A memorial bench has been unveiled in memory of a Leeds village’s ‘King of the Road’ who was found dead seven weeks after going missing while out walking.
Dozens of people gathered in Micklefield to see the seat unveiled in memory of the late Ian Collinson.
Villagers raised more than £1,000 for a lasting memorial to the 74-year-old, who was regularly spotted roaming the highways and byways of Mickelfield and surrounding villages.
The seat bears a plaque in memory of ‘Our own King of THe Road.’
Mr Collinson, who had learning difficulties, continued his regular walks despite having undergone three hip replacements. He also suffered from a string of health issues including diabetes, asthma and heart problems.
Tragedy struck last August, when Mr Collinson went missing from his home. His body was found in nearby woodland nearly seven weeks later.
Once it was established that he was missing, police were called and searches organised to try and find him. Volunteers young and old worked together during the search, with those who weren’t fit enough to go out baking cakes and pies for the police.
Many people from other communities came to the village to help out and some even walked to Micklefield from nearby towns and villages.
Rev David Hayes, of St Mary the Virgin at Micklefield, blessed the memorial bench at a ceremony on Churchville Avenue on Saturday.
Ian Collinson’s brother Neil, 64, said: “Ian was a very popular man. He loved being out walking. He was old school, he would pass the time of day with you.”
Leeds City councillors Coun Keith Wakefield, Coun James Lewis and Coun Mary Harland were among more than fifty people at Saturday’s unveiling ceremony.
They unveiled the bench with Neil Collinson’s granddaughters Freya, seven and Erin, five.