BIKERS from across the country have paid tribute to a "devoted family man" and "gentleman" following his death in the French Alps.

Shaun Henderson, from Coxhoe, in County Durham, died while on a biking tour in Europe on July 13.

Bikers from all over the country turned out today to pay their respects to Mr Henderson and ride with him as he made his final journey from Coxhoe to Wear Valley Crematorium for a service of thanksgiving.

The Northern Echo:

Shaun Henderson, 49, from Coxhoe

The 49-year-old was described as a "quiet achiever", a "gentleman", and as a devoted son, brother and husband to Joanne, his wife of 22 years.

Originally from Horden, he had lived in Coxhoe for more than 20 years and worked as a civil servant in Darlington.

A bike and rock music enthusiast, he was also a DJ and was known for providing the entertainment at countless bike rallies.

Friend Andy Coppillie, from Coxhoe, said: "He was a gentleman. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He was friends with everyone.

"He liked his music and his bike and his family."

Described as a "pillar of the community", Mr Henderson was a committee member at Coxhoe Working Mens Club, playing for the club in the Ferryhill and District darts and dominoes league, as well as being involved in the village's cricket team, and bike clubs in the North-East.

He also played five-a-side and was an Arsenal supporter.

Wearing vests which read "RIP Shaun, Ride On", members of the Big Trail Bike Club, with whom Mr Henderson was riding when he died, turned out in force for the funeral.

The Northern Echo:

Bikers turned out for Shaun Henderson's funeral, which took place today

Biker Kim Bolton said: "He was such a gentleman. My memory of him is from one of our trips to Scotland and he played the guitar and sang for us. He used to be so nervous but he was brilliant."

Nik Reynolds added: "He was the ultimate 'back man'. He always made us feel safe. When I started I was nervous but he was always behind and he would be there for anyone.

"He was so reliable. He would do anything for anybody."

Mr Henderson was travelling in the Bourg Saint Maurice area when he was involved in a fatal collision.

A police investigation into his death is ongoing in France while an inquest was opened at Crook Coroner's Court on Tuesday.

A collection was held for the Great North Air Ambulance Service and British Heart Foundation.

The Northern Echo: