Reputed road racing stars have led the tributes to up and coming rider Wayne Hamilton after he was killed in an accident on the Manx Grand Prix.
Hamilton died after a crash during the Manx GP Junior race, just two days after the 20-year-old was crowned the winner in the 'Newcomers' event. Furthermore, Hamilton, who was only in his second year of road racing, had also enjoyed wins at The Bush, Armoy, Skerries, Mid-Antrim, Dundrod and Southern 100.
A tragic loss for the road racing community, Hamilton's death has sparked a flood of tributes from rivals and friends:
Phillip McAllen: The biking community is big but everyone supports each other and we will support the Hamilton family. We know accidents can happen and worse still, fatalities can happen, though you always believe it won't happen to you or it can't happen. But everyone involved will help and support when something goes wrong. Really, we're just a big family.
Ryan Farquhar: Wayne only lived a couple of miles away from me. It's very, very sad. I had a good race with him at the Ulster Grand Prix and after the race I said he could go all the way, right to the top.
Andrew Brady, who won the race in which Wayne was killed, said: I've known Wayne since he started racing and he was a brilliant talent on a motorcycle. He would have been one of the top names in years to come if he'd had his chance. I was talking to him on the way over here on the boat and he was in good form, laughing and joking. He was very happy.
Barry Davidson: Wayne had such a bright future when you think about all that he had achieved so far. He was a lovely fellow, just a youngster really. I can't take in what has happened.
John Burrows: Wayne's death is a devastating loss to his family and a terrible blow to the sport. I raced against him as recently as the Ulster Grand Prix and could not stay with him. I had high hopes for him as he was the brightest prospect I could see emerging on the road-racing scene.
Racing photographer Stephen Davison, who took the final pictures of Wayne, perhaps summed it up best saying: “Forget racing and think of his family. No matter how he looked on a bike, he was just a 'wean' really.
By Graham Edwards