Dual carriageway cycle victim was ‘extraordinary’ Christian, funeral hears

David Catherwood
David Catherwood

A Christian cycle enthusiast will be remembered for his “extraordinary” character and religious faith, mourners have been told.

David Catherwood died as he went for an early-morning bike ride along the Belfast-to-Bangor dual carriageway on Tuesday, July 19.

The east Belfast businessman, 61, had been a long-time member of Mountpottinger Methodist Church in inner-east Belfast, and it was there that his funeral service was held on Monday morning.

Rev Dr Thomas McKnight said: “The church seats 800, and we’d normally have a tenth of that on a Sunday. We had easily 1,000 today.”

Rev McKnight said that his own daughter had been in Scotland studying when Mr Catherwood died, and despite having only met him a few times, she insisted on returning to the Province for the funeral because he had such an impact on her.

Mr Catherwood was the church’s property steward, and had been captain of its Boys’ Brigade group for 32 years until stepping down from the role in 2015.

He had originally taken up the post for what was meant to have been a two-year-spell.

He had also been involved in mission work, and had travelled to Sierra Leone.

He had a second property in Portrush, and had granted permission for an evangelistic watersports outfit called The Surf Project to use it.

Rev McKnight said: “He was a real outgoing character. He was also extremely committed as a Christian, and to the Boys’ Brigade.

“It was a genuine faith that he worked out in practical things... I think he will be remembered as one of the most extraordinary characters to have been a member and a leader of Mountpottinger Church.”

He had showed both an extraordinary faith and “sincerity of the spirit”, said the minister.

Mr Catherwood had run a burglar alarm firm called Ambassador Security.

He died after colliding with a Mazda on a 50mph stretch of road at Cultra.

Paul Cunningham, a committee member with Ards Cycling Club, said that Mr Catherwood was “very well respected” in cycling circles – and was regarded as “a bit of a hero” for his charity efforts.

A member of his Ards club – Chris Rowan, in his early 30s – had been with Mr Catherwood when the fatal crash occurred, and had been left injured. Mr Cunningham said he now appears physically “fine”.

“He was out with the club on Saturday, just to get back on the bike,” he said.

“But I think he’s still pretty devastated and in shock. He’s back on his feet – it’s just the mental thing to get over now.”

Mr Catherwood, a father of five (including one foster child), was buried at Roselawn.