Tributes to 'true gentleman' Jay Reardon as bike crash victim buried
Tributes have been paid to biker Jay Reardon, who was tragically killed in a road crash.
The 21-year-old died when his motorbike crashed on the Belfast Road near Newtownards, close to the junction with Milecross Road on July 31.
Hundreds of friends and family gathered to say their final farewells yesterday at his funeral at First Holywood Presbyterian Church.
He was described as "a true gentleman who loved his family", especially his parents.
His death was a second tragic blow to the family, who laid their other son David (18) to rest ten years ago.
A car and bike enthusiast, Jay's friends said he loved to "tinker with engines", he was a qualified welder and had been working as a lecturer in engineering at the Bangor campus of the South Eastern College where he inspired the young people in his class.
As soon as he could have a license, he bought a scooter, then a car a year later and most recently a Honda Civic and KTM motorbike.
Arsenal fan Jay was also a talented goalkeeper for Comber Star FC, his claim to fame being when he fired the ball the length of the pitch to score a goal in the opposition net.
Alex Johnston (25), Kurtis Todd (23) and Ross McCorriston (21) led tributes to their best friend who "looked out for everyone and kept them on the straight and narrow".
They said he was always thinking about others, "was sensible and caring and just lived for his bikes."
Ross told the Belfast Telegraph that he met Jay when they were just 10-years-old and used to play together on a farm.
"Jay was a loving, happy and really decent guy," he said.
"Our parents would panic when they knew we were going for a night out in Belfast, but they felt happier when they knew Jay was going, as he was the sensible one".
Alex remembered how the two grew up liking Pokemons and would play the app where they would try to capture the virtual creatures.
"You could never meet anyone like Jay," added Alex, who met him two years ago through their passion for motorbikes.
"He was a true gent who was always there for his friends and his family, who are very close.
"We had planned to go to the Ulster Grand Prix together next week. We will still be going, because that is what the big man would have wanted and we know that he will be there with us."
Curtis added: "Jay lived life to the full, he was such a lovely fellow."
Members of the public have been invited to a ride in Jay's honour which will follow his favourite route this Sunday from 1pm, starting at The Pit Stop, before travelling around the peninsula to Holywood. Around 300 people are expected to attend.
Jay is survived by his girlfriend Natalya Brown, parents Diane Adams and Simon Reardon and sisters Laura (19), Anna (11) and Susi (10).