POPULAR cyclist Gary Woodward died this morning after suffering a mysterious cardiac arrest while out on his bike last month.

Gary, who was a life-long member of the Chippenham Wheelers cycling group, was a familiar face around Wiltshire and was often seen out cycling around the county's roads.

On June 20, he was found unconscious and not breathing at the side of Blacklands Road, in Flaxlands, near Royal Wootton Bassett

A paramedic in a rapid-response vehicle, a road ambulance and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance attended the scene, together with four police cars, and after paramedics succeeded in restarting his heart, Gary was rushed to the Bristol Royal Infirmary to receive treatment.

But the time he was not breathing left Gary severely brain damaged and last Saturday – his 68th birthday – doctors took the decision to switch off his life-support machine .

However, Gary battled on and continued to breathe. He was later transferred to the Great Western Hospital but sadly lost his fight for life this morning, with his family by his side.

Jackie, Gary’s ex-wife and mother of his 47-year-old only son, Duane, said the events had left the family shocked and devastated but thanked all the paramedics, air ambulance crews, police officers and hospital staff who came to Gary's aid.

“All the hospital staff have been so good to Gary, and to us as well, and really taken care of us," she said.

Jackie and Duane also want to find the driver of the SEB van who called the emergency services to Gary’s aid.

Jackie said: “There was an SEB van who spotted him sitting on the side of the road, who asked him how he was.

“He said he didin’t feel very well but would just sit down for a minute.

“When the driver came back from dropping off his mate he found Gary unconscious and not breathing, and it was he who called the ambulance.

“The police were so good as well. They looked after his bike for us and I know they are just doing their job, but we so appreciated their support.”