Famous Freemasons - Joey Dunlop (1952-2000)

William Joseph Dunlop - Racer

Food For Thought

"Say the name Joey Dunlop to any true bike fan in almost any part of the world and they will know instantly who you are talking about. Not some here-today-gone-tomorrow, manufactured “superstar” with an ego to match his pay-cheque, but a quiet, shy part-time publican from a small town in Northern Ireland
“The world’s greatest living sportsman”, the words of Big D, Ireland’s loudest commentator are an apt description of this most remarkable of men. William Joseph Dunlop MBE OBE, is the greatest motorcycle racer that has ever lived. I say that without shame or without doubt.

He was, and will remain, a hero to hundreds of thousands of people, young and old alike, in every far-flung corner of the world. He inspired generations of young Irishmen to take up motorcycle road racing, and can almost single-handedly take the credit for the strength of the road racing scene today.

But Joey wouldn’t dream of it. In fact he would be embarrassed beyond belief at the very mention of such a notion. The man was modest almost to the point of self-denial. He never wanted the limelight, the fame or the attention. Joey was a reluctant hero. He just wanted to race bikes and to win."

So begins the biography of Irishman and Freemason Joey Dunlop by Stuart Christian on <TT Website.com>.
Wilipedia also gives a biography of this amazing man, and it  begins in yhis fashion

"William Joseph Dunlop, OBE (25 February 1952 - 2 July 2000), was a world champion motorcyclist from Ballymoney in Northern Ireland. In 2005 he was voted the fifth greatest motorcycling icon ever by Motorcycle News. His achievements include three hat-tricks at the Isle of Man TT meeting (1985, 1988 and 2000), where he won a record 26 races in total.

He twice refused a knighthood, wanting to be seen as a man of the people."

The biography goes on to list Joey's acheivemants, not least his royal honours

"He was awarded the MBE in 1986 for his services to the sport, and in 1996 he was awarded the OBE for his humanitarian work for children in Romanian orphanages, to which he had delivered clothing and food.

Charity work

One less well known aspect of Dunlop's life was his tireless work for charity. He made endless trips to Romania, bringing van loads of aid to orphans and their carers in that country.

These were undertaken mostly by Dunlop himself on condition that it would take place before each racing season started. Dunlop stated that his proudest award was his OBE for charity rather than any achievement in his very successful racing career.".

Stuart Christian perhaps puts it in a more personal way in his writing -

"Although he was awarded the MBE for his services to motorcycle sport, it was perhaps his OBE for charity work which best gives an insight into this remarkable man’s persona. Twice he has travelled with aid to Bosnia and once each to Romania and Albania, all under his own volition and all at his own expense. He would travel around the Ballymoney area in his own van collecting food and clothes from locals. When the van was full, he set off to wherever he was going. No fanfare. No razamatazz. Just Joey and a battered van full of aid, destined for those less fortunate than himself. Such a simple gesture. Please take a few moments to think about this.

Such selfless, humble, decent acts only served to deepen the enigma and mystique that surrounded the quiet Irishman known universally as “Yer Maun”."

SOURCES for Biographies, which I encourage you to read:
TT Website: www.ttwebsite.com/features/joeydunlop/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joey_Dunlop

SOURCE for Sporting Record: http://www.iomtt.com/TT-Database/competitors.aspx?ride_id=1018
Joey Dunlop set amongst some photographs of him racing on a backdrop of the chequered flag centre of a Masonic carpet