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BBC NI's Jeremy Mitchell reports
"Friends and fans paid a silent tribute"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 5 July, 2000, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Sad return of sporting hero
Joey Dunlop
Joey Dunlop pictured at the Isle of Man TT race
The body of motorcycling legend Joey Dunlop, who was killed in a road race in eastern Europe, has been brought back to his home in Ballymoney, County Antrim.

But the journey from Dublin Airport where the remains were flown on Tuesday, had to be diverted because of disturbances in County Armagh.

The five-times Formula One champion and one of the province's greatest sporting heroes, died in a crash in Estonia on Sunday.

Joey Dunlop's funeral is taking place on Friday at Garryduff Presbyterian Church, near his home town of Ballymoney, County Antrim, and a short distance away from the family home.

The 48-year-old - who won a record 26 times at the Isle of Man TT - was crowned "king of the road" for his skills at road racing.

People from all over the world have been paying tribute to the biking legend and, in the province, books of condolence have been opened in a number of towns.

The bar owned by Joey Dunlop in Ballymoney has been turned into a shrine as local people mourned the town's most famous son.


Joey Dunlop
Joey Dunlop: Death shocked the world
Wreaths and flowers were left at the bar, as people stopped to salute the memory of Joey Dunlop.

The fatal crash happened on Sunday afternoon in Tallinn, the capital of the Baltic state.

A spokesman for the event said the rider had gone off the road on a corner and crashed into a tree, dying instantly.

Carl Fogarty, a four-times world superbike champion and personal friend of Joey Dunlop, paid tribute to the man he described as his "childhood hero".

Joey Dunlop is survived by his wife Linda and five children, Julie, Donna, Gary, Richard and Joanne.

His family have said that his funeral will be open to his friends and fans to attend.

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Joey Dunlop
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See also:

03 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
NI mourns sporting hero
02 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Death of road racing hero
02 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Tributes to 'king of the road'
03 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
'King' Dunlop's road to fame
15 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
Road racer honoured
03 Jun 00 | Northern Ireland
Dunlop wins TT race
Links to more Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.


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