THE UK cycling scene is in mourning this week after two of the most dedicated and influential organisers passed away.

Ken Matthews, who was a stalwart of the Merseyside cycling scene for many years, died last Thursday in Aintree Hospital after a period of illness. And just 48 hours later prolific event organiser and team manager Chas Messenger died.

Matthews was a founding member and president of the Kirkby Cycling Club in Liverpool which enjoyed much success throughout the 1960s and 70s.

He was present at the inaugural meeting of the British Cycling Federation, and served on the Merseyside Division committee for much of its existence.

A prolific event organiser, Matthews promoted many editions of the season-opening Eddie Soens Memorial and was there at the 2008 race to flag the riders away.

Chas Messenger was instrumental in getting the popular Hillingdon track in London built, but his achievements stretched far beyond London.

He organised the Milk Race for many years, and was team manager when Graham Webb won the World Amateur Road Racing Championship in the Netherlands in 1967, and also when Beryl Burton won the Women?s Championship in the same year.

See this week?s Cycling Weekly for more on Matthews and Messenger.