Lifelong TT racing fan celebrates 75 years of coming to the Isle of Man

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Ian Anthony Huntly first visited the Isle of Man as a seven-year-old boy in 1947, when the Senior race winner lapped the course at a fastest average speed of 84.07mph.

Flash forward 75 years and the current TT lap record held by Peter Hickman stands at an average of 135.452mph, with Ian coming back to the island every single year – only missing the years travel was prohibited by the Covid-19 pandemic and when the TT was hit by foot and mouth disease.

“I came over with my parents and my auntie, uncle, and cousin and I hated it to start with!” the TT veteran told MCN. “I’d been in hospital for nine months with a very serious chest condition and the doctor recommended sea air to help it.

“My dad had been going to the TT since 1927 and said: ‘Do you think the Isle of Man would be any good?’” He continued. “By the end, I was up with my dad watching early morning practice and going round with him and I’ve been involved ever since.”

Ian has met plenty of characters and racing icons during his travels, including six-time winner Geoff Duke, whom he came to know as a friend.

“In 1950 I was staying with the Brett family, who were the mother and father of racers Jack and Charlie Brett,” Ian continued. “One night, they brought this guy home, and it was Geoff Duke.

“When I got home there was a parcel waiting for me and it was all his back numbers from the racing. I’ve just donated them now to the Manx Museum. He was a character.

“There’s just so much to see. I’ve been coming all these years and I’ve not seen all parts of the course yet. There’s no place like it.”

Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

News Editor, sportsbike nut, and racing fan.