Tributes paid to “skateboarding fanatic” Stephen Bayless who died on April 24

Stephen Bayless

Stephen Bayless - Credit: Archant

Former St Neots man Stephen Bayless who has been described as a “skateboarding fanatic” passed away suddenly at his home in Happisburgh, Norfolk, on Sunday, April 24.

Stephen, aged 42, was a prominent and active member of the UK skateboarding scene and was heavily involved in the development of the skateboard park at the Riverside Park in St Neots before he moved to Norfolk with his family.

He attended Priory Infant and Junior schools before moving on to Longsands Secondary School where his love of skateboarding began. Stephen was a founder member of the St Neots pirates, led by Ron Saunders of Eaton Socon, and the pair joined forces in the later part of the 1980’s to lobby local authorities and businesses to establish what has now evolved to become the Riverside Skateboard Park.

“Stephen’s efforts have left the town with a facility, which is not only one of the best in the country but also without charge to those who use it. A unique situation of which St Neots can be justifiably proud,” said Stephen’s family in a statement provided to The Hunts Post.

“Stephen’s passing has been marked by hundreds of messages of condolence on his Facebook page and that of a national skateboarding group Fouks from friends and top skaters in the country with tales of his tireless support for others, not only in this country but from as far as the US and Australia.”

Stephen, a highly skilled engineer who worked as a welder, was the proud father of two girls, Darcy and Violet, and a devoted husband to Nicola who he met when she worked at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. A memorial skate jam is being planned at the skatepark in St Neots in the summer and a plaque will be unveiled in Stephen’s memory.