THE outfit which the late great world champion motorcyclist Joey ‘King of the Mountain’ Dunlop wore when he won the 1998 Isle of Man Lightweight TT race is set to fetch between £15,000 and £20,000 at an auction.
In November 1999 - just seven months before he was tragically killed during a race in Estonia - Dunlop wore the outfit when he attended the Owen McNally Benefit Night at the Lodge Hotel in Coleraine to raise money for the family of Mr McNally, who was killed in a high-speed crash at the Ulster Grand Prix earlier that year.
Unexpectedly - and to the delight of the audience - the normally painfully shy Joey removed the outfit on stage and generously donated it to the fund-raising auction.
The outfit - comprising an Arai helmet in Joey Dunlop’s distinctive yellow and black design, his black Manx leathers, Kevlar gauntlets and Gaerne reinforced race boots in blue, grey and black - was used to help model the Joey Dunlop statue which now stands at the Bungalow on the Isle of Man.
Now it is up for sale and it is expected to sell for between £15,000 and £20,000 at Graham Budd Auctions at Sotheby’s in London on Monday, November 4 and is expected to generate worldwide interest.
The 1998 Isle of Man Lightweight TT Race was one of the greatest of Joey Dunlop’s victories.
Before the start, the race was reduced to three laps because of atrocious weather conditions.
Despite this, the Armoy rider completed his first lap at over 100mph to lead by more than half a minute,d uring which time the clerk of the course announced that the race would be reduced to just two laps.
William Joseph Dunlop was born in Ballymoney on February 25, 1952,and was just 48 when he was tragically killed while racing in Tallinn, Estonia,on July 2, 2000.
Fifty thousand people, including bikers from all over Britain and Ireland, attended his funeral at Garryduff Presbyterian church in Ballymoney.
Tragically his brother robert was buried out of the same church when he was killed during practice for the 2008 North West 200.
Robert’s sons Michael and William currently carry on the family motorcycling tradition and have had a string of major wins in road racing.
Altogether Joey won the Ulster Grand Prix 24 times and in 1986 he won a fifth consecutive TT Formula One world title.
He also achieved three hat-tricks at the Isle of Man TT meeting, in 1985, 1988 and 2000.
In 2005 he was voted the fifth greatest motorcycling icon of all time by Motorcycle News.
There is over 900 lots up for auction over the two days at Sotheby’s in London.
As well as motor sport memorabilia up for grabs there will also be items from Boxing, Cricket, Golf, Olympic Games, Tennis, Racing, Rugby, Football and other sports for sale.