Sheene hall of fame
Barry finally honoured by British establishment
BETTER LATE than never. It seems odd, but Britain’s most famous motorcycle World Champion has only just been voted into Britain’s only semi-official Hall Of Fame. One new name a year is inducted into the Motor Sport (a magazine) Hall Of Fame by public vote and this year Barry Sheene finally made it.
He joins John Surtees, Giacomo Agostini, Valentino Rossi and John Mcguiness. And yet Joey Dunlop, Mike Hailwood, Geoff Duke and Wayne Rainey have yet to be voted in.
It would seem the Motor Sport Hall Of Fame has, by default, become Britain’s de facto repository for the famous (and mostly deserving). The US has the AMA (American Motorcylist Association) Hall Of Fame, Motogp has its Legends list, and yet our own governing body, the ACU (Auto Cycle Union) has nothing. Nor does the FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme).
Freddie Spencer presented the award to Sheene’s sister Maggie Smart and his former chief mechanic Martyn Ogborne. Freddie said, “In 1980, I was 18 and had never raced outside the US. I came over for a match race and won, beating Barry – but he was the first person to come up afterwards and say ‘Good job’. Then in 1982 I was signing autographs with him and we’d been there about an hour. I began to stir and he said, ‘Where are you going? We’ll stay until the last person has their signature’. That was the Barry I knew.”
Ogborne added, “World Champions are different from normal people.”