Belfast Telegraph

Joey Dunlop voted as Northern Ireland's Greatest Sports Star

Family affair: Joey Dunlop’s daughter Joanne, wife Linda, Michael McCammond, Eunice Coates and Donna McLean (also a daughter of Joey) at the Belfast Telegraph awards
Family affair: Joey Dunlop’s daughter Joanne, wife Linda, Michael McCammond, Eunice Coates and Donna McLean (also a daughter of Joey) at the Belfast Telegraph awards
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Amy Uprichard
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year sponsored by Linwoods Bryn Cunningham (Ulster Team Manager) receives the award on behalf of Andrew Trimble from Patrick Woods (Operations Manager of Linwoods) and Kevin Saurette (Belfast Giants).
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? WJ ?Paddy? Patterson Award sponsored by Northern Ireland Sports Forum Doreen Miskelly receives her award from Gordon Reid (Vice- Chairman Northern Ireland Sports Forum)
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Justine McGrath, daughter of Jack Kyle during a tribute to her father
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Sports Star with a Disability Award sponsored by The National Lottery Kelly Gallagher receives her award from Brian Henning (Chairman Sport NI, National Lottery?s distributer for sports funding inn Northern Ireland) and Dame Mary Peters.
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Local Heroes Award sponsored by Sport NI Anto Finnegan receives his award from Antoinette McKeown (Chief Executive of Sport NI) and Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte.
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Northern Ireland Greatest Ever Sports Star (as voted for by Belfast Telegraph readers) Ian Best receives the award for George Best (runner up) from Richard McClean (Managing Director of the Belfast Telegraph).
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Northern Ireland Greatest Ever Sports Star (as voted for by Belfast Telegraph readers) Ian Best receives the award for George Best (runner up) from Richard McClean (Managing Director of the Belfast Telegraph).
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Northern Ireland Greatest Ever Sports Star (as voted for by Belfast Telegraph readers) Joanne Dunlop, Donna McLean receives the award for Joey Dunlop (winner) from Richard McClean (Managing Director of the Belfast Telegraph).
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? George Best Breakthrough Award sponsored by The Ramada Plaza Hotel Conor McLaughlin receives his award from Brian Thornton (General Manager Ramada Plaza Hotel) and Peter Canavan.
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Hall of Fame sponsored by Belleek Living David Healy receives his award from Rachael Weir (Belleek Living), Michael O?Neill and Martin O?Neill.
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Sports Star of the Year sponsored by Linwoods Amy Uprichard (representing the Daisy Lodge Cancer Fund for Children Centre, supported by the Rory McIlroy Foundation) and Carl Frampton receives their awards from Mike Gilson (Belfast Telegraph Editor) and Joanne Hayden (Marketing Manager, Linwoods).
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Pamela and Jimmy Kirkwood
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Sally Gardiner and Karen Wallace
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Claire McCollum and Mike Bull
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Sarah and Amy Uprichard
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Steve Beacom, Peter Rainey and Ed McCann
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? David Healey and Jackie Fullerton
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Barry McGuigan, Carl Frampton, Christine Frampton and Shane McGuigan
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Mike Gilson, Belfast Telegraph
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? David Healy and Barry McGuigan
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Willie Anderson.
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Carl Frampton
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Claire McCollum and Jackie Fullerton on stage
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Antoinette McKeown (Chief Executive of Sport NI)
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Barry McGuigan
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Sport NI Young Ambassador Bethany Firth
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Boxer Paddy Barnes
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? John Conlan
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Conor McLaughlin
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? David Healy
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Justine McGrath, daughter of Jack Kyle during a tribute to her father
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Ian Best
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Joanne Dunlop and Donna McLean
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Carl Frampton
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? David Healy
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Martin O'Neill
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? David Healy
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Young Team of the Year sponsored by Sport NI Portora Royal School Boat Club Boys Junior Coxed Eight receive their award from Sport NI Young Ambassador Bethany Firth and Richard Archibald (SINI).
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Michael McKillop and Nicole Martin
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Special Recognition Award sponsored by Centra Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan receive their award from Nigel Maxwell (Centra Sales Director) and Willie Anderson.
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Sports Star with a Disability Award sponsored by The National Lottery Kelly Gallagher receives her award from Brian Henning (Chairman Sport NI, National Lottery?s distributer for sports funding inn Northern Ireland) and Dame Mary Peters.
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Local Heroes Award sponsored by Sport NI Anto Finnegan receives his award from Antoinette McKeown (Chief Executive of Sport NI) and Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte.
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Young Player of the Year sponsored by mamba Chloe Watson receives her award from Jamie Knight (mamba ambassador) and Barry McGuigan
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Team of the Year sponsored by The Outlet NI Commonwealth Games Boxing Team Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlon, Michaela Walsh, Sean McGlinchy, Steven Donnelly, Sean Duffy, Joe Fitzpatrick and Ruairi Dalton receive their award from Chris Nelmes (Centre Manager, The Outlet) and Conor Niland (Irish Davis Cup captain).
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Northern Ireland Greatest Ever Sports Star (as voted for by Belfast Telegraph readers) Joanne Dunlop, Donna McLean receives the award for Joey Dunlop (winner) from Richard McClean (Managing Director of the Belfast Telegraph).
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Hall of Fame sponsored by Belleek Living David Healy receives his award from Rachael Weir (Belleek Living), Michael O?Neill and Martin O?Neill.
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Hall of Fame sponsored by Belleek Living David Healy receives his award from Rachael Weir (Belleek Living), Michael O?Neill and Martin O?Neill.
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Amy Uprichard (representing the Daisy Lodge Cancer Fund for Children Centre, supported by the Rory McIlroy Foundation) and Carl Frampton
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Martin McAviney and Sean O'Neill
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Julie morrow, Jill Costley, Hannah Grieve and Alex Hurst from Lurgan College
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Sports Star of the Year sponsored by Linwoods Amy Uprichard (representing the Daisy Lodge Cancer Fund for Children Centre, supported by the Rory McIlroy Foundation) and Carl Frampton receives their awards from Mike Gilson (Belfast Telegraph Editor) and Joanne Hayden (Marketing Manager, Linwoods).
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Thomas Beckett, Jackie Fullerton, Andrew Ewing, Margaret Tollerton and Paddy Barnes
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Jason Harvey and Brian Henning (Chairman Sport NI)
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Jason Harvey, Sean Duffy and Michael Conlon
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Anto and Alison Finnegan
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Jonathan and Rosemary Mawhinney
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Rebecca Fulron and Conor McLaughlin
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Rebecca Fulton and Conor McLaughlin
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Keith Crossan and Philip Rainey
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Kevin Saurette, Pamela Ballantine and Adam Keefe
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Gavin Devlin, Mickey Harte and David Healey
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast?
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Gavin Devlin, Mickey Harte and David Healey
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Simon Brien and Tiffany Brien
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Joanne Hayden (Marketing Manager, Linwoods), David Healey and Claire McCollum
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Kelly Gallagher and Petrenan Canavan
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Pete Snodden and Kelly Gallagher
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast?
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Mike Gilson
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Claire McCollum and Jackie Fullerton on stage
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Claire McCollum and Jackie Fullerton on stage
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Jackie Reid and Nicole Martin
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast?
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Mike Gilson
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Charlotte Campbell, Sarah Weir and Steve Beacom
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Carrickfergus Cricket Club
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Paul Gray, Janet Gray and Barry McGuigan
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Anto and Alison Finnegan
Chloe Wilson and Linda WilsonPress Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Chloe Wilson and Linda Wilson
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Alex and Fi McGreevey
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Joy Rodgers, Michelle Chambers, Sarah Weir and Karen McGarvey
Press Eye Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th January 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. 2014 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards sponsored by Linwoods at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast? Bethany Firth and Sharon Mulholland

By Steven Beacom

Modest, unassuming, genuine, caring and the best motorcycle rider of them all.

That was Joey Dunlop.

And according to Belfast Telegraph readers, he is also Northern Ireland's Greatest Sports Star ever.

Dunlop, who died in 2000 racing in Estonia, was voted number one in a special poll to mark the 20th anniversary of the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards.

After 20 sporting greats from Northern Ireland were shortlisted by an expert panel, the decision was handed over to the public who gave their verdict in their thousands, with the legendary Joey coming out on top. Iconic footballer George Best finished runner-up and four-time Major winning golfer Rory McIlroy was third.

Had Joey been around today he would probably have been wondering what all the fuss was about.

Revered and respected, Dunlop was also loved by the people of Northern Ireland, not just for his breathtaking ability on a bike but also his wonderful charitable work, for which he received an OBE.

Winning may never have been the be all and end all for Joey, but that didn't stop him recording many memorable triumphs.

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 is perhaps best known though for his astonishing success 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.

Joey Dunlop
Joey Dunlop

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.

Mervyn Whyte, Race Director of the North West 200, was a long time friend of Joey's and provides a telling insight into the man and why, 15 years after his untimely death, he remains as popular as ever.

"Joey was just an ordinary guy with no airs or graces. The motorbike scene never went to his head at all. He just got on with the job," said Mervyn.

"He was as natural as they come and success meant very little to him. He was always very helpful and supportive and of course supported several charities. That was the type of guy he was.

"As a racer Joey was the best all round rider there was.

"He could have won any race in the world, but he didn't want it.

"Even though he was settled here in Northern Ireland and happy racing at the North West and the Isle of Man TT, he was still a worldwide institution in motorcycling. Everyone from other riders to supporters respected Joey.

"When I was out in Macau last year I got talking to bike fans supporting the racing and the only person they ever mentioned was Joey Dunlop.

"He put motorcycling on a worldwide map. I really believe it's because of him that motorcycling has become so big around the world."

Second best: Ian Best, brother of the late, great George Best, and wife Tracey collected the trophy as the Manchester United legend came second in the vote to select Northern Ireland’s Greatest Ever Sports Star
Second best: Ian Best, brother of the late, great George Best, and wife Tracey collected the trophy as the Manchester United legend came second in the vote to select Northern Ireland’s Greatest Ever Sports Star

Joey's daughters Donna and Joanne collected the prize for the Greatest Ever Sports Star while Ian Best, brother of the late, great George, was presented with the runner-up trophy.

The other 17 sporting greats shortlisted in alphabetical order were: Peter Canavan (GAA), Darren Clarke (Golf), Peter Doherty (Football), Carl Frampton (Boxing), Mike Gibson (Rugby), David Healy (Football), Alex Higgins (Snooker), Paddy Hopkirk (Rallying), Pat Jennings (Football), Jack Kyle (Rugby), Dave McAuley (Boxing), Willie John McBride (Rugby), Tony McCoy (Horse Racing), Graeme McDowell (Golf), Barry McGuigan (Boxing), Sean O'Neill (GAA) and Dame Mary Peters (Athletics).

Take a bow: the Sports Awards roll of honour...

Sports Stars of the Year  (sponsored by Linwoods):  Carl Frampton and Rory McIlroy

NI's Greatest Sports Star Ever (as voted by Belfast Telegraph readers): 1. Joey Dunlop 2. George Best 3. Rory McIlroy

Hall of Fame (sponsored by Belleek): David Healy

Team of the Year (sponsored by Outlet): NI Commonwealth Games Boxing squad

George Best Breakthrough Award (sponsored by Ramada): Conor McLaughlin

Coach of the Year Award (sponsored by Volvo): John Conlan

Paddy Patterson Award (sponsored by NI Sports Forum): Doreen Miskelly

Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year (sponsored by Linwoods): Andrew Trimble

Local Heroes award (sponsored by Sport NI): Anto Finnegan

Sports Star with a Disability (sponsored by National Lottery): Kelly Gallagher

Special Recognition Award (sponsored by Centra): Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan

Young Team of the Year (sponsored by Sport NI): Portora Royal School Boat Club Boys Junior Coxed Eights

Young Player of the Year (sponsored by mamba): Chloe Watson

Further reading

It's a knock-out night for Northern Ireland's boxers at Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards David Healy nets a place in Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards hall of fame Rory McIlroy and Carl Frampton double tops at Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards 2014 Rory McIlroy and Carl Frampton share Belfast Telegraph Sports Award top prize and inspirational Amy Uprichard does honours

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