Isle of Man TT: The Fantastic Five Fans


IoM TT News

A group of loyal Isle of Man TT fans have had their dedication to the event recognised.

During the 2010 TT, five visitors who have been attending the races for many years were presented with special tankards engraved with maps of the TT course and the number of years they have been visiting.

Eric Taylor, from Surrey, first visited the Races in 1964 and coincidentally is 64-years-old. He has attended the TT at least 37 times between 1964 and 2010 and attended the Manx Grand Prix 18 times between 1992 and 2009. All in all combining both events he has attended 55 TTs and MGPs.

Worcestershire’s Stephen Yardley has been coming to the TT for 50 years and this year he resided with Mike (Jack) Russell, a competitor who he introduced to the MGP a few years ago and who won last year’s Senior race. He first attended in 1960 with his father who used to stay at Cunninghams Camp and never missed a year until the mid-1990s.

Paul Smith, from the West Midlands, came to the races in 1985 and has been visiting for 25 years. Notable events for Paul include buying Robert Dunlop a Guinness when he broke down at The Hawthorn and seeing Valentino Rossi at the start line and shouting him to give him a wave, which he did!

Leicestershire’s David (Bill) Abel first visited in 1959 at the age of 17. He has always received good hospitality in the Island, having stayed at a number of hotels and guest houses. He stayed at the Balmoral Hotel from 1972 until 1993, which was owned by Mrs O’Neill, who sadly passed away that year. He and his friends have stayed with her son, Gary O’Neill, at his home in Farmhill ever since.

Colin Joyner’s first TT was in 1977. The stories we have about Colin, from Shropshire, have a recurring theme of him falling asleep by the track before, during and after races. He fell asleep last year during the first running of the TTXGP and once fell asleep at Sulby Bridge missing all the racing that day! It is his 60th birthday this year and was very pleased to have been nominated for the award by his good friend Liam Evans.

Isle of Man Tourism Political Member Geoff Corkish said:

“It is wonderful that Eric, Stephen, Paul, Bill and Colin have been visiting the Island for so many years as without the dedication of our loyal fans who make the journey for the TT Races each year we would not have an Isle of Man TT Festival.”

“They will always be assured of a great welcome and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their valued support.”