Belfast Telegraph

Joey Dunlop's race outfit goes under the hammer

The outfit late, great world champion motorcyclist Joey Dunlop wore when he won the 1998 Isle of Man Lightweight TT race is set to fetch between £15,000 and £20,000 at auction.

In November 1999 – just seven months before he was killed during a race in Estonia – Ulster road racing hero Dunlop wore the outfit when he attended the Owen McNally Benefit Night at the Lodge Hotel in Coleraine to raise money for the family of Mr McNally, who was killed in a high-speed crash at the Ulster Grand Prix earlier that year.

Unexpectedly – and to the delight of the audience – the normally painfully shy Dunlop removed the outfit on stage and generously donated it to the fundraising auction.

The outfit, comprising an Arai helmet in Mr Dunlop's distinctive yellow and black design, his black Manx leathers, Kevlar gauntlets and Gaerne reinforced race boots in blue, grey and black, was used to help model the Joey Dunlop statue which now stands at 'The Bungalow' on the Isle of Man.

Now it is up for sale and it is expected to sell for between £15,000 and £20,000 at Graham Budd Auctions at Sotheby's in London on Monday, November 4, and is expected to generate worldwide interest.

The 1998 Isle of Man Lightweight TT Race was one of the greatest of Dunlop's victories.

Before the start, the race was reduced to three laps because of atrocious weather conditions.

Despite this, the Armoy rider completed his first lap at over 100mph to lead by more than half -a-minute, during which time the clerk of the course announced that the race would be reduced to just two laps.

William Joseph Dunlop was born in Ballymoney on February 25, 1952, and was just 48 when he was killed while racing in Tallinn, Estonia, on July 2, 2000.

Fifty thousand people, including bikers from all over Britain and Ireland, attended his funeral at Garryduff Presbyterian church in Ballymoney.

Tragically, his brother Robert was buried from the same church when he was killed during practice for the 2008 North West 200.

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