Irish Motorcycling Hall of Fame pays tribute to William Dunlop
William Dunlop will be posthumously inducted into the Irish Motorcycling Hall of Fame at the sport's annual awards ceremony on 18 January.
The 32-year-old from Northern Ireland paid the ultimate price for the sport he loved. William Dunlop died last July in practice after he crashed on the race route near Skerries with his younger brother, Michael riding behind him.
He has been described as, "One of the most talented exponents of road racing of his generation, and the fact that he was also one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet."
William enjoyed a distinguished career on Ireland’s national road racing scene. He started racing in 2000 when he was aged 15, accumulated 108 Irish National Road Race wins during his successful career and also achieved North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix victories.
The father-of-one was part of the renowned Dunlop racing family. His father Robert Dunlop was killed in the North West 200 in 2008, and his uncle former world champion Joey Dunlop died in 2000, who are also inductees of the same hall of fame.
Motorcycle racing hasn’t just been part of their DNA, but more so engraved into the family’s genes. Between them they have amounted a huge collection trophies and accolades, earning the family enormous respect from their peers and supporters. Joey Dunlop holds the record for the most Isle of Man TT wins with 26, and is regarded as “one of the greatest motorcycling legends of all time.” There is no doubt that William would be a contender to this recognition too.
William's mother Louise and his partner Janine will accept the accolade in Belfast on the late rider's behalf.
"We are still in complete shock after the tragic incident last summer but any award the Dunlop family has ever received has been very special," said Louise.
"With this award it's just lovely to know the Dunlop name is still a force to be reckoned with, but it will be an emotional evening."
The rider's mother said that the Dunlop family have been "overwhelmed by the amount of love and kindness we have received" since last July's tragic incident in county Dublin.
"It truly has been remarkable. William was loved by everyone, and we are so proud of his achievements, as we are of all my boys."
He joins some of Ireland's most famous riders in the hall of fame including former world champion Brian Reid, Moto GP rider Jeremy McWilliams, road racing stars Phillip McCallen, Steve Cull, Johnny Rea, Eddie Laycock and Alan Irwin, plus top motocross rider Gordon Crockard.