It is with very deep regret that we announce the death of Johnny Helms. Our resident cartoonist needs no introduction after entertaining readers for more than six decades and for many he not only personified this magazine but also the essence of the British club cyclist.

Cycling Weekly simply won’t be the same without Helms. The man from Cheshire was at the very centre of this publication for more than half of its 118-year history.

His work served to document club life through some six decades. That’s approaching three-and-a half thousand cartoons since February 1946, making Helms the longest continually published contributor not only of this magazine but any publication in the UK and probably the world.

One of my first and lasting memories of Cycling when I first read this magazine as a teenager was of a luckless rider being pursued by one of Helms’s famous canine creations.

Several years ago when I visited Johnny he drew a cartoon for my daughter. Was it of that dog? Of course it was!

A full obituary appears in news and next week’s special issue of Cycling Weekly (November 19) will feature a 12-page Helms tribute.

Robert Garbut is editor of Cycling Weekly magazine

  • David Hayman

    Thank you Johnny for all the joy and. Laughter that you brought to those of us who are not famous but who have always loved cycling over the past 65 years…Thanks Robert for such a lovely tribute …if you are related to Ken Garbutt then you are a chip off the old block……thanks again, a great magazine

  • Joe Hill

    R.I.P. indeed. Johnny Helms’s cartoons were a big favourite for me when I was a young lad; my grandad, Bill Sherlock, was a fellow member of the Warrington Road Club and he had some of his books (I recall ‘Transport of Delight’). I’d sit and pore over them for hours, before jumping on my BMX outside and trying to pull wheelies (N.B. it was the eighties). A sad loss, but also a wonderful life too, one hopes.

  • Norman Bradbury

    The cycling world will miss this true gentleman. I met Johnny on several occasions on the Wild Wales challenge where he carried marshalling/checkpoint duties with his little cartoons making the day just that little easier. I am sure the Warrington will miss Johny as will all of us.

  • Roy Windall

    I remember his introduction to his cartoon character ‘Baz’, explaining that the name was pronounced Bars, as in ‘Handlebaz’.

  • kevin milne


  • Bill Goodge

    “Baz” and “Honk” were role models for a limited cyclist like me. Now the Timekeeper has called you – thanks Johnny!

  • Harry Roennberg

    It is sad to hear that Johnny Helms has passed away. I have greatly enjoyed his cartoons. In fact I revived some of his cartoons to my swedish Audax cyling friends last year when I scanned one of his cartoons and sent it as X-masgreeting to them.
    We all had a laugh, because we could see ourselves in the cartoon depicting two cyclists cycling in full rainy weather gear in dreary rainy weather, It is a very drab picture, but one of the cyclists makes the merry remark:
    “I much rather go out for a ride in this weather than go christmas-shopping with my wife.”

    Is there already a book with the best of Johnny’s cycling cartoon? Could You at Cycling Weekly give me a tip if there is a Helms’ cartoon album, or will be an album published with The Essential Helms’ cartoons.
    Best Regards
    Harry a Helms-fan from the Aaland Islands / Finland

  • kevin burrow

    Very sad to hear of the passing of Johnny Helms. His cartoon was an integral part of Cyling Weekly. I used to look at that page first to see his latest work, before starting to read the mag. Johnny – rest in peace.