Moto sport
'Lifelong Joey Dunlop fan' and TT Manager Paul Phillips still treasures Manx pound note signed by Yer Maun
'Lifelong Joey Dunlop fan' and TT Manager Paul Phillips still treasures Manx pound note signed by Yer Maun
04 Jul 2020 Moto sport
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Phillips, who is the TT and Motorsport Development Manager for the Isle of Man Government, confesses to being a ‘lifelong Joey Dunlop fan’ and recalls a chance encounter with the Ballymoney star in Port Erin on the island when he was urged by his father to approach ‘Yer Maun’ for his autograph.

5126055f0071fa9d2ff.jpgJoey Dunlop has a wry smile after winning the Formula One race at the Isle of Man TT in 2000 after someone asks if he is 'too old' to get his leg over his bike.

“Sometimes I wonder now if he ever recognized my face because when I was a kid, I used to go to races all over with my dad, like the Irish races and the Ulster Grand Prix,” Phillips said.

“I would just go and stand at the back of his van and stare at him for hours on end.


“I got his autograph and I’ve even got a Manx pound note in my wallet that is signed by Joey.

“We bumped into him one time in Port Erin and my dad told me to get his autograph. Dad gave me a pound note to get my autograph on. I don’t know why but I still keep it in my wallet today.

“Then there was one time when we came over for the Ulster Grand Prix. We arrived a few days beforehand and we were camping on the North Coast for a while before we started to make our way to Dundrod.

“My dad decided that we’d try and find Joey’s house, which we did, and the light was on in the garage. I knocked on the door and I think I actually got my picture taken on his driveway beside his Honda RC30.


“I was definitely a top stalker of Joey Dunlop!”

Joey remains the most successful TT rider ever with 26 victories, two decades on from his tragic death.

For Phillips, he believes Joey defined his own era at the TT and had a universal affinity with the fans that will likely never be replicated.

“Joey defined an era at the TT and even after he had his accident at Brands Hatch, he was still chalking up a lot of wins once he came back, primarily in the smaller classes,” he said.

“It’s difficult to compare riders because Joey raced at the TT for a long time. There were other riders who came along and rode for much shorter periods and did a lot less races.

“You could argue all sorts of things about their contributions but the thing about Joey Dunlop is, I would probably find it difficult to understand how there could ever be a greater affinity between the fans and a rider,” he added.

“There was a universal adulation for this guy and he wasn’t a typical sportsman in so many respects.

“Everybody wanted Joey to win at the TT and he was always the most popular guy, who was very much in his era.

“He just had a real aura that I always remember about him, whether he was racing at the TT, a club race or a little Irish race.

“Wherever he was there was always a massive crowd around his van. He was a real superstar.”

Phillips had travelled over to Ireland to attend the Skerries 100 in 2000, which was taking place the same weekend as the ill-fated race meeting in Estonia, where Joey was tragically killed. He remembers vividly the moment when he learned the news from his parents upon arriving back home.

“I had been to the Skerries 100 with a couple of my mates on that day. I came home on the ferry that Sunday and my mum and dad told me the news as I walked through the front door,” he said.

“I’d been a lifelong Joey Dunlop fan and I couldn’t believe it really. That was 20 years ago, so I was only 22.”

He also has fond memories of watching Joey compete in his final TT, when he famously won the Formula One race for a seventh time on the Honda SP-1.

“At the TT in 2000 I watched the Formula One race at Ginger Hall and Joey was riding ever so well. Everybody remembers that particular race but he was riding so well all round. He even led the Junior 600 race for a little bit and of course, he won the 125 and 250 races, so he was just riding super good,” he said.

“I remember watching the final practice session that year too and Joey had all sorts of problems with the bike and the whatnot and there was a story about what product he used tire-wise and all the rest of it.

“On that Friday night, I have a vivid memory of it being a wet night. It was one of those times when you were waiting around and nothing was happening, but eventually, they had sort of a half practice session and I was watching between Ramsey hairpin and the Waterworks,” said Philips.

“We had a hole in the hedge up there somewhere and I just remember that not many of the top guys were out in the session because it was bad weather.

“But Joey came past on the SP-1 and he was absolutely on it. He was really aggressive and pushing and I seem to recall that they made drastic changes to the bike and he used that session to try and gauge if whatever they did was working.

“Everyone else was tip-toeing around but Joey was just it and then obviously he went and won the race the next day. The atmosphere around the island that night when he won the Formula One race was incredible… good times.”

Original Source [newsletter.co.uk]

#Race #MotoSport #Bike #Moto #Racing

2 3.7K
  • Nelsom Paulino 04 Jul 2020
    anyone still have the autographs from the legends?
    • Deleted 10 Jul 2020
      Nelsom Paulino, I was on a business trip in Ireland that coincided with the Northwest 200 races in 1993. I have always been A Joey Dunlop fan and he was gracious enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with me for this photo. We had a few quick words together . What a treat!
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