Sad Times


Many of you will have heard me say it be­fore; one of the great things about this job is all the in­ter­est­ing and tal­ented peo­ple you get to meet. Sadly, in the last few weeks three of th­ese peo­ple, whose com­pany I have re­ally en­joyed at var­i­ous times, have been taken from us. Else­where on th­ese pages we have all too brief ap­pre­ci­a­tions of Ge­orge Costain, a gen­tle­man in ev­ery re­spect of the word, who raced with, and beat, the best on his own Manx turf; Nobby Clark, one of the few race tech­ni­cians to de­serve the same star sta­tus as the le­gends he worked for, and Dave John­son, the like­able lad who span­nered for the best rid­ers of his gen­er­a­tion to suc­cess. Our reg­u­lar vis­its to the Isle of Man won’t be the same again with­out bump­ing into Ge­orge ei­ther in the Crosby Ho­tel or the Shore. What a great mem­ory he had and al­ways with a smile on his face. Ge­orge and the guys that raced in the same era had, in my opin­ion, the most fun. I only re­ally met Nobby lat­terly, when he was a reg­u­lar on the clas­sic scene, es­pe­cially at the AHRMA Day­tona races, but I felt I knew him by rep­u­ta­tion. What a mod­est, unas­sum­ing bloke. I’m proud to have known him and I guess my only re­gret is I didn’t get to spend more time with him. Dave was a man al­most out of his time, a gen­uine ‘let’s make it work’ me­chanic, some­thing he was still do­ing un­til his un­timely demise. He worked with some real stars, the likes of Tom Her­ron at the GPS, and any­one whom he met dur­ing those days re­mem­bers his work ethic but also his sense of hu­mour, some­thing he needed when work­ing for Steve Par­rish. Steve pays a per­sonal trib­ute else­where on th­ese pages. It’s safe to say I won’t be the only one miss­ing the com­pany of th­ese three, very dif­fer­ent, but equally great peo­ple this com­ing year.

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