TRIBUTES have poured in for a “fearless” extreme sportsman who died after a motocross accident on Sunday.
Salisbury “daredevil” Tom Robertson, 25, was “doing what he loved” when he came off his bike at Cheddar Motopark in Somerset and broke his neck. He was airlifted to hospital in Bristol, but died at 12.30am on Monday.
His mum Lynne, 56, said the family felt “empty and heartbroken” as they paid emotional tributes to Tom at his parents’ home in Salisbury on Tuesday.
“There’s a huge hole left that nobody’s ever going to be able to fill,” she said.
Tom, who started riding motorbikes aged four, also excelled at free-ride jet-skiing. He ranked eighth in the world last year and had recently returned from the European championships.
Lynne said Tom enjoyed “anything that involved speed or jumping from great heights”.
“He was extreme,” she said. “There’s no other word for Tom.”
His girlfriend, 25-year-old Poppy Mann, added: “He was a daredevil, he had no fear at all.”
The family has received hundreds of messages of support since the accident.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Tom’s dad, Simon, 59.
“We just can’t get over how many people’s lives he touched.”
His sister Sam, 32, said: “I’m just broken that he’s gone.”
Describing her son, Lynne said: “He was big… and loud. Big person, big personality, big smile.”
Poppy added: “It was always a party when Tom was around.”
Talking about the accident, Lynne said: “He was doing what he loved.
“He went up in the air and he fell off his bike. Another bike came down on top of him and unfortunately it broke his neck, causing severe brain damage and internal bleeding.”
Praising all the medical staff, Lynne said: “They were incredible. Van loads of his mates came to see him, to be with him.”
She added: “He loved every one of his friends. They classed themselves as brothers.”
Tom attended Wyvern College and later worked as a drainage engineer.
Poppy said: “He was such a good friend to everyone. He was just there for everyone all the time.”
Simon added: “He’s been living on the edge since he was four years old.”
Tom also leaves behind brothers Gareth (34) and Calvin (33), sister Kirston (28), and Staffordshire bull terrier, Joey.
Lynne said three of his closest friends, brothers Sam, Jordan and Dan Easterbrook, treated Tom as “their fourth brother” and were devastated.
They plan to carry the coffin at his funeral after motocross riders escort the hearse to Salisbury Crematorium on a date to be fixed.
A screen and loudspeakers will be set up outside due to the large number of mourners expected.
The wake will be held at The Bull Hotel in Downton. The family requests no flowers, but donations to the air ambulance.
*All pictures supplied by Tom’s family.