A 54-YEAR-OLD man killed in a hit-and-run in Wallingford was a respected research chemist, company director and a talented brass band player.

Graham Ruecroft was involved in a crash at 10pm on June 4 on Wallingford Road, near Cholsey, a Thames Valley Police spokesman said.

He was cycling from Cholsey Railway Station to his home in Wallingford at the time. He was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford but died there five days later.

Dr Ruecroft was born in Durham on July 31, 1960, and was living with his long-term partner Helen.

He spent 28 years working in pharmaceuticals and “biotechnology”, and co-founded Oxford firm Prosonix which researched and developed asthma drugs and inhalers.

In 2011 he co-founded a new company, Celbius, which researched improved manufacture of pharmaceuticals and biofuels.

He was also an accomplished trumpet, cornet and flugal horn player performing with Chalgrove Brass Band and was later a founder member of Oxford and Cherwell band.

Oxford and Cherwell conductor Terry Brotherhood said his bandmate was a “fantastic” player, an impressive intellect, but overall a “fabulous bloke”.

He said: “Graham was a ‘Dr’ but never once used the title, he was such a modest bloke – to talk to him you would never know just how clever he was.

“He was right at the top of his profession, but he was also just a fabulous bloke.

“You couldn’t wish to meet somebody nicer.

“We’re all still just in a state of shock.

“When you form a band you have to work hard to get the gigs, but he was the type of bloke you could introduce to anyone from the Mayor of Oxford to a tramp and he would be equally at home.”

Dr Ruecroft earned a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Teeside University in 1983, a Master’s at the University of North London and then earned a PhD with the Open University.

In 2006 he won the Royal Society of Chemistry Team Award for Innovation pertaining to particle engineering for new respiratory medicines.

Opening an inquest into his death at Oxford Coroner’s Court, coroner Darren Salter said Dr Ruecroft died from brain injuries.

Police said the dark-coloured Kia which knocked Dr Ruecroft over failed to stop.

* A 22-year-old woman from Wallingford, a 45-year-old man from Didcot and a 27-year-old woman from Didcot were arrested and have been bailed until July 21 to appear at court.