NI partner of tragic bike racer mourns loss of her ‘soulmate’

Paul Shoesmith, who has been killed during a practice session at the Isle of Man TT
Paul Shoesmith, who has been killed during a practice session at the Isle of Man TT

The Northern Irish partner of a bike racer who was killed on the Isle of Man has offered an emotional tribute to him.

Paul Shoesmith from Lancashire died during a practice lap on Saturday.

Janet Cowden, his partner, is originally from Northern Ireland and had been raising a set of twin boys with Paul.

Her own brother William Cowden had been left severely injured in a crash at the Killalane road races in 2014.

Janet posted this tribute on Facebook: “I have thought long and hard about what to write, words can’t even describe how I am feeling right now.

“Yesterday was the worst day of my life. I lost my partner, my babies’ daddy, my best friend and my soulmate.

“Life with Paul wasn’t always easy, living it in the fast lane and dealing with his countless projects and gadgets.

“He drove me insane at times and we fought like cat and dog but in the end we always had each other’s backs and I loved him more than words.”

“Paul may have left me yesterday but he has left me with the most precious gifts and little pieces of him in his four beautiful children and every time I look or speak to them I have a little piece of him still with me.

“Paul was the proudest man in the world of his children.”

She described his children as “the only thing in his life that was faultless and perfect”.

“He beamed everyday about each and every one of them, they were his “chip-offs,” she added.

“It’s so unfair that he’s going to miss them growing up and never going to take his sons for their first pint.

“These thoughts are hitting me the hardest and I feel so bad for all his children.”