Sad passing of scrambles ace Tommy Leonard

Tuesday 17th May 2022 6:00 am
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Tommy Leonard at full chat in a Grand National Scramble at Douglas Head during TT Week in the late 1960s, proudly bearing the No1 plate as Isle of Man champion (Photo: Geoff Cannell collection)

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There was never a dull moment when Tommy Leonard was around.

He was entertaining, cheerful and a local star in his pomp on a scrambles bike.

Tommy won the Isle of Man ACU Centre motocross title four times in five years (1967, 1968, 1969 and 1971), finishing runner-up to arch-rival Roger Kelly in 1972.

He made a comeback in his 40s during the 1980s on a 490 Yamaha that was a whole lot different to the AJS’s and Greeves he had grown up with, but enjoyed the craic just the same.

He also had a couple of stabs at the Scottish Six Days Trial about 16 years apart, and rode a Montesa in the 1975 International Six Days Trial on home soil, but ended up in hospital after a couple of spills, one of them on the road at Strang.

At one time a driving instructor, he worked alongside Ffinlo Crellin and Neil Kelly at the latter man’s motorcycle shop on Buck’s Road, Douglas in the 1970s. After that he set up on his own in Fort Street, then in Castle Mona Avenue where he had a Honda dealership for about 20 years.

Tommy died peacefully last Friday at Springfield Grange Nursing Home after a long illness. A funeral service will be held at Douglas Borough Crematorium next Wednesday, May 18 at 1.15pm.

Donations in lieu of flowers to Central Laa Meanagh day centre, Dementia care and support services, Farm Hill.

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