William Dunlop to be buried next to his dad Robert

William Dunlop died on Saturday during practice for the Skerries 100
William Dunlop died on Saturday during practice for the Skerries 100

Ballymoney will come to a standstill tomorrow as the town bids its final farewell to road racing icon William Dunlop.

The motorcycling fraternity has been plunged into mourning following the 32-year-old’s tragic death during a practice run at the Skerries 100 races in Co Dublin on Saturday.

William’s funeral will take place at Garryduff Presbyterian Church outside his home town of Ballymoney at 1pm tomorrow, followed by burial in the adjoining churchyard, where his beloved father Robert and uncle Joey were also laid to rest.

William (inset) leaves behind pregnant partner Janine, daughter Ella, mum Louise and brothers Michael and Daniel.

The sombre mood in Ballymoney was palpable yesterday, as a steady stream of people made a pilgrimage to the Co Antrim town to pay their respects.

The Dunlop Memorial Garden has become a focal point for the outpouring of grief, as everyone from motorbike fanatics to families with young children in tow gathered to lay flowers at the feet of the bronze statue of William’s father, Robert.

Books of condolence have been opened across the Causeway Coast and Glens borough in William’s memory.

Meanwhile, figures from across the sporting landscape in Northern Ireland have also expressed their sadness at William’s passing, including boxer Carl Frampton and golfer Rory McIlroy.