Hope Tech founder Simon Sharp dies, aged 52

Co-founder of Barnoldswick-based manufacturer Hope Technology Simon Sharp has died, aged 52.

Found yesterday at his Flasby home, Sharp was an accomplished motorcycle trials rider and mountain biker, as well as an admired leader at the hugely successful UK business.

A statement from company said: “Every product in Hope’s almost 30 years history has had influence and input from him, from the disc brakes that originally made Hope famous through to the latest carbon fibre products.

“He was still in the factory every day keeping his watchful eye over all Hope’s product development.

“Simon was an accomplished motorcycle trials rider as well as competitive mountain biker, riding at the highest level in both.

“In May this year, he rode in the Pre65 Scottish Two Day Motorcycle trial and the following week rode the Scottish Six Day Trial with his son Sam, an epic eight days trials riding around the Scottish Highlands that even a younger son found challenging.

“Last year he raced his mountain bike in several rounds of the Enduro World Series in the Masters category for competitors over 40 years old and embarrassed many younger riders with his excellent results.

“Every weekend he could be found either riding mountain bikes or trials bikes with his children and members of the Hope staff around the local Dales or further afield.

“In his riding career he suffered several concussions, with the most serious resulting in brain bleed and it is believed that this may have led to CTE, a degenerative brain disease that arises from concussions and is associated with impaired judgment and depression and may have contributed to his death.

“He leaves his wife Alison and three children, Sam, Katherine and Heather. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him.”