Fitting tribute to Walsall motorbiker Big Mick as crowds line street

A Walsall man, described as a big teddy bear loved by everyone, has been laid to rest after his death from coronavirus.

People lined the streets of Pelsall to pay their respects to Michael Hewitt, who died at home with the virus just one week after testing positive.

The life of the 60-year-old was celebrated by family and friends, with a motorbike procession in honour of the man known as "Big Mick" to all who knew him.

Watch: People line the street for Michael Hewitt's funeral procession

His sister Elaine Preston paid tribute to Michael, who died on November 6, saying that he had been a big and friendly man with a caring side and a love for riding.

She said: "He was a happy little lad when he was growing up and always loved motorbikes, so once he was a teenager, he bought his first one.

"He loved Honda's and he also had a Goldwing, so that was a big love of his, plus he loved going on long bike rides and tours with his friends.

"He was just a big and lovely man and had a happy face and a caring nature as he was always doing kind things."

Michael enjoyed spending time with his wife Sue

Michael was born in Walsall on January 12, 1960, and lived in Pelsall his whole life, including going to school at Pelsall Secondary Modern.

After finishing his school career, Michael started his working life with his uncle Barry Hewitt, working at windows firm GF Plating in Walsall.

He also worked as a HGV driver, before taking on an advisor role with Walsall Housing Group in 1999, where he worked for the rest of his life.

He was married to his wife Sue for 29 years, with a step-daughter Jayne and two grandchildren in Ruby and Scarlet.

Mrs Preston said Michael's work with the housing support service was just part of his caring side and spoke about some of the other things he had done.

People line the street for Michael Hewitt's funeral procession

She said: "He went to Romania in 1992 with one of the church groups to visit an orphanage in the country and he always did the Steven Sutton ride to the wall.

"He also worked as a security guard at the NEC and go to be Brian May's personal security whenever he came to Birmingham.

"I know that was a big thrill for him as he was a huge Queen fan, as was meeting Valentino Rossi when he went to a Moto GP event when he was travelling with his mates.

"He also played American football for Walsall Titans as well, which was fitting as he was 6ft 2ins and a very stocky man."

He was a motorbike fan his entire life, enjoying going on rides

Mrs Preston also said it was his friends who had come up with the idea of the motorbike procession to follow him, saying that showed the level of love people had for him.

She said: "He was a big teddy bear and super compassionate and was honestly loved by everyone, as well as leaving his devoted wife Sue behind.

"He would be saying to everyone coming to the funeral to be happy and would always have tales to tell and be having a laugh when telling them as the night goes on.

"Sue was telling me that they'd had 400 people at their wedding and spent two hours saying hello, had one dance, then spent two hours saying goodbye.

"His life will not be defined by coronavirus, but by the life he lived and he will be much missed."

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