THE family of legendary Ballymoney bike champion the late Joey Dunlop have posted a collection of photos of the star on YouTube to mark what would have been his 60th birthday last Saturday (February 25).
And although the nine minute 34 second long video, put up by Joey’s daughter Donna McLean, has only been on the internet for a few days, by Monday morning it had already been viewed by over 1,700 people and the numbers were growing all the time.
The video shows photos of Joey from down through the years both on and off the tracks and roads and include many pictures of him and his family.
And in the background there are the haunting classical strains of Katherine Jenkins singing ‘Time To Say Goodbye’.
A message on the video says: ‘Today daddy would be celebrating his 60th birthday. Not a day goes by where we don’t think of you.”
Joey died in the year 2000, aged 48, whilst racing in Estonia but his legend lives on and already the special family tribute to him has been viewed by hundreds of people on YouTube.
A number of members of the public have left messages on YouTube in response to the video.
Here are a selection:
* ‘I’m a 49 year old Police Sergeant and I’m crying because, Joey, Marco, Kato, Peter Lenz and all of these great men are the Heros I never had as a child. Few people understand my passion. Happy Birthday Joey.’
* ‘Happy 60th Joey. your legend lives on’.
* ‘Nice tribute donna. We miss you joey. gone but not forgotten.’
* ‘What a beautiful tribute to our hero. Thank you donna for sharing, amazing beautiful memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family’.
* ‘Joey is and was a great, great man. He will never be forgotten as long as people race motorcycles. Happy Birthday, Joey and God bless your lovely family.’
* ‘Still King of the roads, Never forgotten’.
* ‘Well that was just a delight 2 watch. He was his familys hero but he was also loved by thousands of ppl from all over the world. He may b gone but hes 1 person that will never b forgotten. Im sure ur all so very very proud of ur dad. He was so down 2 earth and i had the pleasure of meeting him once at my school. This is a memory i will always treasure Happy birthday Joey. King of the road’.
* ‘beauitful donna your daddy would so proud of this wee tribute always rember donna even on your bad days your daddys love is with you always wrapped around you like a great big bear hug.’
* ‘A wonderful personal tribute. I felt I was intruding at times. There is no question - Joey was the greatest and there is no-one I’ve ever had more respect for. A real example for us all to follow. Thank you for posting this Donna. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers today.’
* ‘i am just one of many fans..humbled to have known and lived through his life....god bless him..this was a wonderful message donna...brought tears to my eyes...happy birthday joey.’
* ‘An Inspiration, Legend, Father, Uncle, Friend, Modest, Champion. So many words to try and describe the unique individual that was Joey Dunlop. Happy Birthday Joey.’
* ‘This was fantastic Donna so many pics I had never seen and so personal thank you for sharing.’