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A man known far and wide as Mr Karting Northern Ireland

The death of Terry Wilkinson, racing enthusiast

Terry Wilkinson, who has died aged 77, was dedicated to both motorsport and the Scouts for most of his life.

He raced in every kart class available to him as a young man and was connected to Scouting from boyhood– originally with the 33rd Group in East Belfast.

Tributes were paid to Terry, an old boy of Campbell College, at his funeral service in Comber Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church, conducted by the Rev Ian Gilpin.

In his working life Terry was a respected motor vehicle warranty salesman, but his passion was for karting and motorbike racing, and the Scout Movement.

In his time he was a marshal at the Isle of Man TT and managed to attend this year's event in spite of poor health.

"Terry filled several important posts in the motoring field during his long career," said motorsports colleague John Belshaw. "He even built his own kart at one stage."

He was proud of an award he received from the UK's Motor Sports Association (MSA) "for his significant contribution to the sport" down half-a-century.

Representatives of the MSA and the Association of Car Clubs were among the mourners, along with scouting leaders, who also made several awards to this veteran and former motor mechanic.

Terry, who lived in Newtownards, was instrumental in the formation of Bishopscourt Kart Club and only weeks ago he received an award from it.

"Terry Wilkinson is going to be missed," added Belshaw.

"He was known far and wide as Mr Karting Northern Ireland."

Terry was a founding member of the North of Ireland Karting Association and members and drivers were at the funeral, along with representatives from the two and four wheels steering group, where Terry represented kart racing.

Wilkinson, who was laid to rest at Movilla Cemetery in Newtownards, will be remembered tomorrow when a round of the NI Superkart Championships goes on at Kirkistown.

And tributes will be paid to him, too, in Portstewart during a Coleraine and District Motor Sport Club event.

Karters and Scouts alike will recall how he and a friend, John Galloway, who is now a commentator on the sport, took part in soapbox racing within the Scouting movement and in early events at May's Market in Belfast.

Terry is survived by his wife Molly, sons Jonny and Keith, who are both into kart racing, and grandson Nicholas.

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