John McGuinness awarded MBE

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John McGuinness has been awarded an MBE for his services to motorcycle racing after being included in the 2021 New Year Honours List.

McGuinness is the greatest living Isle of Man TT racer with 23 wins to his credit in a career that has spanned three decades. His first TT win came in the Lightweight class in 1999, in 2007 he became the first man to lap the TT course at over 130mph and he continued his winning ways and domination with his most recent Senior TT win in 2015.

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Speaking to MCN, the 48-year-old said: "What an honour! I never thought I’d ever be considered for one and to see the people that have got them – Hailwood, Read, Foggy etc. People get them for different reasons, but you don’t get them in a Christmas cracker do you? You’ve got to earn it.

"We’re a niche sport and to follow in the footsteps of my hero Joey Dunlop who had one is special. When I started racing, I could never have dreamed I’d achieve so much. 

"The news hasn’t really sunk in and it’s actually difficult to talk about how I’m feeling because it’s something I don’t really know about. If you were asking me what it’s like to be flat out in fourth on a superbike around the Verandah I’d have plenty to say!"

McGuinness' inclusion on the New Year Honours List will be confirmed on 2 January, but the date for the investiture is yet to be announced due to the current Covid-19 restrictions.

He joins a distinguished list of motorcycle racing royalty who were awarded an MBE during their career. These include: John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Phil Read, Barry Sheene, Joey Dunlop, David Knight, Maria Costello, Dougie Lampkin and Jonathan Rea.

For the full story, see MCN out Wednesday 6 January.

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Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider