Tributes to Richmond restaurateur who died after collision with cyclist

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Tragic: Fernando Izquierdo, left, was visiting the country for funeral of his brother Pepe, right Tragic: Fernando Izquierdo, left, was visiting the country for funeral of his brother Pepe, right

The elderly founder of a popular restaurant has died after being involved in a collision with a cyclist.

Fernando Izquierdo, 81, died on Sunday from injuries sustained in the collision outside the Poppy Factory in Petersham Road, shortly before noon on Thursday, April 21.

Mr Izquierdo, who set up Spanish tapas restaurant Don Fernando's close to Richmond station in 1990, was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, with suspected head injuries, but died at 10.10am three days later.

He had been visiting Richmond from his home in his native Spain for the funeral of his brother Pepe on Monday, April 18, after he lost his fight against cancer, and had been due to fly back this week.

His nephew Felipe Izquierdo, 38, who works at the family-run business with his sister and Mr Izquierdo’s children, said: “He was larger than life - a very charming man.

“He was a great front of house man.”

Despite an upsetting few weeks, Mr Izquierdo said they had kept the restaurant open because it was what the two brothers “would have wanted”.

Mr Izquierdo was born in Andalucia, in southern Spain, and moved to England in the late 50s with his brother Pepe.

With a background in running restaurants, the brothers opened Don Fernando in Richmond in 1990, which has continued to run as a family business ever since.

Despite moving back to Spain following his retirement, Felipe said his uncle, who has four sons and 12 grandchildren, would often come back to visit the restaurant and his family.

Police and ambulance crew were called to the scene of the incident at about 11.55am, following reports of a collision between a pedestrian and a cyclist.

The 41-year-old cyclist received minor injuries and was treated at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, before being discharged.

No arrests have been made and police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision to come forward to help with their investigations.

Detective Sergeant John Hartfree, leading the investigation, said: “I am appealing for anyone who witnessed the collision, or the events leading up to the collision, to speak to our team.

“Petersham Road would have been very busy at this time of day and I am sure there would have been many people in the area who would have seen this incident.”

Anyone with information should contact Hampton Traffic Garage on 020 8941 9011.

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