Belfast Telegraph

Cortege of bikes for tragic race star Wayne Hamilton

By Lindsay Fergus

The body of motorcyclist Wayne Hamilton arrived back in Northern Ireland yesterday.

In a fitting tribute to the talented 20-year-old, more than 100 bikers escorted his remains along the M1 from Sprucefield to Craigavon.

The victim's heartbroken family also followed the cortege in cars.

The convoy of bikers included Drew Jamison, a close friend, who said: "He was just a people person and that's why everyone loved him."

Mr Hamilton, from Annaghmore, Co Armagh, was killed on his Yamaha 600cc at the Junior Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man last Monday.

The talented rider had just won the Newcomers 'A' Race last Saturday and was tipped as a rising star who would go to the top of his sport.

As his mother Sonya, father David and brother Tyler collected his winner's trophy at the Manx Grand Prix prizegiving in Douglas, they were given a standing ovation.

His death followed that of 41-year-old Adrian McFarland from Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, who was killed in a superbike race in the Czech Republic last Saturday.

Mr McFarland, a father-of-two, was one of Ulster's leading competitors, and had been a regular on the Isle of Man, achieving four top 10 finishes in the Manx Grand Prix races.

The technical director of the North West 200, Mervyn Whyte, was among the many to pay tribute to the two competitors.

"Adrian had competed several times in the North West 200 and was a pleasure to work with.

"A good all-round competitor who loved his sport, Adrian took an excellent third position in the Superbike Race in 2002," he said.

"At only 20 years old, Wayne Hamilton was an up-and-coming young rider and certainly a star in the making."

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