Dunlop’s Rivals Highlight IOM Parade Lap
Frank Kennedy (represented by Bill Kennedy)
‘Big Frank’, as he was affectionately known, was a car salesman by trade but a formidable member of the Armoy Armada with his moment of glory coming at the 1976 North West 200 when he placed second on the British-built Sparton. The Amoy man died in 1979, six months after being seriously injured at that year’s North West 200 and brother Bill, now the organiser of the Armoy Road Races, will ride an RG500 Suzuki in his memory.
Tom Herron (represented by Steve Parrish)
Tom Herron was a few years down the line in terms of success compared to Joey, but occasionally their paths crossed, primarily at the International road races and having been successful in GPs Herron was the benchmark for all aspiring Irish riders. He lost his life at the 1979 North West 200, ironically a meeting when Joey really came to the fore on the International scene with a double victory in the 1000cc races, and so former team-mate Steve Parrish will represent him on Steve Wheatman’s RG680cc Suzuki.
Bangor’s Cull went head to head with Joey at both the Irish National road races and Internationals for close to 15 years with the duo often battling for the lead, no matter what the size of machine. The 1988 season was particularly close with Cull getting the better of Dunlop at that year’s North West 200, taking a hat-trick, before the pair fought tooth and nail in the Senior TT, where Cull claimed the outright lap record before being forced to retire. Cull, who retired due to injury in 1991, will ride another of Wheatman’s RG500 Suzuki’s.
Sam McClements (represented by Ryan Farquhar)
Another Bangor resident, McClements had a hugely successful career on the roads, particularly on his famous black 1000cc Suzuki, and was a rival to Joey for over a decade. The duo had many a battle, with Sam joining Joey on the podium in the 1985 F1 TT race and he was still winning races in 1989 when he lost his life in a crash at the Carrowdore 100. Countryman Ryan Farquhar, riding an RC30 Honda, will represent him.
A specialist in the smaller classes, Williams encountered Dunlop at all of the International road races, immediately finding him a formidable opponent. Although Williams retired in 1984, the 250cc TT race of that year saw him, and Graeme McGregor, battle all the way until the end, the Australian winning from Charlie as Joey retired on the final lap. Williams will ride his own TZ350 Yamaha.
The third member of the rival ‘Dromara Destroyers’ clan, Reid was one of Dunlop’s longest rivals, primarily in the 250cc division, right up until 1994 when he was forced to retire due to injury. The pair had countless battles in both the National and International road races, the 1985 and 1988 250cc races at the TT being particularly memorable and Reid pushed Dunlop as hard as anyone did in his career. He defeated his fellow countryman on many occasions and lines up on a replica of his 1992 250cc Loctite Yamaha, owned by John McGuinness.