Belfast Telegraph

Greatest stars: Modest man Joey Dunlop was king of the roads

Though he would never have told you himself, Joey Dunlop was known the world over as the king of the roads.

Over 14 years after his untimely death, the legend lives on for this most down to earth of sportsmen who was respected and loved in equal measure.

One of the original Armoy Armada, a legendary group of motorcycle riders, modest Joey went on to enjoy incredible glory.

He won the TT Formula One World title five consecutive times between 1981 and 1986 and crossed the finish line first at the Ulster Grand Prix 24 times and the North West 200 13 times.

Dunlop, however, is best-known for his astonishing efforts at the Isle of Man TT, where he amassed an amazing record total of 26 race victories at the event, regarded as the ultimate in road racing.

Fittingly the most successful overall rider at the annual TT races is now awarded the 'Joey Dunlop Cup'.

Ask his fans what made him so special and many will tell you that Joey was a man who had a humble upbringing and never changed despite all his success.

While Joey was head of the Dunlop dynasty, his younger brother Robert was also a brilliant rider.

Robert's gifted sons Michael and William continue to keep the family tradition going.

Many sports stars receive awards for their sporting endeavours, but Joey was awarded the OBE for his humanitarian work for children in Romanian orphanages.

He died in 2000, aged 48, after crashing during a race in Tallinn, Estonia.

He will forever be fondly remembered, though, by all those lucky enough to know him or see this remarkable man compete.

Belfast Telegraph

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