Retirees have put so much into road racing
KILLALANE brought an end to the Irish Road Race season, but it also saw the retirement of a number of people who are a vital part of the road race scene, and also a local rider who called time on his career.
Dr Fred McSorley MBE has been a vital cog in the medical wheel at Irish road racing for the best part of 30 years, and the Portadown doctor has worked tirelessly to bring our medical team to the very top of its profession, and one that has saved the lives of so many riders over the years.
Dr Fred, as he is better known, became involved with the sport with his colleague Dr David McManus. In the early years they set up the medical team, with Fred on his bike, becoming the vital first-on-the-scene medic in most races. David McManus went on to become the top man in the FIM (the world governing body of the sport), leading the medical commission, which is the top medical job in racing.
Dr Fred kept up his practice in Portadown and continued his work on the local scene, getting honoured with an MBE a few years ago. Fred had decided to cut back on his events, and he was presented with an award to show the appreciation of all his colleagues by Jim Leonard, on behalf of the Southern medical team at Killalane.
Another retiree was Yvonne Ward who has the job that no one wants, the riders' liaison officer. Yvonne hails from Yorkshire, and she became involved in the Irish scene after the death of her racing husband Steve many years ago in a race in Sweden.
Yvonne and Jam Simms are the MCUI liaison officers, and they also run the Injured Riders Fund, which helps out riders who have had crashes at home or abroad. It is without doubt a thankless job, but yet they have worked tirelessly over the years to help as many riders as possible. Thankfully I have had the great pleasure of working with both Fred and Yvonne, and I have to say that I, and everyone in racing, are sad to see them retire. They will be sadly missed.