With the annual trip to the Isle of Man for the TT over and done with for another year, those involved have found the time to look back on what was a mix of tragedy and triumph, and to remember fallen comrades claimed by the Island.

Any loss of life is regrettable, but when it is one of the bigger names, the seemingly invincible riders, the impact appears to be felt harder than ever. This is one touching elegy from the 2003 trip.

"Thursday 29 May saw the tragic loss of one of the current eras most famous motorcycle racers.

David Jefferies - DJ, Big Dave - was involved in a tragic accident at the TT practice, his injuries were fatal and he died at the scene. Big DJ was an inspiration to the whole motorcycling industry - not only was he superbly fast on a bike, but he was also one of the most likeable and loveable blokes in the paddock.

The 30-year old burly Yorkshireman came from a famous motorcycling family - the National Allan Jefferies Trial is named after his grandfather and both his father and his uncle were famous in their own right and, as a former trials and motocross rider, there were not many motorcycle sports that DJ had not tried to master.

Starting his career, as most riders do, on a Yamaha TY80 at the age of seven, trials weren't really DJ's style - too slow for Dave! But combine him with speed, and you had the perfect combination. Determined to win everything he did, and being successful on the majority of occasions, Dave will be missed by everyone. Turning to Moto-X at the age of 14, he was super quick, and it wasn't long before Dave needed more power.

In 1990, he hit the road-racing scene in a big way - and David Jefferies wrote his name in the history books. A nine-times TT winner, fastest man around the Isle of Man course, winner of the North West 200, Ulster GP, plus the British Superstock title, DJ was simply a legend.

More recently, he competed in the British Winter Supermoto series. Again, it was DJ who put the pressure on, making an impact on the field as only DJ knew how. Stamping his authority, DJ made sure his fellow competitors knew he was there at every given opportunity.

He died in the sport he loved, and at a place where he was so famous. The TT has taken many lives, but this is one that will have a massive impact on so many people. The TT was DJ, DJ was the TT, and it will never be the same without him.

Every person that knew you, DJ, will have their own stories and memories of you, and that is something that can never be taken away. There was never a dull moment with you - you were an original!

The impact he made in motorcycling could not have been shown more than it was last Sunday. Graham Jarvis won the Japanese World Trials round, James Toseland won the Oschersleben World Superbike round and Warren Steele won the National Supermoto Championship in the Isle of Man - all three riders dedicated their wins to the Big Man.

A true friend, character and a simply astounding man, DJ has gone but will never ever be forgotten by anyone who knew him or who met him.

Dave, you were my brother and best mate rolled into one - you are irreplaceable, I will always miss you.

Our thoughts and love are with your family - Tony, Pauline and Louise - to whom you were so close, plus your thousands of friends and fans at this sad time.

Gone, but never ever forgotten.

Rest in peace, Big Man.

Love always,

Carly [Rathmell]."



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