Armoy Clerk of Course Bill Kennedy in tribute to Joey Dunlop's former mechanic Jackie Graham

Armoy Clerk of the Course Bill Kennedy has paid tribute to former Joey Dunlop mechanic Jackie Graham, who has sadly passed away.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 6:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 6:36 pm

Mr Graham – a cousin of Joey’s – worked on the 26-time Isle of Man TT winner’s bikes in the early days of the Ballymoney rider’s burgeoning career.

His son, Sammy, also later become an integral part of Joey’s team and as a trusted mechanic and close friend as the Ulster rider broke countless records and made history at the TT.

Kennedy told the News Letter yesterday: “Jackie would have fettled Joey’s bikes in the early days of his career.

Jackie Graham (left) and his son Sammy, who were both mechanics for legandary Ulster road racer Joey Dunlop. Image grab: Gavan Caldwell.
Jackie Graham (left) and his son Sammy, who were both mechanics for legandary Ulster road racer Joey Dunlop. Image grab: Gavan Caldwell.

“He was still with Joey when he rode for Honda at the beginning and went over to the TT with him, but he wasn’t able to dedicate all his time to Joey because of work commitments and the like.

“But he was a very handy man and a fantastic engineer – he could have made you anything and he was very knowledgeable around engines,” Kennedy added.

“I was actually with Jackie not long ago in the middle of the winter and he was in the middle of building a trike, so he was still working at things even in the later stages of his life.

“His son Sammy then went on to work as a mechanic to Joey as well and in fact, Sammy did a bit of racing himself for a while on a bike that he bought from Joey.

“It’s sad news and I send my condolences to Jackie’s wife Sally and his children.”

* A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Irish and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. To subscribe, click here.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Thank you,

Alistair Bushe

Editor