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'I think about him all the time. My office has a picture on the wall, so I see Joey's face every day'

Legendary motorbike racer Joey Dunlop died 20 years ago today during an event in Estonia and his premature passing, even in a sport all too familiar with tragedy, still reverberates

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Joey Dunlop was in dominant form at the Isle of Man TT just weeks before his death. Photo: Stephen Davison

Joey Dunlop was in dominant form at the Isle of Man TT just weeks before his death. Photo: Stephen Davison

Joey Dunlop was in dominant form at the Isle of Man TT just weeks before his death. Photo: Stephen Davison

Even in a sport so intimate with tragedy, they never saw this one coming.

Barry Symmons was at Silverstone when he heard it, kneeling down beside Martin Finnegan's superbike when Billy Nutt came around the corner with a face of stone, his skin translucent grey. "I'm sorry to say, Joey's been killed!" said Billy.

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Joey Dunlop. Photo: Stephen Davison

Joey Dunlop. Photo: Stephen Davison

Joey Dunlop. Photo: Stephen Davison

Symmons - Joey Dunlop's manager at Honda Britain for his five Formula One wins - eased up slowly off his knees, speechless. He doesn't remember much of what happened next, other than climbing the tower so that course commentator Fred Clarke could convey the awful news.