Armoy Clerk of Course Bill Kennedy in tribute to former Joey Dunlop mechanic Jackie Graham

Mr. Graham – a cousin of Joey – worked on the Isle of Man TT winner’s motorcycles 26 times early in the Ballymoney rider’s burgeoning career.

His son, Sammy, also later became an integral part of Joey’s team and as a trusted mechanic and close friend as the Ulster pilot broke countless records and made history at the TT.

Kennedy told the News Letter yesterday: “Jackie would have hampered Joey’s motorcycles early in his career.

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Jackie Graham (left) and son Sammy, both mechanics for legendary Ulster road racer Joey Dunlop.  Image capture: Gavan Caldwell.

Jackie Graham (left) and son Sammy, both mechanics for legendary Ulster road racer Joey Dunlop. Image capture: Gavan Caldwell.

“He was always with Joey when he rode for Honda early and went to TT with him, but he couldn’t devote his time to Joey all of his time due to his professional and other commitments.

“But he was a very maneuverable man and a fantastic engineer – he could have made anything for you and he was very familiar with engines,” Kennedy added.

“I was actually with Jackie not long ago in the middle of winter and he was building a tricycle so he was still working on things even in the later stages of his life.

“His son Sammy then went on to work as a mechanic at Joey as well and in fact Sammy did a bit of racing himself for a while on a bike he bought from Joey.

“This is sad news and I extend my condolences to Jackie’s wife, Sally, and her children.

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