Gary Dunlop reveals bike racers' charity football match will be named in memory of William Dunlop

Gary Dunlop has revealed that next year’s annual Road Racers versus Short Circuit Racers charity football match will be named in memory of his cousin, William Dunlop.

William sadly lost his life in a crash during practice for the Skerries 100 in July. The 32-year-old Ballymoney man was a keen footballer and an enthusiastic participant in the charity matches, which have been organised jointly by Gary and Nikki Coates in recent years.

William Dunlop with David Healy, manager of the Road Racers team, at the annual bike racers' charity football match at Seaview in January.

William Dunlop with David Healy, manager of the Road Racers team, at the annual bike racers' charity football match at Seaview in January.

Gary also confirmed that proceeds raised from the game in January would be split between the Children’s Cancer Unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, and William’s young family. The road racing star left behind his partner, Janine and young daughter Ella. After his death, his second child, Willa Wren Dunlop, was born in September.

Gary said: “We are on the lookout for sponsors etc. for the annual Road Racers versus Short Circuit Racers charity football match. All money raised this year will be split 50/50 between the Children’s Cancer Unit and William’s family.

“William was a big reason this match started taking place and he was the first person every year to put himself forward for playing. And in his memory, the winner’s trophy will be named the William Dunlop memorial trophy.

“It would be great if we could get a lot of support for this game and help both causes out as best we can.”

William Dunlop in action at the Isle of Man TT. The Ballymoney man was tragically killed in a crash at the Skerries 100 in July.

William Dunlop in action at the Isle of Man TT. The Ballymoney man was tragically killed in a crash at the Skerries 100 in July.

William Dunlop and his cousin Gary share a joke at the Classic TT in 2017.

William Dunlop and his cousin Gary share a joke at the Classic TT in 2017.