Seven-time Isle of Man TT winner Tony Rutter has died at the age of 78.

Rutter passed away after a period of ill health and was surrounded by his family when he died, his son Michael confirmed.

The English rider enjoyed a prestigious career competing at international Grand Prix motorcycle level between 1969 and 1976, while also starring in the British road racing championship by winning the 350cc title in 1971 and the 250cc crown in 1973, both on Yamahas.

Rutter was a leading figure at the iconic road races by completing the first 110mph lap of the North West 200, going on to claim victory at the event nine times leading to him being inducted into the NW200 Hall of Fame.

Rutter competed on the roads up until 1991, as his son began to make headlines in the junior categories, as he collected seven TT wins between 1973 and 1985 along with four Formula Two world titles in 1981 and 1984.

He also faced a major challenge during his career when he was involved in a serious crash at Monjuich Park in Spain in 1985 in which he suffered life-threatening injuries. Despite recovering, he never fully scaled the same heights in terms of success but did continue to compete at the TT between 1987 to 1991.

Michael Rutter confirmed Tony’s passing today: “It’s with sadness that after a period of poor health, dad passed away earlier today. I was with him when he died and he was peaceful.

“It makes me smile how dad lived his life exactly how he wanted to and how he got away with so much.

“He’ll be remembered for winning the World TT-F2 Championship 4 times, 7 TT wins, 9 NW200 wins and 2 British Championships in his 22 year career.

“I’d like to say thank you to his carers for taking such good care of him and all his fans and supporters.”