THE wife of a “passionate and wonderful” husband, who collapsed and died during Parkrun at the weekend, has paid tribute to the “man who made her dreams come true”.
Newly retired Teesside resident Steve Binks died whilst taking part in Middlesbrough’s Parkrun event in Stewart Park on Saturday.
His wife, Shereen Binks, has since thanked those who battled to save her husband’s life at the park, which she said will always be their special place.
She told The Northern Echo: “Everyone did everything they could – I was shocked and upset, but I knew everything was done correctly.”
Mr Binks, who had been an enthusiastic runner and keen cyclist, previously celebrated success after achieving the BBC’s Unsung Hero award for the North-East and Cumbria in 2016.
Remembering her devoted husband, Mrs Binks said: “He was my rock, he was a wonderful husband and he really made my dreams come true.”
The Middlesbrough man who had been retired for almost 13 months before his death, previously worked as a principal engineer at Middlesbrough Council, but had a long history inspiring future cyclists.
The 62-year-old, originally from Ormesby near Middlesbrough, became a keen cyclist in his mid-teens before he met his wife.
Mrs Binks said: “We met on a blind date 36 years ago. We got married a couple of years later and he got me into cycling – I remember, I just became interested in the life of cycling, along with him.”
For more than 40 years, alongside various roles including taking up the position as chief of the Safety Advisory Group with Middlesbrough FC, he helped run the Cleveland Wheelers cycling club.
Mr and Mrs Binks organised the club’s youth section, League 2000, which grew from about 30 children on a Monday night to more than 100 over 20 years.
But Mr Binks had more interests than cycling and before his retirement he took up running, finishing more than 100 runs in little under five years.
Mrs Binks said: “Steve knew the woman who started Parkrun and he used to do it on his bike.
“One day it was blowing a gale and he said, ‘shall I do two-and-a-half hours on my bike or as many laps as I can’, and then started running.
“He always used to say he didn’t like running, but he’d always be there.”
In the days before Mr Binks’ death, the pair had completed a five-and-a-half-mile run and a 32-mile bicycle ride.
She said: “On Saturday, I was having a very bad run because I am usually little bit faster than Steve – I was with him at one stage.
“His last words to me were ‘you can get to the finish’, he started running and I was about three paces in front of him when I heard him collapse.”
Mr Binks was a devoted family man who will be much missed by his loved ones she said, adding: “He was very proud of his nieces and nephews – between us we have nine.
In the first year of their “wonderful retirement”, the pair travelled almost every week, spending time with relatives in Berlin in Germany, and trips to France, the Lake District and the Peak District.
Mrs Binks said: “Every week we had a trip out – we wanted to just go out somewhere.”
Paying tribute to their “dedicated friend” Steve, on social media the Stockton Wheelers Cycling Club said: “Steve will be sadly missed, and our thoughts and condolences are with his wife Shereen and family and friends at this time.”