The Elderly Joey Dunlop, 1952-2000

It seems timely to be talking about Joey Dunlop on a day when the North West 200 is taking place in Northern Ireland – with the Supersport race ended after two laps due to heavy rain. Joey won there on 13 occasions, half the number of victories he achieved at the Isle of Man TT. Three of those TT wins were at the age of 48 at his last TT in 2000, shortly before his death at a race in Estonia. He took first in the TT Formula One, the Lightweight 250 and the Ultra Lightweight 125. Not bad for an old codger.

Motorcycle racing is really a young person’s game. Few riders make it past 35; Mike Hailwood’s legendary comeback took place at the age of 39 in 1979. That said, there’s something about this photo that always makes me smile: a 48 year old bloke, with an OBE for charity work, hammering round the Island at insane speeds, taking three firsts out of the nine races. And making us all think a bit more carefully about what that sign says….


Joey Dunlop


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