We have picked a winner in our 2002 Unsung Heroes competition. The prize was awarded on the grounds that the bloke in the story is exactly the person who deserves a little recognition and a big thank you.
We picked Sally Davison’s nominee, her husband, as the most deserving Unsung Hero at the time. Congratulations to both of them, they won a Knox back protector and a Knox Cold Killer balaclava each.
Sally, from Worcester, wrote: " I would like to nominate my husband. He has been doing charity work on his motorbikes for eight years and has raised in excess of £64,000 with the help of his mates for local charities including the local children's hospice.
"Nothing to that you might say but he has raised a lot for our terminally ill 9 year old son particularly to build a downstairs bathroom and bedroom so we can care for him at home. He is a martyr! "
If you’ve got someone who deserves some thanks, and some top Knox safety kit, click on the link on the right for details on how you can nominate them for next week’s Unsung Hero award.
Thanks to everyone who entered and everyone who was nominated. Here’s the nominations we received on Friday, click on the links on the right to read more.
From Bob Leslie:
How about the guy who runs BikeKraft for Northamptonshire police, Pc Jack Douglas.
I have just completed my two hours free session with Jack. He gives up loads of his free time, he’s a brilliant communicator (also gives up his time to train and test with IAM), gives great feedback and all-in-all he does a superb job.
Although Jack is a Pc he was definitely not politically correct. He lives in the real biking world and knows that we do too. Clearly, his aim is to get you around the course safe but more importantly to learn and get something from the session.
I will certainly be recommending that my daughter and wife attend his course as I believe it will definitely save them a spill.
It is really so good to see a copper who knocks the stereotype and is obviously a real human being. Definitely NOT a case of " I’m all right Jack " more a case of " Well done, Jack " .
From Matt Young-Lumsden:
I’d like to nominate my brother Daniel. He helped me buy my first scooter (cheap) and do it up. And then do it up again after I’d smashed it up a week later. He even drove 400 miles to get me the replacement plastics.
And again six months later when I got hit by a car. He’s even helped sort out my Mini for me, turning it into an ordinary motor into something special. Thanks Daniel.
I would like to nominate myself (Jon) ,Rob,Mark,Pat and Si. We stripped down a smashed Thunderace and re-built it on a new frame in 2 1/2 days! We are all pretty new to big bikes, so this was quite a task, but we finished it with only a few nuts’n bolts left over!
Keith Davis gets my nomination. On the way to the British Superbike round at Oulton Park I broke an indicator. After the race I returned to my bike to find it wouldn’t start. Keith played around for an hour trying to fix the indicator.
We found it must have blown the Datatool alarm fuse, (where the hell am I gonna get a 10amp blade fuse from) Keith walked to his bike lifted the rear seat and pulled out a spare fuse for me (what a star).
From Sally Davison in Worcester:
Nothing to that you might say but he has raised a lot for our terminally ill nine-year-old son particularly to build a downstairs bathroom and bedroom so we can care for him at home. He is a martyr!
From Barry Williamson:
Mines an unusual nomination!
I would nominate the entire staff at the NEC for their courteous, efficient and friendly manner, notwithstanding that the Motorcycle Show is their biggest event of the year.
Both this year and last I have attended the show with my 12-year-old son, and on both occasions my offer to pay a youth concession was declined with the kind suggestion that he may well be over 11, but he need not be today!
Queuing up to enter on the first Sunday, NEC personnel distributed show programmes to give us something to read & plan our day whilst we waited, and the guy on the turnstile made some sound recommendations on where to head for first, & when was the best time to catch the freestyle event.
It can't be easy working at a weekend whilst all attending around you are having fun, & I guess for many its a second job to help bring in some extra cash.
If my nomination is accepted you may with to send the gear to the HR Manager at the NEC, who could raffle it amongst any of their staff, or spouses of staff that ride bikes.
From Alistair Blackley:
I’d like to thank Andy Simmons. I’d been faffing around, talking about getting a bike for a while and he kept encouraging me to do it. Once the test was passed and the bike was bought, Andy took me on many a ride out (with his 888 - git!) and gave me a lot of valuable tips about town riding (he’s an ex courier), how to ride at speed, and other general riding now-how
After one off on the way back from Brands, his visits to my hospital bed were the highlight - loads of bike mags! Once I was out of hospital, despite his back problems, he helped me rebuild what was left of my bike at weekends.
These days, it’s regular track days and I still appreciate what he did for me. One day, I might even pass him!
From Catherine Taylor:
Im not sure if this is the type of unsung hero you are wanting, but here goes anyway.
My best friend, Barry Swallow is an avid biker. He is my best friend, and my carer, as I am disabled with a condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. He helps me with shopping trips, hospital appointments etc.
Not a mean feat when I tell you he lives 100 miles away! He nips up here on his bike, loving every minute of the trip and then gets down to helping me in the best way possible.
He also helps me run the national support group for this condition (address below), he’s helped organise our national conference, what doesn’t he do? He doesn't moan or complain if I say " Barry, please could you...? " he is there as soon as possible.
Anyway, because my friend Barry is so dedicated to helping me, and fellow sufferers, I asked him what he wanted for his birthday this year. He knows how tight money is for me, so he suggested a good thick pair of riding socks. Well, I should've known!
We went to the dealers in Huddersfield, and as soon as he walked in he spotted this Honda Firestorm. He drooled over this bike, long after we’d be told they had no socks -eventually I had to say to him: " Come on – let’s try somewhere else " .
He was driving my car at the time, having left his bike at my house. We drove in to town, he was still mentally drooling over this bike - I said to him that if he really needed it (needed, not wanted) then it would be worth getting. Well, yes, he NEEDED it... and promptly did a U-turn in the road and went back to the shop.
Two hours later he arrived back at my house, gorgeous bike, but still no socks!
He really is an unsung hero, he works full time as a prison officer, has a family to look after and yet he still looks after me as best as he can.
I really would love it if he got either an award, or some sort of mention.
From Stuart Mason:
I'd like to nominate my pal Graeme Wilson. He’s an archaeologist by profession and rides a prehistoric Norton Commando 850. Rebuilt at least twice by himself he can ride it like it’s a ZXR.
Many a time I've come round a bend on a sportsbike and seen him hanging onto me on his heap, weaving on skinny square tyres, tatty wax cotton jacket billowing in the wind, jeans oiled from the breakdown 10 corners previous (and I'm not saying I'm slow myself).Sometimes I've followed him and been even more horrified at the weaving, scraping and well, skill of the man.
One day we swapped bikes. He buggered off riding my ZX-7R like he had been riding it for years. I was shocked at the 850. How he gets it to do what it does without scaring him sh*tless I do not know.
This man deserves to be on a decent bike (and probably on a racing track too, oh and some decent gear too) but with other commitments he's always had to make do.
He confesses to lusting after Blades and the likes. Sometimes whole summers have been without his bike while he lovingly rebuilds it. At the moment it's mothballed and has been for months. It's not right that his talent should be being wasted as it is.
I'd like to nominate Graeme purely and simply because he has far more ability than me and my friends put together, but has been stuck for years on something he could have dug up. That and the fact he’s one of the nicest and most modest blokes you'll ever come across.
I nominate Nick Hansen of Northallerton. On September 20th, I had an accident which left me with broken & crushed bones from my ankle to my neck - all on my right side.
I’m self employed as a cobbler but also repair leather garments like zipping-that’s how I met him. He works at my shop several hours a week on his days off from RAF Leeming.
All he gets for this is food and drink-thank God he's given up the booze! He came into hospital one time and fed me my meal, missing my mouth on occasions-he’s only got eye good eye. When I visit hospital he’s always there.
The rest of my mates are fixing my bike over winter, I intend to sell it for beer money for them, but that needs to be kept quiet! I will repay Nick’s kindness but it maybe sometime.