King of the Roads

I can't believe it's nearly ten years since the untimely death of Joey Dunlop.Today as the bikes race around the North West I'm sure it's not just bikers will remember Joey Dunlop and also his brother Robert, who also lost his life just two years ago.With the never ending respect and interest of the public it's good to see that the tenth-anniversary edition of the book Joey Dunlop: King of the Roads is packed with new material, including a new introduction by Stephen Davison. There is also a new chapter on the legacy of Joey Dunlop and previously unpublished photographs.
Joey Dunlop was born in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim on 25 February 1952. His ambition was to be a soldier, but all that changed when he purchased his first motorbike at the age of sixteen: he discovered his destiny.
His racing career began in 1969, and his yellow helmet and number 3 bike quickly became synonymous with high-octane wins. He was one of the most exciting riders the sport has ever seen, drawing huge crowds to the Isle of Man TT races and to every other course he raced. Joey received an MBE for his motorcycling prowess; his racing record remains unsurpassed: twenty-six wins in twenty-five years at the TT races, and five times World Champion. But there was more to this rider than racing. He also received an OBE in recognition of the many relief trips he made, alone, to war-torn areas, such as Romania and the Balkans, bringing food, clothing and supplies to those in need. True to his quiet, modest nature, he did not seek credit for his humanitarian work. The 'King of the Roads' died as he had lived: in an adrenaline rush. On 2 July 2000 the forty-eight-year-old rider crashed during a race in the republic of Estonia. The death of Joey Dunlop triggered an unparalleled emotional response as the sporting world and his fans openly mourned his passing. His funeral in his home town of Ballymoney was attended by 50,000 people, and thousands more recorded their feelings for 'Yer Maun' in books of condolence set up throughout Ireland. In September 2000 thousands of residents and visitors turned out to pay tribute to their hero at the Isle of Man TT circuit, which he had dominated for so long. A decade after his death Joey Dunlop is still revered as a motorcycling legend. He will not be forgotten Joey Dunlop tenth-anniversary edition looks at Joey Dunlop's legacy and captures the rider, the family man, the winner, the humanitarian - the person behind the legend that is the 'King of the Roads'.

The author of this book Stephen Davison is a photographer with Pacemaker, Belfast. A road-racing enthusiast, he has followed the career of Joey Dunlop for many years, producing award-winning pics for specialist magazines, newspapers and TV. 
Also tonight on BBC One Northern Ireland there is a programme entitled Joey Dunlop Remembered, which is a tribute to Joey Dunlop marking the tenth anniversary of his death. His family, friends and fellow riders describe the many ways he still is fondly remembered.

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