JOEY DUNLOP OBE d2000. World champion motorcyclist from Ballymoney Northern Ireland voted in 2005 as the the fifth greatest motorcycling icon ever by Motorcycle News. His achievements include three hat-tricks at the Isle of Man TT (1985 / 88 / 2000) where he won a record 26 races in total. His name is amongst the most revered by fans of motorcycle racing and his somewhat shy, unassuming persona has led to him being seen as a true working class hero. During his career he won the Ulster GP 24 times and five consecutive TT F1 world titles. He was awarded the MBE in 1986 for his services to the sport and in 1996 was awarded the OBE for his humanitarian work for children in Romanian orphanages. Joey Dunlop died in Tallinn Estonia aged 48 in 2000 while leading a 125cc race (he had already won the 750cc and 600cc events). He appeared to lose control of his bike in the wet conditions and was killed instantly on impact with trees. As a mark of respect, the Estonian government's official website was replaced with a tribute to Dunlop within hours of his death. Fifty thousand mourners, including bikers from all parts of Britain and Ireland attended his funeral.
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