Belfast Telegraph

Back Then: Carl Fogarty shows why he's simply the vest

Race hero Fogarty wore wife's green top to bring him success at North West 200

By Eddie McIlwaine

Bike legend Carl Fogarty's emergence as king of the jungle didn't surprise his legion of Ulster fans who remember him as a fearless North West 200 racer.

On his way to four World Superbike titles Foggy showed a determination and will to win bordering on the obsessive. So jungle bugs and beasties had more reason to worry about him than the other way round.

But we all wondered if Foggy was wearing his fabled lucky green North West 200 T-shirt down in the wilds of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

After a wee bit of not winning at the North West over a season or two he was given a piece of advice by a local fan just before the 1993 event. "Wear something green - it will bring you luck," he was told.

Foggy was listening and borrowed a green Benetton vest from his wife Michaela, which he managed to slip into just before the off.

And the vest was a help, he will tell you modestly today. He won both Superbike races that day. A double win at Donington in the British Superbike championship followed plus other important victories - and he was always wearing his wife's vest.

Sadly, however, Carl Fogarty's career on the track ended on the day his vest's useful life ended too, after eight spectacular years.

Following a crash in Australia in 2000 the vest had to be cut off him.

"I've got it stitched together again and I still keep it," he confided.

And its magical powers worked for Michaela, too. She borrowed it back when taking her bike test and passed first time.

So that vest is now framed and hangs on a wall in the sitting room of their home in Blackburn.

The sportsman must still be feeling pretty lucky after his big win in this year's series of I'm A Celebrity..., in which he beat X Factor contestant Jake Quickenden on the final night. Since his return home, the brave Bushtucker man - who impressed viewers with his sense of humour and no-nonsense manner - has been busy with media appearances. He looked more at home on Sunday night when he was a guest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards to hand out a gong.

 

Here's wishing I had the recipe for granny's magic plum pudding

Have you put the ingredients of the plum pudding in the bowl yet? Time you had, yule is nearly here.

Here's a tip about making that pud - as you stir it in that bowl make a wish. And I'm assured by cooks who know that eventually the wish will come true.

A friend of mine in Ballymena had an old grandmother who had a secret recipe for a plum pudding which included a wish with the stirring.

He swears that 50% of the wishes his family made every Christmas came true - and the pudding tasted good, too. But when granny died aged 94 without ever giving away her special recipe, the magic died also. Plum pudding wishes were never granted again.

And that isn't a tall story.

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