Mother of Zambian Star in Scotland killed in cycling accident

The mother of a top Scottish shinty star has been killed in a cycling accident in the Highlands.

Kathleen Tembo died after she fell about 40ft down a steep, hairpin bend near her home at Drumnadrochit on Loch Ness-side and was thrown from her bike.

Her son Eddie plays for Glenurquhart Shinty Club and is also a Scotland international.

Seventy-two-year-old Mrs Tembo, who lived alone in Drumnadrochit’s Balmacaan Road, was retired, but had worked at the village’s medical surgery as a dispensing pharmacist for several years.

It is thought she may have crashed on Monday afternoon and lain at the scene overnight.

Last night, police appealed to anyone who saw Mrs Tembo riding on the Divach road between Monday afternoon and 9.30am yesterday or who saw her bicycle lying on the roadside verge to get in touch with them.

It is thought she was thrown from her silver bike on an unclassified tarmac road near the remote Divach Falls beauty spot, two miles west of her home.

Her body was spotted on the hillside by Highland Council workers who were on a recycling collection run.

It is understood Mrs Tembo’s bicycle was on the other side of a roadside fence where their refuse lorry stopped. One of the council team called the police shortly after 9am.

Police investigating the accident closed the route for several hours while a detailed examination of the scene was made. Officers later confirmed that no other vehicle had been involved in the accident.

Last night, the Rev Hugh Watt, minister of Urquhart and Glenmoriston Parish Church, said: “She has given many years of very valuable service to the carers’ organisation Crossroads.

“My daughter Karen, who has learning difficulties, was one of the beneficiaries of Kathleen’s Crossroads care. There’s another adult in the village who has Down’s syndrome who would still have gone out every week with Kathleen. Karen would think of Kathleen as a grandmother, she was so close to her. Karen was absolutely devoted to Kathleen, and Kathleen devoted to her.”

Mr Watt added: “The care she has shown through Crossroads was immeasurable, really. Many people will testify to the level of care that Kathleen has shown to them.”

Mrs Tembo was a regular cyclist according to her neighbours in Balmacaan Road. One resident, who did not want to be named, said Mrs Tembo was a popular woman and known by many people in the area.

“I knew her through the surgery and because her son played shinty with my two grandsons,” she said.

“And Eddie’s a lovely lad. I was just taken so aback when I heard the sad news.”

Local Independent councillor Margaret Davidson said: “She was a personality in Drumnadrochit, had worked hard for her family and for many people in the village. She was well known and liked.”

Mrs Tembo was the daughter of a local police officer and spent her early years being raised in the village’s police house.

Zambia-born Eddie Tembo, 30, was a member of the North Division One Championship side in 2008, and in the same year he was selected for the compromise-rules shinty-hurling international with Ireland, becoming the first black person to represent Scotland at shinty. He scored a goal on his debut.

The athlete has also travelled the world through his interest in the martial art of kupso, which he started studying in Glasgow in 2001.

Mrs Tembo is also survived by a daughter, Dhaliso.

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