The daughter of a biking enthusiast who died suddenly has paid tribute to her father who she described as “the most giving person.”

Kenneth Maurice (Ken) Johnson, 76, owned Kickstart Motorcycles on Burnt Ash Hill in Lee for nearly 40 years. Since he died of undiagnosed pneumonia and heart failure in April, his daughter Helen has closed the shop.

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Ken owned Kickstart Motorcycles on Burnt Ash Hill (Helen Johnson)

Speaking to News Shopper, Helen, who now lives in Lincolnshire with her husband Steve, described the overwhelming response she has received from Ken’s customers since his death.

“I’ve had grown men crying on my shoulder. One man collapsed on the floor. This isn’t a normal reaction to a shop man dying,” the mum-of-four told News Shopper.

“The support has been amazing. We’re a very small family and I knew nothing about the bike world because he kept it separate to home life.”

Ken had worked with bikes since he was 14 years old and was still riding until the day he died, travelling into Lee every day from Hoo in Kent, where he lived with Helen’s mum, 73-year-old Christine (known as Chris).

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Ken with his wife, Chris (Helen Johnson)

Helen remembered her dad’s kind nature which he demonstrated in the way he treated his customers.

“People used to bring their bikes to him and if he knew they were on hard times he would give them enough to make them safe on the road and say: ‘Pay me when you can’.

“If he saw youngsters going off the rails he would take them in and say, ‘come and work with me for a few weeks’,” Helen described.

Reminiscing on her childhood when she lived in Charlton with her mum, dad and sister Nikki, Helen said her dad’s generous nature was just as present at home.

“He was very giving. He would give up things for us. When I went to horse riding school and I first started doing shows, it was quite expensive. We didn’t pay the mortgage one month so I could ride,” she recalled.

As well as being generous, Ken was also full of surprises, which Helen and her family discovered when they cleared out his garage.

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Ken was well-known in the community for his generosity (Helen Johnson)

“We thought we would find maybe two bikes in there – but we went in and there were about 10,” Helen said, joking that her dad was the kind of man who “would go out for a pint of milk and come back with a jaguar”.

As well as her father, Helen also thanked his friends and customers who have supported the family in arranging the funeral, noting one of his dearest friends, Rob Yeoman, in particular.

“I know Dad would want to thank everybody for supporting us,” Helen said.

“I know he would say that if he was here.”