A POPULAR horse trainer who died of a head injury after being found on a road was laid to rest yesterday.

Dozens of people paid tribute to 63-year-old father John Reeder on Facebook following his death in the summer.

He was found lying face down on the A4043 in Pontnewynydd near his bicycle on August 7 and later died in hospital.

A small group of relatives and friends gathered at Llwyncelyn cemetery in Cwmbran yesterday afternoon to pay their final respects.

Pontypool pal Dorne Williams, 51, plans to turn an allotment site he used in Grove Road, Pontnewynydd, into a memorial garden in his honour.

His sister, Sue, led tributes to the friendly man of Tan-y-Coed, Pontnewynydd, who was often seen walking ponies or riding his bicycle near the Pegasus pub.

She said: “He was a free spirit.

“I just hope John is now left in peace. I feel very upset at the way it all ended.”

Around 130 people left sympathy messages on a Facebook page set up in his memory. The tribute page attracted nearly 3,000 likes.

Mrs Williams, of Pontypool, said: “He came to us six months before his death. He had a small plot.

“He wanted to grow flowers. We’re going to plant a garden there and we will have a bench dedicated to his memory.”

Another friend, Patrick Feeley, 21, of Pontypool, said: “John used to live with us.

“He was a great man. He loved his horses. He used to have a couple of horses of his own. He was a comical man. He will be missed.”

* Four men have been charged with Mr Reeder’s manslaughter.

They are Casey Coslett, 19, of Stow Hill, Newport, Kieran Allcock, 18, of Tern Court, Cwmbran, Andrew Vass, 26, of Upland Drive, Trevethin, and Deon Morgan, 19, of no fixed address.

They appeared at Cardiff Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on October 25.

Allcock was granted bail and the other three defendants were remanded in custody to appear for a plea and case management hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on January 6.