THE widow of a 55-year-old Malton businessman who died suddenly while out on a mountain bike ride has urged people to have regular check-ups even if they consider themselves to be fit.

Jackie Major has also thanked all those who tried to revive Stephen – known as Steve to many people – and to those who have since comforted and supported her and her two teenage daughters, Nicole and Olivia.

Mr Major, who ran Major Electricals, was riding in Dalby Forest on December 8 when he tragically died of a heart-related condition despite the efforts of members of the Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue team and others.

Hundreds of people attended the funeral at Octon Crematorium where more than £2,000 was raised to be split between the mountain rescue team and the British Heart Foundation.

Mrs Major told the Gazette & Herald: “I want to thank the mountain rescue team and two men, Mark and Paul, who tried to save Steve as well as the paramedics and also Sgt John Clayton and PC Nick Cohen of Ryedale Police for their kindness and help.

“I would also like to thank all the family and relatives for the care and help they have given to myself and Nicole and Olivia and Adrian Collier, the funeral director, and Colin Nolan the celebrant at the service.”

Mrs Major said they received more than 350 cards and messages of sympathy.

“The number was just overwhelming and everyone has been so kind,” she said. “The cards are a great comfort and shows people have taken the time to send them and it is so lovely.”

To those who knew him he looked fit and and in the peak of health but a post mortem examination showed there were problems relating to his heart and arteries, Mrs Major said.

For some months before he died he kept saying he felt cold and that, say experts, can be a sign of poor circulation.

“To look at Steve you would think he was very fit and he exercised regularly but he kept saying he was feeling really cold but to look at him you would not have thought there was anything wrong,” said Mrs Major.

“I would really like people to be aware of problems such as high blood pressure and cholesterol and to look after themselves.

“Even if you think you are fit, if there are any warning signals or doubts about your health then you should get it checked out,” she said.

Major Electricals is being incorporated into a firm called ADS Electrical Services in York.

“I would like to thank all the customers who have been so loyal over the years,” said Mrs Major.