200 run farewell lap of honour for Sai Kung policeman and athlete Andy Naylor

200 people took part in a farewell lap of honour at Sai Kung Stadium for police superintendent Andy Naylor, who died in a triathlon in New York City

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 August, 2012, 9:48am

More than 200 people from all walks of life paid their respects to Hong Kong police superintendent Andy Naylor, a week after his death in a triathlon event, by doing a farewell lap of honour at the Sai Kung Stadium yesterday.

Family, friends and work colleagues were joined by members of the running, cycling, triathlon and mini-rugby fraternity to celebrate the life of the police veteran who died at the age of 43 while competing in New York last week.

To mark the occasion everyone wore the red of Naylor's beloved Liverpool FC, while the lap of honour was led by his wife Lynn and their three daughters Katelyn, 12, Tara, 10, and Sasha, eight.

Organisers broke with tradition by having one minute of applause before the lap of honour, instead of a minute of silence, to celebrate Naylor's life and accomplishments.

Naylor (pictured) died while competing in New York City's first iron-man triathlon eight days ago after struggling in the swimming leg of the three-stage race in the Hudson River. He was pulled out of the water and taken to hospital, but did not survive.

A Facebook page called the Andy Naylor Memorial that was only set up on Thursday to help people pay their respects has already had 32,000 hits.

Originally from Southport, near Liverpool, Naylor came to Hong Kong in August 1992 after spotting an advertisement in a British newspaper looking for Hong Kong police officers. He was among the last inspectors recruited from Britain, and his distinguished service included a stint with the Flying Tigers, the elite counter-terrorism unit.

Superintendent David Jordan trained with Naylor in Hong Kong 20 years ago and knew him well.

"For his wife and three young children the tragedy can't be put into perspective. We live for the memory of Andy and celebrate his life, but we'll also try to focus on his family for the future," Jordan said. "There are fund-raising activities being initiated now. There'll be a time for mourning, but also a time to help support his family in every way we can."

Naylor was a well-known athlete locally. Just two weeks ago, he and his friend Paul Dingley won the longest kayak leg of the Teva Kayak 'n' Run series in Sai Kung, setting a course record.

He also set two records in the men's master's 1,500 metre and 10,000 races metre at the Police Athletics Championships.

Naylor was head coach of mini-rugby club Sai Kung Stingrays' under-11 boys' team last season, and worked with the girls' squads, where his daughters Tara and Sasha played. He also had a long association with the Matilda Hospital Sedan Chair Race charity event.

There will be a private funeral service for family and friends in Anglesey, Wales, where Naylor and his family regularly went on holiday. A memorial service will be held at St John's Cathedral in Hong Kong. The dates have yet to be confirmed.

A bank account for donations to Naylor's family has been set up in the name of Lynn Rennie Naylor at HSBC, numbered 055-247043-001