ONE of the UK’s favourite heroes has been gifted a motor trike adapted by engineers to allow him to ride it.

Simon Weston, from Caerphilly, was a Welsh Guardsman who was severely injured in 1982 in the Falklands War, suffering serious burns to 46 per cent of his body.

Despite this he overcame his injuries and has spend the past 39 years sharing a message of triumph in the face of adversity, also carrying out a huge amount of charity work – through this he earned an OBE from the Queen in 1992 and, more recently, was awarded a CBE in in 2016.

He’s lived an eventful life but had no idea that an encounter with a former Triumph engineer would lead to him being gifted a customised trike just before his 60th birthday on August 8.

During a black-tie reception at the Duke of Wellington’s home in London, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Weston met former Triumph engineer Norman Hyde – a “legend” in the bike industry who has worked with Triumph since the 1960s.

Mr Hyde said: “I had to say hello to Simon, and we got talking bikes. He told me he’s not allowed a motorbike but is passionate about having a trike like Billy Connolly.

“I have more than 40 years experiences in the industry, so I know lots of people – including the movers and shakers.

“Then the pandemic happened, and it made it harder, as people had lost money or didn’t want to give it away.”

A crowdfunding page was set-up, which raised more than £10,000, with many contributors leaving messages of support and praise for Mr Weston.

This helped, along with large donations, and various organisations and people helping or donating to the cause.

Mr Hyde convinced John Bloor, owner of Triumph which was the main sponsor of this project, to donate a bike – a 1200cc Bonneville motorbike – and Caerphilly-based company Trike Design helped modify the bike and kit (such as gloves) to make it safe and useable for Mr Weston.

And yesterday, July 29, Mr Weston was delighted to be presented with his trike – which he has named Norman after Mr Hyde who spearheaded the project.

Mr Weston said: “So many people have done so much for me – it’s quite overwhelming and I feel flattered.

“I’ve always wanted a motorbike, but my mum said no, so this is very special and I feel incredibly fortunate.

“I’m looking forward to driving it and hopefully using it for events and to help other causes – life is about what you can do for others.

“Thank you to everyone, including the team at Trike Design who have made this as safe as possible.

“I’ll get used to it with short trips, such as from Cardiff to Abergavenny. There’s a café in Caerphilly I always wanted to go to but it was for bikers – now I can go.”


He hopes his first long trip on the trike will be to Devon to visit one of his best friends, and is looking forward to taking his nine-year-old grandson on the back of the trike.

Speaking of his joy of finally completing the project, Mr Hyde said: “I had the idea and I chased it; there were hurdles and it feels brilliant to finally be here.

“Simon is like a dog with two tails.”