Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Biker John Burrows hangs up helmet in response to loss of friend in fatal crash

Bowing out: John Burrows is retiring from road racing for the sake of his young family
Trevor Ferguson, who died at the Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man

A second top Ulster motorcycle racer is to retire from the sport as a result of the tragic death of Trevor Ferguson on the Isle of Man.

John Burrows (40), from Carland in Dungannon, said the devastation caused by the loss of his close friend at the Manx Grand Prix had forced him to give up the sport he loves for the sake of his young family.

His decision comes a week after Mr Ferguson’s grief-stricken nephew Ryan Farquhar announced he was retiring from racing because of his uncle’s death on August 29.

Farquhar retires as the most successful rider in the history of Irish road racing with a staggering 199 wins to his name.

John and Ryan led a huge cavalcade that brought Trevor’s body home to Castlecaulfield from the Isle of Man last Wednesday.

John, known to his fans as Joni B, was one of the top road racers in Ireland.

Married to Rachel (33), the couple have one son Jack, aged two, and are expecting a second child in five weeks’ time.

He said: “After Trevor’s death, that was me finished. I have been thinking about it for some time but when I saw the devastation which Trevor’s death has left behind, it made the decision to stop racing an easy one for me.

“I think it will be easier for me to cope with not racing again than it would for my wife Rachel to cope without me.

“I’ve had a good career and made many great friends and had good sponsors, but I can’t put another family, never mind my own family, through what Trevor’s family is going through now.”

John enjoyed an outstanding rise to the top of road racing in what has been a relatively short career of 11 years.

He is only the third rider to achieve an Irish Clubman’s championship double and remains the only rider to score six wins from six starts at a Clubman’s meeting.

He runs his own engineering business near Dungannon.

John said that while Rachel was “absolutely delighted” by his decision, she was also gutted by the fact that he would be giving up something he loved.

However, John added: “What Trevor’s wife Doris has gone through in the last 10 days, there is no way I could ask for that to come to another doorstep, especially my own.”

Profile

Trevor Ferguson was killed while competing in the Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man last month. The 48-yearold was a popular figure among Northern Ireland’s racing fraternity and also ran a fish and chip shop in Moy, Co Tyrone. The Castlecaulfield man, who was married with three children, died when his bike crashed during the Supertwin race on August 29.

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