Scooter drive-by in Knowle West pays tribute to local legend Dan Milkins

Family says “He would have been proud.”

Main image: Dan Milkins with his recent boxing coach lanyard. Picture Skemer Winters.

A parade of scooters and sports cars took to the streets of Knowle West on Sunday (14 November) – to pay tribute to local legend Dan Milkins who died unexpectedly last month.

The drive-by in honour of the popular boxing coach and father of six was a fitting accolade to Dan’s passion for scooters.

Friends and family who turned out for the start at Filwood Broadway said “he would have loved it” and “been proud.”

The convoy, which included Lamborghinis, Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Vespa scooters was organised by Chris ‘Skemer’ Winters, who runs a local boxing gym in Wedmore Vale – where Dan assisted for eight years.

The drive-by starting off on Filwood Broadway.

Skemer also led the drive-by in his rubbish truck – which made its way to Torrington Avenue, where Dan used to live, and was greeted by residents coming out on their doorsteps – before continuing its route around the area.

The convoy along Torrington Avenue where Dan used to live.

Tributes have been pouring in for Dan, who had just had his 55th birthday, and died during an emergency liver transplant in London.

The weekend also saw fundraisers for the family and to cover his funeral costs. On Friday night buckets were on the counter at the Jolly Colliers in Bedminster for a memorial fund for Dan’s six sons and on Saturday, a boxing night at South Bristol Sports Centre in Brislington – Skemer’s Amateur Boxing Show – was dedicated to the local hero.

Skemer says of his friend and colleague: “My kids and his lads in Torrington Avenue used to hang around with each other.

“He did the coaching course before COVID and now restrictions have lifted he got his lanyard so he could do a course with the kids – and a couple of weeks later he passed. I’ve got a picture of him on my wall as a tribute to him because of all the work he’s done for the boxing club.

Poster on the wall of Skemer’s Boxing Gym as a tribute to Dan and all his work there. (Courtesy of Skemer Winters).

“He helped me with the kids and adults and was my son Duane’s sparring partner and he used to get him ready for his fights.

“Duane is a professional boxer and he also used to get Danny ready for his fights, at 51 was his last fight… My son loved him as an uncle. He’d seen Duane grow up and he said it was a privilege to have a lad who lived on the same street who made it as a professional…

Dan with Duane Winters at the boxing gym. Picture Skemer Winters.

“He had six boys and the three oldest ones Reece, Clark and Shay boxed. He was a Bristol City fan and I’m a Bristol Rovers fan and every time he came to the boxing club we gave each other stick if the other team lost!

“He used to build motorbikes and scooters from scratch. He used to make all the vespas and bikes, like they had on Quadrophenia and was a bit of a Mod when he was younger…”

An online fundraiser has also been set up by Dan’s long term friend from the scooter scene, Steffan Block – with over £2,500 raised so far.

Steffan says: “It is with much sadness to hear of the passing recently of Danny Milkins of Knowle Bristol. He was a well known chap and much respected gentleman around Bristol…

“His infectious smile and laughter was so amazing! Danny would glow when he walked into a crowd, and made friends where ever he went. He shall be surely missed on this planet! The world will certainly not be the same without his cheeky attitude!”

The family have thanked everyone for their support at this time and Dan’s sister, Mandy Milkins has issued a statement.

She says: “…I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for all your heartfelt messages of condolence and support for us as a family in the sad loss of my brother Dan Milkins.

“Danny passed away at the Royal Free Hospital in London, he was actually on the operating table having a liver transplant. His death has not been established so the coroner will be holding a inquest some time March/April next year.

“We as a family have been overwhelmed with all the support we have received on our loss xx a special thanks to Skemer Winters, Steffan Block , @ Leroy Thomas and many others for your fundraising. xx

“My mum thanks you all from the bottom of her heart, she’s heartbroken 💔. Also a big thank you for all your cards and flowers none of this has gone unnoticed. xx “

The online fundraiser for Dan Milkins is at https://www.gofundme.com/f/danny-milkins-father-legend-scooterist

The funeral of Dan Milkins is being held on 30 November at 3pm at Bristol South Crematorium. Afterwards a celebration of his life will be held at The Robins Pub in Ashton. All family and friends welcome.

Poster of the drive-by event to celebrate Dan’s life.