Mural of Superbike ace Jonathan Rea unveiled in Newtownards
Newly crowned record-breaking five-in-a-row World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea has been honoured with a new mural in Newtownards.
It comes after the 32-year-old from Templepatrick unexpectedly clinched the sport's crown on Sunday by winning the final race at Magny-Cours in France.
The new mural was launched yesterday by West Winds Social and Cultural Institution (WWSCI), which worked closely with the Housing Executive's Community Cohesion team on its creation for the last 12 months.
It was officially unveiled by Jodie McCaughey, a local young woman who suffered a serious accident while competing in a Motocross competition.
Darren Gibson, chairperson of the WWSCI, said Rea is a true inspiration to community.
"West Winds estate suffers from high levels of division within the community, so this is the start of small steps being taken to create a more community friendly and positive area," Mr Gibson added.
Owen Brady, the Housing Executive's Ards and North Down Area Manager, hopes that Rea will soon visit the spot to view the mural.
"The West Winds estate is an extremely vibrant community and we wanted to highlight Jonathan as an inspiration to all young people that with hard work their dreams can become a reality.
"The artwork, completed by local artist Noel Morrison (Rocky's Art), is incredible and has received a large amount of positive feedback from the local residents.
"We really hope that Jonathan likes the mural and that we might see him one day soon coming to have a look for himself.
"Following Jonathan's win this weekend, we had to update the mural today, adding 2019 to the list of world titles."
Meanwhile family, friends and fans will gather to congratulate Rea on his latest win at a homecoming event at Belfast International Airport this afternoon.