in Chichester when we were Saturday morning delivery boys for Nappers the butchers in the Hornet Chichester and in our membership at that time of Chichester Cycling Club. We went training together regularly at that time and both had a bike in common – a Planet Tildsley, which I remember John riding in the first Amateur Circuit of Britain in the 1950’s. I went to sea in 1955 and lost contact with John who had moved from Chichester during my time as a seaman, but often heard from a mutual friend, Tom Hale, of John and his success and achievements in competitive cycling. When we were younger, we would get in John’s dads workshop at the side of his house in bridge road, fiddling with gears or fitting our bikes out and would often talk about Gino Bartelli and other great European riders of the TDF, and how maybe a British rider might one day do it and maybe get on the cover of Cycling Weekly. I’m sure he would of been pleased learn of Chris Froome’s result today – 4 Yellow Jerseys. I’m sorry that paying my respects to the passing of a great boyhood friend has come so late in the day. But I’m sure he’d agree ‘better late than never’. Kevin Kewell.

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