Former stars celebrate MGP’s 90th anniversary

A host of former MGP stars attended the reception evening at the Cresent Hotel, Douglas to celebrate the event's 90th anniversary - Photo: John Watterson

A host of former MGP stars attended the reception evening at the Cresent Hotel, Douglas to celebrate the event's 90th anniversary - Photo: John Watterson

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More than 70 former winners of the Manx Grand Prix packed into the Crescent Hotel on Queen’s Promenade last Thursday evening for a reception to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the event.

Riders as far back as Ballakillowey’s George ‘Sparrow’ Costain (centre, front row), who won the Senior in 1954, were joined by the likes of Griff Jenkins (second from right, front) who won the Senior in 1963 and Roger Sutcliffe (second from left, seated) 1970 Senior winner.

Also pictured, Nigel Rollason (directly behind Sparrow Costain) 1971 Senior winner, Steve Moynihan (to the right of Rollason) 1971 Junior winner and Jimmie Guthrie Jr (to the right of Moynihan) the 1967 Senior winner.

On the front row are (far left) Wayne Dinham the 1975 Lightweight winner, Carolynn Sells 2009 Ultra-Lightweight winner, Phil Armes (between Costain and Jenkins) who won the 1984 Newcomers 250 race but broke his back at the Ulster Grand Prix in 1995, and Norman Kneen who followed his twin brother Mike (also pictured somewhere in the melee at the back) as a Manx Grand Prix winner in 2003 and 2004 - Mike having won the Junior in 1980.

Behind Wayne Dinham are former RAF MSA team members Dave Arnold and Paddy Reid, winners of the Lightweight and Senior respectively in 1973, and Les Trotter (blue shirt) who pipped Manxman Danny Shimmin to victory in the 1976 Senior.

Richard Fitzsimmons, Mark Baldwin and Alan ‘Bud’ Jackson are between Trotter and Nigel Rollason.

To the right of Jimmie Simpson Jr are Rob Brew, Gary Radcliffe, Paul Orritt, Nigel Beattie, Gavin Bell and Jim Hunter.

Way back in the scrum are Frank Whiteway and Ernie Washer (both wearing ties) and Joe Dunphy (hidden). Also in attendance were Selwyn Griffiths, Nick Jefferies, Ralph Sutcliffe, Dave East, Neil Tuxworth, Dave Hughes and many more stars of the past and present.

Turn to page 59 for more on 1958 Senior winner Ernie Washer and his lap of the course at the age of 82 on the Manx Norton he raced to victory 55 years ago last week.

Also see page seven of this edition.

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