25/2/1952 - 2/7/2000
There is only one other pure motocycle racer on this iste, Valentino Rossi but Joey Dunlop (OBE) is considered among the greatest motorcycle riders of all time and warrents his place here. His achievements include three hat-tricks at the Isle of Man TT meeting (1985, 1988 and 2000), where he won 26 races in total. In 1986 he won a fifth consecutive Formula One world title. His nickname was 'King of the Road'.
He was awarded the MBE in 1986 for his services to the sport and in 1996 he was awarded the OBE for his outstanding humanitarian work for children in Romanian orphanages. Dunlop would often load up his race transporter and deliver clothing and food to the trouble spots of Bosnia and Romania. His humanitarian work was often done without drawing attention, in keeping with his humble nature.
Dunlop died in Tallinn, Estonia in 2000 while leading a 125cc race (he had already won 750cc and 600cc events). He appeared to lose control of his bike in the wet conditions and was killed instantly on impact with trees. As a mark of respect, the Estonian government's official website was replaced with a tribute to Dunlop within hours of his death. Northern Irish television carried live coverage of his funeral. Fifty thousand mourners attended the funeral, which was attended by bikers from across Ireland and the United Kingdom.
A memorial statue was erected in his home town of Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. In the Isle of Man, a statue of Joey asride a Honda overlooks the Bungalow Bend at Snaefell and the 26th Milestone area of the TT Course has been renamed "Joey's".