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Dr Fred MacSorley MBE’s Contribution To Road Racing To Be Honoured Tomorrow At Dundrod

Dr Fred MacSorley MBE’s significant contribution to pure road racing, will be honoured tomorrow at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix, via a unique parade lap.

Known to many as one of the ‘Flying Doctors’, tomorrow’s competition at Dundrod, will mark his last meeting, after 30 years as a road race response paramedic.

Photo by Stephen Davison

Speaking about his upcoming retirement, Dr Fred stated:

“I have mixed emotions about retiring. It has been a massive part of my life and I will miss it hugely. It has been such a huge privilege to be part of the motorcycling community, and an absolute honour to have looked after, in my opinion, some of the greatest sports people in the world.

The last 30 years have been wonderful, I’ve seen the goodness of human nature; how people deal with both success and tragedy with dignity and the unbelievable support that this community offers to its members.

And of course on our part it has been a team effort from the vans, the paramedics, the doctors, Jan Simm and her team, the chaplains; we can’t function without the full line up.

The camaraderie with the team, the marshals, the officials and the competitors, everyone really. It’s been a pleasure to work with them all.

I’ll also miss the privilege of riding on one of the finest road circuits in the world without worrying about oncoming traffic!

But on Saturday, if we have a safe day without any serious injuries, it’s a success in my book.”

Going onto to pay tribute to fellow medic, the legendary Dr John Hinds, Fred said:

“I can’t talk about the team without paying tribute to Dr John Hinds. He joined us as a student and his brilliance was immediately obvious. We asked him to come back when he qualified and he was one of the most extraordinary talented, generous and hard working doctors I have had the privilege of working with.

His legacy will live on for many years to come and I hope he’s proud of the way the team continued in the aftermath of his untimely death.”

Speaking about training up three paramedics including son Allister, to carry on the legacy of his and Dr Hinds work, he said:

“I had planned to retire earlier but it was important to take the time to teach the three lads to take over and I’d like to thank the race organisers for being so patient with the transition.

I am very confident that the team is in good shape and I know it’s the right time for me to go.”

He went onto add:

“My wife Alex recently retired from her role as clinical geneticist and the parade lap is a wonderful chance for me to take her for a spin and give her an inclination of what her husband has been up to all these years!

My son Allister will obviously take part in the lap with the medical team, my other two sons David and Peter are also both doctors and David will be there to watch, although Peter is currently on a cycling tour in Canada so he’ll miss it.

I can’t pay enough tribute to my wife and family for their unselfish support over the years. It wouldn’t have been possible to achieve a tenth of what I have without them.”

Words by Stevie Rial