A Tribute to Joey Dunlop
This is my small tribute to a World Champion Motorcycle Racer who never lost track of his roots. I hope it brings back some happy memories for you too.
William Joseph "Joey" Dunlop, O.B.E., M.B.E.
Joey "Yer Maun" Dunlop
Joey 'Yer Maun' Dunlop (February 25th 1952 - July 2nd 2000), was a motorcycle racer from Ballymoney in Northern Ireland. His achievements include three hat-tricks at the Isle of Man TT races (1985, 1988 and 2000), where he won a record of 26 races in total. He also won the Ulster Grand Prix 24 times and the North West 200 13 times. In 1986 Joey won a fifth consecutive TT Formula One world title.
King of the Road
Ulster Grand Prix - 24 Victories

Year Class/Race Machine Lap Time
1979 500cc Suzuki 112.76 mph
1979 750cc Yamaha 115.34 mph Superbike
1980 250cc Yamaha 107.71 mph
1980 1000cc Suzuki 116.39 mph Superbike
1983 920cc Honda 107.38 mph TT F1
1984 250cc Honda 110.55 mph
1984 500cc Honda 118.17 mph
1984 Honda 114.28 mph TT F1
1985 250cc Honda 111.96 mph
1985 500cc Honda 116.14 mph
1985 750cc Honda 114.45 mph TT F1
1986 500cc Honda 118.29 mph Classic Race
1988 250cc Honda 112.30 mph
1990 750cc Honda 120.87 mph TT F1
1991 750cc Honda 118.36 mph Superbike Race1
1991 750cc Honda 110.87 mph Superbike Race2
1992 125cc Honda 102.18 mph
1994 125cc Honda 108.83 mph
1994 750cc Honda 123.23 mph Superbike Race1
1995 250cc Honda 117.94 mph Race1
1995 250cc Honda 118.28 mph Race2
1995 750cc Honda 122.25 mph Superbike Race1
1997 250cc Honda Race2
1999 750cc Honda Superbike Race2
North West 200 - 13 Victories

Year Class/Race Machine Lap Time
1979 750cc Yamaha 120.01 mph International Match Race
1979 750cc Yamaha 120.34 mph NW200 Race
1981 1100cc Honda 119.83 mph NW200 Race
1983 500cc Honda 106.05 mph
1983 1000cc Honda 105.64 mph NW200 Race
1984 750cc Honda 107.02 mph MCN Master Race
1985 250cc Honda 110.95 mph Race 1
1985 750cc Honda 118.68 mph NW200 Race
1986 750cc Honda 108.05 mph NW200 Race
1987 750cc Honda 113.29 mph Superbike Race
1987 750cc Honda 118.61 mph NW200 Race
1987 750cc Honda 108.77 mph Production Race
1988 750cc Honda 109.08 mph Production Race
Formula One TT World Championship

Year Result/Position
1981 3rd
1982 1st
1983 1st
1984 1st
1985 1st
1986 1st
1987 2nd
1988 2nd
1989 2nd
World Formula 750 Championship

Year Race Position Points
1979 Germany (Hockenheim) 9th 2

World Grand Prix Championships

Year Class Race Position Points
1979 350cc French Grand Prix (Le Mans) 9th 2
1985 250cc British Grand Prix (Silverstone) 10th 1
World Superbikes (WSBK) 1988

Race Result
British (Donington) 3rd
Hungary (Hungaroring) 6th Race 1
Germany (Hockenheim) 7th Race 1, 5th Race 2

(Joey had 30 points accumulated and was lying 3rd in the championship up until the TT races. However he stopped competing in the championship and still managed to finish 13th in the final championship table)
King of the Roads by Ray Goldsbrough GMA
King of The Roads, by Ray Goldsbrough GMA, shows Joey Dunlop riding the Honda VTR SP1 to victory in the Formula One Race at the 2000 Isle of Man TT. On What was to be his last ever appearance on the Island, Joey won the Formula One Race, Lightweight 250cc Race and Ultra Lightweight 125cc Race to record an unprecendented trio of TT hat-tricks.

Joey Dunlop - Onboard Camera - 1983 IOM TT On a Honda V4 RS850R
Joey Dunlop - Funeral
A Legend For All Time - MAG Sport 2000

On Sunday July 2nd 2000 it was with disbelief that the motorcycling world learnt that Joey Dunlop had lost his life to a tragic accident while he was racing in an event called the Kalevi Suursoit at the 3.7-mile woodland road race circuit in Tallinn, Estonia.

It was while racing in the wet 125cc event on Sunday afternoon on a fast S-bend just before the start-finish straight that Joey crashed the Honda RS 125 which he had won on in this years Ultra-Lightweight T.T.

So many words of praise have been written since then about Joey from those that knew him or those that simply waved a race programme as he rode past, his yellow helmet an unmistakable trademark.

The story goes that the black stripe down the centre of the helmet came about when a helmet which was presented from an admirer in the early seventies was of a polycarbonate type made in two halves and black tape was stuck over the join to strengthen it in case of an accident.

At this years TT Joey completed his 26th Historic win at the Isle of Man winning a hat trick of races the T.T. Formula 1, Lightweight 250cc T.T. and the Ultra-Lightweight 125cc T.T. with a fourth place in the Junior T.T. and third in the Senior T.T.

Joey's racing career started in 1969 aboard a Tiger Cub with five Formula One wins between 1982 and '86, 48 wins over the Dundrod road circuit near Belfast and 13 North West 200 wins and numerous victories at road races through out Ireland and abroad. After the races the man on the street wanted to know "How did Joey go."

Joey's racing was only part of the man behind the yellow helmet he ran charity mercy missions for aid to help the children in Eastern Bloc countries. On one trip he was arrested at a checkpoint for not having the right documentation but it just so happened the chief of police had heard of him and after sorting the officials with motorcycle stickers and racing magazines he was allowed to carry on his way.

The MBE and OBE were bestowed upon him as a Sportsman and his work for charity among many other honours.

Over 45,000 people from all parts off the world attended Joey's funeral which was broadcast live on TV and relayed to the pits at the TT grandstand, from Garryduff, Presbyterian Church near the family home, on the same road were Joey would have tested his race bikes in the past. With as many also paying their respects at "Joey's Bar" in nearby Ballymoney with the placing of floral and written tributes outside the bar with the most poignant being a yellow racing helmet similar to that worn by Joey. On it was written "Joey-King of the Road, Prince of our Hearts."

Looking back, to call into the bar on a ride out and have a pint served up by Joey himself under the shadow of an RC45 attached to the roof in the bar it was so unsurreal.

Joey was a MAG member and paid for his membership each year for the small return of counting Joey as one of our members. MAG Sport member Trevor Baird said " All at MAG Sport wish to pass onto to Linda and the family circle the great loss that we feel and our deepest sympathy."

To commemorate Joey's life there are plans to open a museum and erect a bronze statue in Ballymoney and on the Isle of Man. A campaign is under way in Northern Ireland for a new international racing circuit. DUP Assembly member Wilson Clyde said "A circuit with international potential, attracting not only the stars of today but those of tomorrow, constructed close to the home of the Ulster Grand Prix, would ensure his memory lives on."

Joey was the true local hero and family man and every one whether old or young those who had no interest in motorcycles or racing but knew of "Yer Maun" is united in grief he united the people in Northern Ireland as no politician could.
Joey Dunlop died in Tallinn, Estonia, in 2000 while leading a 125cc race (he had already won the 750cc and 600cc events) on Pirita-Kose-Kloostrimetsa Circuit. 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 Ireland television carried live coverage of his funeral. Fifty thousand mourners, including bikers from all parts of Britain and Ireland and people from all backgrounds in N. Ireland, attended the funeral to Garryduff Presbyterian church and his burial in the adjoining graveyard.
The Joey Dunlop Memorial Garden - Balleymoney
The Joey Dunlop Memorial Garden was built in memory of this unique special man. The garden is a fitting tribute to one of Ballymoney’s greatest ambassadors, who won five Formula One World Championships, 13 North West 200 races, 24 Ulster Grand Prix and a world record 26 wins in the Isle of man TT races. In this excellent setting you will have time to reflect on the achievements of the legendary Joey Dunlop MBE, OBE.
Make a virtual visit to The Joey Dunlop Memorial Gardens here and leave a 60th Birthday message.
The Joey Dunlop Memorial Statue
Snaefall Mountain Isle of Man
The Joey Dunlop Foundation
It was not a widely known fact that Joey undertook a number of lone and dangerous missions to the former Eastern European Countries in a van loaded with gifts and provisions for young children who were being deprived of life's essentials.

After his death group of Joey Dunlop supporters approached Joey's wife, Linda, with the idea to raise funds to construct a facility that would be of benefit to the community and also be a fitting memorial in recognition of the varied achievements of Joey. It was during the initial discussions with Linda and Honda's Bob McMillan that it was revealed that Joey would have liked to have constructed a facility to benefit people, especially children, with a disability.
Once this group had been given the green light by the Linda and the Dunlop family, fund raising plans were instigated and the Joey Dunlop Foundation, (formerly known as the Joey Dunlop Injured Riders Fund) was established. Initially the aim of the foundation was to raise funds in order to install a lift in the Isle of Man TT Grandstand to make access possible to the main viewing gallery for the disabled. The second undertaking was to provide much needed accommodation for the physically challenged and their families on the Isle of Man.

The Joey Dunlop Foundation continues to raise money and more information can be found at http://www.joeydunlopfoundation.com

Seymour Street
Co. Antrim
BT53 6JR
William Joseph Dunlop "Yer Maun" RIP
"I never wanted to be a superstar, I just wanted to be myself, I hope people remember me that way"
The Life of Joey Dunlop
The Life of Joey Dunlop is so well documented that the internet could fill days, if not weeks, of our time as we remember him. A BBC Northern Ireland website was created to commemorate the 10 year Anniversary of the death of this great racer. I recommend that you visit it and get lost in your memories.

Your Tributes to Joey in 2000

Tuesday, 11 July, 2000, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK

Northern Ireland and the sporting world are mourning the loss of motorcycling legend Joey Dunlop, who died after his bike slid off the course in heavy rain in Estonia on Sunday afternoon.
I saw the hat trick at the TT this year and he was as always amazing to watch. I can't believe he is gone. He will never be forgotten.
Tonya Mcintyre, Northern Ireland

Joey Dunlop will always be the most loved sportsman in history
Colin McWilliams, N. Ireland

How can I describe what Joey's life meant to me, to the entire world? Joey Dunlop will always be the most loved sportsman in history. He achieved incredible success for many years yet never once a scandal, never once a bad report and there was always a smiling Joey. He will never again pit-in, forever now "The King of the Road". May God bless his family, both immediate and his family of friends across the globe.
Colin McWilliams, N. Ireland

I was shocked beyond belief when word came to me on Tuesday. I live just a few miles from Joey and have followed him at races and in the media since I was a boy going to the races with my father. Everyone in Northern Ireland will miss him.
Alastair Patton, NI (but in Canada)

A man I never met but watched at every opportunity. I grew up watching Joey ride in the TTs. The news of his death came as a shock, what a void this will leave in the sport.
Peter Jackson, USA

I've followed Joey for many years now, and he's always been my hero. He'll be sadly missed by us all. The T.T. will never be quite the same without him. Our thoughts go out to his family at this tragic time. God bless the "King of the Road ". Goodbye for now, Joey, you'll never be forgotten.
The Cook Family, Isle of Man
Joey I hope you pass into Heaven as fast as you passed the winning line on Earth, hope to have a beer with you one day TTFN
Philip Kane, Brit in the USA

I was deeply moved while watching the funeral service today.Although I have no interest in motor cycle racing, I am sad that someone who so obviously presented the real face of Northern Ireland, has passed away so tragically. Joey did so much for us all, possibly without even realising it. He will be greatly missed and I would like to pay tribute to the courage of his wife and family during these difficult days. Hopefully they will gain strength from the thoughts and prayers of so many people around the world.
Alan Boyd, United Kingdom

After hearing of Joey Dunlop's legendary skill for many years, I flew to the Ulster Grand Prix in1995 to witness it for myself and marvel at the talent of this man. Yet, I met him in the pits afterwards and he was as willing to say hello and chat as any decent mate, he poured me a pint at his pub that evening and toasted the day with all. He was a regular guy, a great competitor, and the finest kind of human being. His life stands as an example to all of us.
Godfrey DiGiorgi, USA

A tear came to my eye when I heard of Joey's death.
Dave Matthews, Dublin

Not only did I have the privilege of shaking the hand of "yer maun" in March of this year, but also saw him in his last Isle of Man T.T. race in June. "Yer maun" may have gone, but the legend will live on for ever, long live Joey.
Fred Watson, England

It was was my privilige to see your first TT win many years ago. I was also in the IOM this TT to also see you win. Goodbye king Joey. the world will miss your racing, and humanitarian work.
Kevin Fenlon, Canada
What a tragedy but I have been heartened by the great response to Joey Dunlops death.The description of him as a great Ulsterman has been fascinating and one of the only occasions when I remember it being used in such an apolitical and fitting sense
S. Armstrong, N. Ireland

Sincerest condolences to Joey's family. You will be missed by many
Elaine, N. Ireland

A supreme road racer to the end but above a modest, kind and good human being.
Robert Bradbury, England

I'm shocked and greatly saddened to hear of the loss of not only one of the greatest motorcyclists but of a "real" person who shaped my and other fans lives by the way he lived his. He will be greatly missed.
Paul Bell, N. Ireland

My most outstanding memory of Joey was at the 1995 TT races, in the beer tent after he had won the big race. I was looking for an autograph, and I remember how stunned I was to see my hero, Joey Dunlop, sitting there with a pint in one hand, a cigarette and a pen in the other and a baby on his lap, signing autographs! He was a great man. He always had time for his supporters, yet, he was an ordinary man, thats why he was so popular. Rest in peace Joey
Michael Fox, Ireland

Thanks for the memories, Joey. A great rider, a great man. Northern Ireland will miss you badly.
Dave, Australia

I'm very sad and shocked to hear about the death of tough racer and gentleman, Joey Dunlop. Motorcycle racing and especially the TT will never be the same again. My biggest sympathy and thoughts go to Joey's wife, children, family and friends. Joey, you will never be forgotten.
Jorgen B. Olsen, Denmark

As a regular visitor to Ulster, I can understand just what Joey meant to the people. In all my years of motorcycling, I have never seen so many non-bikers into this sport. I do not think the world will see his like again. Please raise a glass to a very great man indeed.
Allan Michaud, England

Firstly, I just want to say how terribly sorry I am to Joey's friends and family. I have met Joey and spoken with him a few times in the past and have always been left with a warm feeling from this kind and modest gentleman. The TT and all road racing will never be the same for me or millions of others again as the benchmark has now been set by Joey. It's with tears in my eyes as I say that the greatest ambassador for Northern Ireland and road racing has died, long live the King of the Road.
Ivan Haynes, England

Many years ago, when I first visited the Isle of Man, the name Joey Dunlop was the only one I could remember when I got back home. Since that time, I have followed his career with interest and admiration. A print of Joey has hung on my wall for many years and will continue to do so for many, many more. I feel honoured and privileged to have seen him race. All my heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife, children, family and friends. I also hope knowing that so many people from all around the world loved and admired Joey so much, provides some little comfort at this very sad time.
Chris Lamble, England

Condolences to the Dunlop family. Joey will be sadly missed by all his fans both in N.I. and overseas. A great sportsman.
W. Bennett, Canada (from N. Ireland)

I grew up with motorcycle racing as a spectator and as a racer. The world of racing has lost a great ambassador and he will be sadly missed. My sympathy goes out to his family. Let us remember him for many, many years to come
Paul Cotton, USA

Road racing will never be the same again. We miss you a lot.
Gerardo Bellia, Italy

Few people from here can make people who are watching a GAA Football semi-final or standing at Drumcee Hill, stop and have a moment of silence, but you were one them. God rest your soul, Joey.
Andrew Gilpin, N.Ireland

Dad told me that Joey had started racing the year I was born and he was the best the world had ever seen
Paula Williams, Ireland

My Dad is a motorbike instructor in Cornwall (he's 52) and when I rang him on Sunday to tell him the news, he wouldn't believe me. Dad told me that Joey had started racing the year I was born and he was the best the world had ever seen. I'm from a bike family, Dad in Cornwall, my sister in London and me here in Kilkenny (I'm just about to buy a bike). I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the Dunlop family on behalf of the Williams family all over Ireland and the UK and to say that through the bikers of the world his great name will live on.
Paula Williams, Ireland

I couldn't believe it on Sunday and I can't believe it now. I have been privileged in life to have watched Joey race and it will not be the same without him. He was an outstanding gentleman. I had my baby in my arms when I learnt the devastating news. I look forward to the day he is old enough to know the story of Joey Dunlop. God bless you Joey. God bless your family.
Peter Jenkins, London (ex NI)

On behalf of the SNIce Riders Motorcycle Club in Germany, I would like to say how sad we are to hear of the death of "Yer Maun". Joey will be missed, especially on the Isle of Man, by all who saw the mastery as that yellow helmet flashed past. Gone, but not forgotten, is a quiet, unassuming man, who raced real roads. Condolences to wife and family at the pub.
Dr Stuart Savory, Germany
23 years ago, sitting on my granddad's knee, I saw Joey racing for the first time and have been a fan ever since. A hero to all, a legend and a gentleman, I'll never forget you. The King of the Road forever!
Jason Nolan, Ireland

My deep condolences to the Dunlop family. Joey Dunlop was one of my racing heroes and made me a fan of the Isle of Man TT races. Rest in Peace and God's blessing for your family.
Stefan Mück, Germany

God give you rest Joey, you did more for Northern Ireland than ALL the politicians ever did. "Keep 'er lit" will always bring a smile to my face.
Willie McGreeghan, Holland (from N. Ireland)

Joey was a true sporting gentleman and a living legend. Motorcycle sport has been enriched by his presence and his spirit will live with us forever.
Simon Partridge, England

On Sunday my father was in the commentary box of an important county Gaelic football match, played at Casement Park in west Belfast. When the news was announced (over the PA system) that Joey had died, there was a gasp from the 25 thousand strong crowd. My father tells me the announcer said it was the first time he had ever heard such a reaction to such news in Casement. Another indication of the impact this man had on the people of his native Northern Ireland.
Ronan O'Boyle, Ireland

A true champion and a voice for the ordinary working man in N. Ireland and throughout the world. He will be sadly missed, but our memories will always remain of the feats this man achieved.
Alan McMillen, N. Ireland

To never see that yellow helmet streak past me will rest heavy on my heart. I'll miss you, Joey.
Barry Pringle, Ireland

We have lost a great talent who was only recognised by the motorcycling press and not given the coverage he rightly deserved. My simpathies to Joey's family and friends.
Ray, England

Deepest condolences to the Dunlop Family for the loss of a husband and a father. No-one will ever be able to achieve what you did on or off the bike. A true sportsman in all respects and will be sorely missed at all future events. The yellow helmet and the number three on your bike will always be remembered. A role model for all riders to follow. RIP Joey.."King of the Road"..You deservedly earned that title!
RAB, N.Ireland

Sadly missed but never forgotten.
P.M.D. Steel Erecting & Cladding, N. Ireland

God bless you, Joey. You are the greatest. Rest in peace.
Walter Richmond, Canada, ex-Ballymena, N.I.

Joey will always be 'KING OF THE ROAD'. May God bless his all his family and friends at this very sad time.
Phil Burrell, Ireland

I grew up watching Joey race and I'm gutted to hear of his death. An unassuming man who was a model for anyone on how to live their life. My sympathies go out to his wife, children and family. God's speed Joey - you'll always be King of the Road.
Neil, Belfast

The TT will never be the same again!
Jonathan Davies, Isle of Man

It is the bike racing's equivalent of the death of Formula One's Ayrton Senna. I am shocked and saddened. The sport's authorities need to revisit their safety policies before it gets banned.
Gavin Pearson, US

What a great guy! The world needs more Joey Dunlop's. It is sad there is only one...
Mark Sperber, USA

Hail Joey Dunlop! King of the road.
Charles Flaherty, USA

I am saddened by the death of this wonderful human being whose bike exploits are but one chapter of a life that has long been legend. For us in the two wheeled community this unsettling lost will take forever to understand. With nothing to prove Joey Dunlop died showing us how to live life to its fullest. His humble ways have touched so many around the world who have but read of his greatness. One only hopes he knew how much he was respected and admired during his life time. You pick up the pieces, you move on, but you never forget...Hail Joey Dunlop! King of the road.
Charles Flaherty, USA

My deepest sympathy to the Dunlop family. Joey was undoubtedly the best at his sport and he will be sadly missed. Joey you are gone, but you will never be forgotten.
Nichola Barber, N. Ireland

My memories of the early eighties and bike racing are forever associated with the name of Joey Dunlop. His cheeky face and down to earth manner will remain in the memories of many for a long time to come. All our thoughts go to his wife and children. Stay strong.
AC, England

Joey was a real sporting hero, a true people's champion. His skill and passion for road racing was matched only by his modesty and charitable concern for others. He may be gone forever but he'll never be forgotten. RIP Joey.
Phil Swann, England

Gutted. Absolutely gutted. A loss to everyone in NI.
Paul Allen, N. Ireland
Joey will never be forgotten by the people of Northern Ireland. He was truly one in a million. Through his humbleness, even though a 5 times world champion and his compassion for others Joey has more than earned his place in our hearts forever. He will be sadly missed by many. Joey was not only a world champion, but Champion of the World.
Dean William Clark, Ulster

The world has lost a true sportsman and a gentleman.
Ian Lloyd, England

My deepest condolences to Joey's family, he was a great man who touched everyone's heart. The "King of the Road" will be greatly missed.
Karen Shannon, Northern Ireland

A true gentleman and a sportsman without comparison in the modern era. Rarely does talent and such a warm personality come together. A knight of the road who worked tirelessly for charity, Joey stands out as a magnificent ambassador for his sport and his country. He shall be missed.
Dave, UK

Joey was a true sportsman and gentleman. He will be missed by all. The true "King of the Road" will live on in everyone's memories. RIP
John Bingham, Germany (from N. Ireland)

Apart from being supremely skilled in the art of motorcycle road racing, Joey was fearless in the face of danger, and his sportsmanship and modesty are a model for anyone to learn from. You'll not be forgotten Joey - God's speed.
Derek Sinclair, USA

Joey was a terrific role model for kids, and proof there was more to NI than marches and riots. I'm sure he's showing the angels how to get their knees down.
Jon, USA (ex N. Ireland)
Joey - not just King of the Road, but the Father of Motorcycle Racing. He will be sadly missed.
Kerry Kennedy, Northern Ireland

Rest in peace Joey, you will be sadly missed by all your fans.
JW, Scotland (From N. Ireland)

Childhood hero - so many good memories. Rest in peace, Joey.
David Thompson, England

You will be missed in the hearts of many.
MC, England

There will never be another Joey Dunlop, King of the Mountain!
Ian Thomas, England

Joey bought a human side to motor sport with a lack of ego and his love of riding bikes around the most dangerous racecourses in the world. His style, commitment and grace will be missed by all bike race fans. May I extend the sympathies of the Thomas family to Joey's family and friends and to all the people touched by this great man. There will never be another Joey Dunlop, King of the Mountain!
Ian Thomas, England

Sincerest condolences to Joey's family. He truly was the "King of the Roads".
Martin Conway, USA

Joey was peerless both on the road and off it. He is the only sportsman I can think of who was genuinely liked by EVERYBODY both on and off the track. He gave, and brought, so much to the sport of road racing, to the people of Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and to the countless people he helped through his charity work. He may be gone but his legend will live long in the memory. I, for one, know the TT will never be the same again!
ER, N. Ireland

Tributes Courtesy of Fans of Joey Dunlop and BBC News

The internet is an amazing source of images. Unfortunately it is also very good at losing the names of those that created them. To those that I am unable to credit, I thank you for your love of photography and the memories which you capture for the greater good.