Tributes flow after Robert Burgess dies in road tragedy

Robert Burgess. Picture: contributed
Robert Burgess. Picture: contributed
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A BIKER who died after his motorcycle collided with a car has been named as a 31-year-old firefighter.

Despite the efforts of the emergency services, Robert Burgess, from North Berwick, succumbed to his injuries soon after the smash on Saturday.

He didn’t have a malicious bone in his body. He was easy to get on with and enjoyed his life. He put a lot of time and work into his bike and he was always out on it when the weather was good.

Russell McIntyre

Police have appealed for witnesses to the crash between his Yamaha motorbike and a Nissan Note shortly before 11.30am in the town’s Dirleton Avenue.

Tributes have been paid to the motorbike enthusiast, who worked as a greenkeeper, a part-time taxi driver and also as a retained firefighter.

He had worked for several years at Whitekirk Golf and Country Club and also as a driver for local firm Jim’s Taxis. A seasoned biker, he had once ridden to the iconic motorsports complex in Nürburgring, Germany, along with a group of friends.

Russell McIntyre, who is the manager at the golf club, said: “He didn’t have a malicious bone in his body. He was easy to get on with and enjoyed his life.

“He put a lot of time and work into his bike and he was always out on it when the weather was good.

“I would just like to say, on behalf of all the staff, how saddened we are by this news. I have a bike too and I have ridden with him. He was a genuinely nice character.”

Mr Burgess had briefly taken on the role of head greenkeeper at Belford Golf Club in Northumberland.

But it is understood that he decided that the job was not for him and moved back to East Lothian shortly before Christmas.

Friends said he was in a relationship with a woman from the North East whom he met while working in England, adding that she had been left devastated by his death.

They also said that Mr Burgess had no children.

Monica Parker, a colleague from Jim’s Taxis, said: “We are absolutely devastated. It has been such a shock.

“He only worked for us for a short while, about seven or eight months.

“He was a very lovely lad, really kind-hearted. He worked with the fire service as a part-time fireman in North Berwick. He loved his bikes and his cars.”

The driver of the car was uninjured.

Sergeant Roger Park, of Police Scotland’s trunk road patrol group, said: “Sadly, Mr Burgess passed away as a result of the injuries he sustained in this collision and my thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.

“They have requested to be left alone to grieve in private as they come to terms with this tragic event and we will do all we can to support them as and when they need it.

“Our inquiries into this collision are ongoing and, as in all cases of sudden death, a report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”

He added; “In the meantime, I appeal to anyone who was in the area of Dirleton Avenue around the time of this incident, or who may have witnessed the collision itself, to please contact police immediately on 101.

“Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously through the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com