A former Isle of Man TT racer who suffered catastrophic injuries while marshalling for the event in 2007 says she feels devastated after being sidelined by TT organisers.
Hilary Musson, 67, said she had been delighted to work on rider retirements at the grandstand during the races because it kept her in touch with the sport that has been a large part of her life.
Dependent on crutches after losing her left leg when she was hit by debris in the 26th milestone crash, she was delighted to take on a role she could still do.
But last year she was dropped by the TT organisers and she says she has still had no proper explanation.
‘I just feel I have been very shoddily treated. I still don’t really know why or whose decsion it was.
‘I competed for so many years and was never injured. But in 2007 I was injured so badly that I nearly died and then I had to wait four years to get any compensation,’ she said.
She feels she was able to offer a competitor’s insight on retirements: ‘I know every inch of the course so I know exactly where people are likely to have pulled over when they break down. Not everyone has that depth of knowledge.
‘It’s something that still allows me to put something back in and play a useful role. It was great there was something I could still do. Then I bought the programme last year and found my name missed off. They promised to look into it for me – and now I’m missed off again this year.’
Mrs Musson said the only explanation suggested to her were some concerns about potential breaches of confidentiality - especially important if a rider has dropped out of the race after an accident.
‘The information going through that office is confidential and we know that: you simply don’t pass things on. It’s true that my husband John does come into the office but he understands that too. I have to use crutches and I’ve had two minor strokes, so he’s anxious to ensure I’m all right.
‘If the problem is with John being there, I don’t understand why it can’t be sorted out by a tactful word with him or me.’
Despite this, she has continued to do the same job for the Manx Grand Prix. She said this had always happened without a hitch and she looks forward to continuing with it.
TT clerk of the course Gary Thompson said: ‘On behalf of ACU events I apologise if she feels that she hasn’t been properly informed why she isn’t working in the retirements office this year, although I thought this had been explained prior to TT 2013. Race retirements is a very sensitive area where total discretion is required and I will look to personally and privately explain to Hilary, when I arrive on the Isle of Man this week, why we are unable to appoint her to this position for this year’s TT races.’