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British motorcycle racer
Died when: 48 years 128 days (580 months)
Star Sign: Pisces
William Joseph Dunlop (25 February 1952 – 2 July 2000) was a Northern Irish motorcyclist from Ballymoney. He married on 22 September 1972 at Ballymoney register office. He won his third hat trick at the Isle Of Man TT in 2000 and set his fastest lap on the course of 123.87 mph in the Senior race, which he finished third. The bend at 26th milestone on the Isle Of Man was named in his honour. In 2016 he was voted through Motorcycle News as the fifth greatest motorcycling icon ever, behind Valentino Rossi. His achievements include three hat-tricks at the Isle of Man TT meeting (1985, 1988 and 2000), where he won a record 26 races in total. Dunlop's name is amongst the most revered by fans of motorcycle racing. This iconic stature, coupled to Dunlop's somewhat shy and unassuming persona, has led to him being seen as a true working class hero. Such attributes deeply endeared him to fans of motorcycling across the world. During his career he won the Ulster Grand Prix 24 times. In 1986, he won a fifth consecutive TT Formula One world title; initially based on one race at the Isle of Man TT after the loss of World Championship status from 1977-onwards and organised by the Auto-Cycle Union, the title was eventually expanded to take in more rounds in other countries. He was awarded the MBE in 1986 for his services to the sport, and in 1996 he was awarded the OBE for his humanitarian work for children in Romanian orphanages, to which he had delivered clothing and food.Dunlop has featured in documentary films regarding his career: V Four Victory (1983), Joey – The Man Who Conquered the TT (2013) and Road (2014).