Champion scramble rider Ronnie Fairburn has died at the age of 76.

Originally from Horsforth, Mr Fairburn died at his home in Conway, North Wales, on Saturday, after a short illness.

The former Yorkshire champion featured in many local scrambles and also the televised events by the BBC and ITV. When he retired from racing he moved to Derbyshire and then onto North Wales to race his seagoing yachts with great success.

Barry Robinson, former Telegraph & Argus motorsport columnist for 44 years, said: “Ronnie Fairburn was an extremely talented and fearless scramble rider on BSA, Aermacchi and latterly a home-built Triumph-powered machine. The Italian Aermacchi machine was actually a Grand Prix road racing machine converted by Horsforth motor cycle shop owner Bill Bancroft, who sponsored many riders in a variety of events.

“Ronnie Fairburn was a Yorkshire champion rider in cross-country speed events in the Sixties and Seventies. Not only did he win club events at Otley Chevin, Malham, Ripon, Yeadon Moor, Post Hill and Bentley Springs, but travelled to major events in other counties.

Mr Robinson, who writes for Trials and Motorcross News, added: “He also competed in BBC and ITV televised races throughout the country. In a hectic race at Great Ayton he clashed with Dickie Preston on the final corner and made history by actually passing under the television control centre vehicle. Fortunately both riders were horizontal by the time they arrived at the huge parked vehicle.

“After retiring from motor cycle racing he moved to Derbyshire with his wife Joyce and followed his religious path as a Jehovah’s Witness before moving to Conway to take up seagoing yacht racing.

“He was just as successful on his yacht, winning races as he did on two wheels. He passed away on Saturday at his home, aged 76, after a short spell in Blackpool Hospital. He leaves sons Alan and Ian. It is planned to hold the funeral service in the Horsforth area.”