It is our sad duty this week to announce the passing of one of the best-regarded trials riders of all time, Rob Edwards. Rob (74) passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon, October 6.
Rob was born and raised in Thornaby-On-Tees and encouraged by his trials enthusiast father, Rob’s ambition was to become a professional trials rider
That he did this is history and after a period of support by British company Cotton, he really achieved this ‘dream’ in 1969 when he was offered a factory contract by Montesa.
There have been many stories told of how fast Rob could get from East Yorkshire to the Barcelona factory in his much-abused Mini pick-up following a Sunday trial.
Rob enjoyed every minute of his time traveling with the British contingent to International events, including World Championships along with the likes of Malcolm Rathmell, Dave Thorpe, Nigel Birkett, Sid Lampkin and of course the late Martin Lampkin.
They were often in the same van yet riding several different makes of factory machinery!
Because of his friendly, ever-smiling nature, Rob effectively became the world-wide ambassador for Montesa and was sent on tour to many far-flung countries, including the USA and central and south America to run trials schools for importers, dealers and customers.
Rob thus acted as a factory rider, development rider, brand ambassador and was loved and fated by all, especially the top brass at Montesa.
As a rider, Rob won many National trials but never managed to win his favourite Scottish Six Days Trial but he did finish second twice, in 1970 and 1978 having first traveled to the event as a teenager back in 1963.
Rob’s best win as a professional rider was the Scott in 1974, a popular victory if ever there was one.
In 1977 Rob became the very first Trials Columnist in the newly-launched Trials and Motocross News (TMX) where he was given carte blanche to write about anything to do with trials and which naturally proved a very popular feature.
Rob was forced to retire in the early 1980s following a period of ill health, something that would sadly dog him for many years, and was eventually diagnosed as Churg-Strauss Syndrome, of which the ramifications and complications affected him most seriously.
Our deepest sympathy goes to Rob’s widow, Bev, at this time and it is hoped that Bev derives comfort from the fact that so many people have so many happy memories of time spent with Rob who always had time for everyone with a cheerful word.
No funeral arrangements were available at time of going to press.