Legendary Flying Doctor John Hinds has been posthumously honoured with an Unsung Hero Award by BBC Sport NI.
Dr Hinds, an innovator in trauma care who brought world-class skills to the roadside at motorcycle road races and is credited with saving many lives, was tragically killed in July in an accident at the Skerries 100 meeting.
The 35-year-old, known simply in biking circles as ‘Doc John,’ was highly respected and provided his services voluntarily as part of the MCUI Medical Team, working alongside fellow travelling doctor Fred MacSorley for 14 years.
Dr Hinds’ mother, Josephine, his partner Janet Atcheson and Dr MacSorley accepted the award on his behalf on Thursday.
Dr Atcheson said: “In John’s typical but unassuming way, we accept this for John but also for the volunteer teams that he was part of. I think this award is as much theirs as it is ours and his. Thank you.”
An advocate of the necessity for an air ambulance service in Northern Ireland, 84,000 people signed a petition calling for a HEMS4NI service following Dr John’s death.
A serious accident at the North West 200 in May, which left female spectator Violet McAfee badly injured, highlighted the urgent need for airborne medical cover in this country.
Dr MacSorley previously paid tribute to his colleague’s ‘extraordinary’ level of skill, telling the News Letter: “Of all the people that I’ve worked with, John was by far the most amazing. He was starting to look into how to improve trauma care in Northern Ireland and was starting to make people take notice.
“He was bringing world-class ideas and attitudes and he was very keen to coordinate our trauma service so that everybody would get the same standard of very high care. He was world-class.”
The Air Ambulance NI and HEMSNI campaigns have now been integrated and are set to come to fruition in 2016.