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Team GB: Conrad’s enthusiasm will give us a boost
TEAM GB has paid tribute to a superfan from Colchester who died at the Olympic velodrome.
Conrad Readman, 49, of St Helena Road, Colchester, had tickets to 53 events.
He collapsed in the cycling arena during the 20th event he had watched and died of a suspected heart attack.
A spokesman for Team GB said: “His support for Team GB and the London 2012 Olympic Games is something we greatly appreciate.
“No doubt, his enthusiasm, spirit and encouragement will continue to lift our team throughout the remaining days of these Games.
“We extend our condolences to Conrad’s family and friends.”
Conrad had joined a group of about 100 other sports fanatics ahead of the Olympics.
Patrick Winterbottom, another member of the group, who had tickets for more than 30 events, said: “We all found each other on Twitter about a year ago when we were looking for tickets and built a relationship over time.
“About 100 of us are in a Facebook group together and we would meet for drinks every month.
“Conrad was a fun, joking character and a lovely guy.
“We were all deeply shocked when we heard.”
Mr Winterbottom met Conrad at the velodrome in the Olympics Park.
He said: “One of the guys took a picture, which must have been just before he died.
“He looked fine. He was very happy and smiling.”
Mr Winterbottom and the fellow fans are hoping to attend the funeral for chartered accountant Conrad, who lived with his mother Joan.
He added: “Some people said they had not heard from him for a couple of days and then we heard why.
“It is really hot in the Velodrome – uncomfortably hot. You have to keep hydrated as it gets roasting in there.
“He was going to a lot of events and pushing himself.
“Someone said he had 53 sessions and sometimes three or four a day. I couldn’t keep up with that and I’m a bit fitter. We didn’t know how he was managing it.”
Conrad was a huge fan of cyclist Victoria Pendleton and had recently got her autograph on a large picture.
He saw her reach the final of the keirin event, but he died on Friday, at 6.15pm, shortly before she won gold.
Mum Joan has decided to sell his remaining tickets, with the help of the superfans, and the money will be donated to St Helena Hospice .
She said: “He had never had a problem with his heart and had not been to a doctor in 15 years.
“He died doing something he loved so I’m happy he was where he was, but I can’t watch any of it now.”
A Locog spokesman said: “Conrad was clearly a huge Olympics fan and our thoughts are with his friends and family.”
An inquest will be held in due course.