Nine-time Isle of Man TT winner Charlie Williams will make a sensational return to the Mountain Course next year to compete in the Classic TT.

Williams, one of the greatest TT competitors ever, will ride in the Bennetts 500cc race as part of a three man team including Bill Swallow and John Leigh Pemberton, each riding 500cc Manx Nortons for Works Racing Motorcycles.

The machines will be prepared by Patrick Walker and Miles Robinson, both Manx Norton enthusiasts who have been involved at the top level in classic bike racing for many years, providing bikes for riders such as Wayne Gardner, Glen English, Swallow and Chris Palmer.

Williams, who last competed at the TT 30 years ago, came to the fore at the Manx Grand Prix, winning the 1971 Lightweight event.

The Cheshire rider went on to enjoy a phenomenal TT career, particularly in the 250cc and 350cc classes, in the 1970s and 80s taking no less than nine wins and 21 podiums.

His last TT race came in 1984, when he finished second to Graeme McGregor in the Junior 250cc event and fifth in the 250cc Production Race, but Williams has continued to ride regularly in Mountain Course parade laps and UK circuits as well as contesting races in the UK including the Lansdowne Classic Championship, Goodwood Revival and the Triumph Past Masters.

Williams said: "I really wanted to be involved in the Classic TT, but didn't envisage ever racing in it. I've been riding for Works Racing Motorcycles in the Lansdowne Series for Patrick Walker and Miles Robinson and they really wanted me to do it and have worn me down eventually.

"Now that I have committed to do it though, I am really excited about the chance to race on the Mountain Course again, without any of the pressure I had during my career. I know the bike and the team well and both are second to none."

Huddersfield rider Swallow also has a formidable record on the Mountain Course and recorded the fastest ever lap by a single cylinder machine, an impressive 108.03mph, which he set in the 1999 Singles TT when he finished in second place.

His record in the Classic races at the Manx Grand Prix is second to none, with Swallow winning nine races between 1986 and 2003 - the fourth highest number of wins ever achieved in the meeting - and finishing on the rostrum 19 times.

He last competed on the island in 2011, when he finished fourth in the Classic 350cc Manx GP.

The third team member, Pemberton, is also an experienced campaigner having contested the Manx Grand Prix between 1996 and 2000. He returned in 2012 and finished 12th in the Supertwins race and also rode at the TT in 2003 and 2004, winning two bronze replicas.

Works Racing Motorcycles will also team up with Stuart Garner and the Norton Factory for the Classic TT to build an eye catching Norton display in the paddock, featuring Norton machines from past to present.

Robinson, of Works Racing Motorcycles, added: "We attended the first Classic TT earlier this year and were very impressed by what we saw. We decided immediately that we wanted to be a part of the event going forward and we are delighted with the three riders we have confirmed to ride our bikes.

"We are equally pleased to be working with Stuart Garner and the Norton Factory to ensure that our presence in the paddock is as professional and high profile as it is on the track."

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