PICTURE: Mystery cyclist who died on Dronfield bypass was retired teacher and artist

Malcolm  Cottam with his art work
Malcolm Cottam with his art work

A tragic cyclist who lay unknown in a Derbyshire mortuary for a week was a retired teacher and artist.

Malcolm Cottam, aged 55, of Norton Park Crescent, Norton, was killed in a collision with a car on the Dronfield bypass last Thursday.

Mr Cottam, who taught humanities for 33 years before retiring, was also a key member of the British Trust Conservation Volunteers in Sheffield, and won the charity’s Carbon Army award in 2010, which recognised community champions.

He used to work two days a week for the charity, on activities including scrub clearance, laying turf and meadow creation.

Mr Cottam was also a keen artist, who worked with glass, after being inspired by the stained glass in his own home.

A Derbyshire Police spokeswoman said: “Officers who were trying to identify a man who died as a result of a collision in Dronfield have named him following a formal identification by his family.

“Police would again like to thank the public for information received in trying to identify Mr Cottam.”

The Derbyshire coroner has been informed of the death and an inquest is expected to be opened.

Mr Cottam was cycling along the southbound carriageway of the A61 at 3.20pm last Thursday when he was involved in a collision with a Citroen C3.

He suffered serious head injuries and was taken by air ambulance to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, where efforts to save him failed.

Despite a number of police appeals for information on the identity of the man, it took a week before police were able to finally identify him.

Officers issued a computer-generated image of the cyclist’s face, as well as photographs of his bike and the shoes and helmet he was wearing.

He was wearing a white T-shirt which said Barnsley Metrodome Triathlon 1990, and a sticker on his helmet said ‘Friar Tuck Triathlon 2002’, race number 100.