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Motorcycle ace Philip Wylie a friend to many, mourners told

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Motorcyclists form a guard of honour for Philip Wylie from Islandmagee Presbyterian Church following funeral service

Motorcyclists form a guard of honour for Philip Wylie from Islandmagee Presbyterian Church following funeral service

Philip Wylie

Philip Wylie

Motorcyclists form a guard of honour for Philip Wylie from Islandmagee Presbyterian Church following funeral service

Mourners who gathered on Tuesday for the funeral service of former Irish Supermoto champion Philip Wylie heard him described as "a true friend to many".

Mr Wylie (49), a married father-of-two, died last Wednesday from injuries he sustained in a collision during the fourth round of the Supermoto Championship at Nutts Corner last month.

The Service of Thanksgiving at Second Islandmagee Presbyterian Church was attended by a large contingent from the motorbike fraternity, who heard one of Mr Wylie's closest friends, Nigel, describe his love for racing. He said: "Phil's real passion was motorbikes. Some of his happiest times were spent riding them, starting off in the fields around the family home on his motocross bike progressing to grass track racing - 35 years of racing was to follow.

"One of Phil's proudest moments racing Supermoto was when he won the David Jefferies Memorial trophy, which had eluded him for over a decade. We were very proud of our boy!

"The passion for bikes was part of Phil's core, whether he was riding them, racing them or watching them. Many of his friends here today have some fantastic memories of the North West, the TT, World Superbikes, British Superbikes and Moto GP.

"Then, as we all know, tragically, on Sunday 16th February, Philip raced his last race. Sadly, Philip lost the battle last Wednesday and we have all lost someone very special today, whether it be a much-loved husband, a daddy, a son, a brother, or a close family member - family was everything to Phil."

Mr Wylie's love of family was echoed by Rev Peter Bovill, who conducted Tuesday's service.

Rev Bovill described Mr Wylie as a hard worker whose personality brought him not just success in business, but many friends.

He continued: "From the moment that Philip Wylie was born it seems that he was a whirlwind that never stopped with a smile that kept on beaming.

"As one of his work colleagues remarked, Philip seemed to know everyone they meet, he would stop and talk, he would show a real interest in others.

"Philip was a true friend to so many, and many here can call him their best friend."

Belfast Telegraph