Icon: Eddie Kidd

Eddie Kidd's life story reads like a Hollywood movie script - and not a very believable one at that.

Daredevil stuntman, male model, Hollywood movie double, pop star, pin-up and a mainstream celebrity in a way that few bikers have ever managed. He's the epitome of the bloke who had it all and lost it all in the blink of an eye.

As a teenager, he emulated his hero Evel Knievel by jumping impossibly long distances over cars, buses and gaping ravines. His film star looks soon made him a pin-up in 1970s teenie mags like Jackie (ask your sister) and eventually led to Hollywood stunt work doubling for the likes of Michael Douglas, Michael Caine, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and even as Pierce Brosnan in the Bond flick 'Goldeneye.'
Kidd also starred as himself on the small screen in TV ads for trendy jeans company Levi in the 1980s and back then, that was about as cool as you could get.

As a motorcycle ramp jumper, the highlight of his career was jumping the Great Wall of China although the whole stunt was almost called off when two of his crew exposed themselves to a Chinese waitress just before the jump and ended up being arrested. Kidd was threatened with deportation but managed stay in the country long enough to make the jump, even though he never got paid fully for doing it.
He outjumped Evel's son Robbie in a head to head in the States, cleared 32 cars at Brands Hatch, leapt 13 double decker buses in London and flew over 19 buses in Sweden.

Bikes aside, out Kidd was still every bit the high flier, dating a string of glamorous women including Page 3 girl Debbie Ash and he even launched a brief and rather unsuccessful pop career.

But the fairy tale came to a cruelly abrupt end when Kidd suffered brain damage at the Hells Angels' organised Bulldog Bash in 1996. Kidd jumped over the drag racing strip at Long Marston, Warks but landed badly on an uphill slope, was knocked out and tumbled over a 20 foot drop.

Kidd later admitted to taking cocaine the night before the crash and felt his judgement may have been clouded as a result. Whatever the reason for it, the crash left him with a broken a collarbone, fractured pelvis and a number of damaged vertebrae in his neck. But it was the brain damage which was the real concern.

It was touch and go for months whether he would live as Eddie showed no signs of coming out of a coma. When he did come round, he still had to spend four years in a nursing home learning to speak all over again and trying to regain movement in his arms and legs. During his time there, he proved he'd lost none of his skill with the ladies and fell in love with his physiotherapist, a stunning Irish girl called Olive. She helped to sneak him out of the home against the wishes of staff and the couple set up house together in, ironically, a village called Long Marston in Bucks. The village bore the same name as the scene of Eddie's accident.

The couple have now had a kid, if you'll pardon the pun, and Eddie recently released his biography called 'Eddie Kidd: Crawling from the Wreckage.'

He's still wheelchair-bound five years after the crash but hopes to be able to walk again with the assistance of some special braces which he's currently trying out. Good luck Ed, we know you can do it. And that's what makes you a biking icon.


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