William Dunlop an ‘absolutely perfect gentleman’

William Dunlop with Bill Kennedy
William Dunlop with Bill Kennedy

The chairman of Armoy Motorcycling Road Racing Club has said William Dunlop was “a very talented racer” and “a perfect gentleman” who will never be forgotten.

Bill Kennedy, 69, who is also clerk of the course at the Armoy road races, described the Ballymoney man’s death at the Skerries 100 on Saturday as “a real tragedy.”

“It is a real tragedy. A tragedy for his family, his partner, his child and the one on the way,” he said.

“He is the last person I’d have expected to fall as he was such a safe rider and was very, very talented on a bike.

“It just shows that if it can happen to William Dunlop – and of course it happened to Robert and Joey as well – it could happen to anybody.”

Bill, himself a former rider, gave up road racing following the death of his brother, Frank – a member of the legendary Armoy Armada – at the North West 200 in 1979.

“Accidents will happen, and unfortunately when they happen in road racing they are very unforgiving,” he said.

“I know exactly what the family will be going through, and they’re going through it for a third time.

“It is life-changing, particularly for the mother. It will open up a lot of very sore wounds in the family as they lost his father Robert and his uncle Joey before that.”

William was a member of the Armoy club and a regular at the Armoy road races. He had confirmed his entry for this year’s event, which takes place later this month.

“I knew William Dunlop for many years and I always found him to be an absolutely perfect gentleman,” Mr Kennedy added.

“He was a member of the club from day one and did a lot for the club so he will not be forgotten by us, that’s for sure.”