Sport

Tributes pour in for motorcycling's Doctor John

Doctor John Hinds, who tragically lost his life during the Skerries 100 road races
Willis Marshall

TRIBUTES have been pouring in following the death of Dr John Hinds, who was tragically killed while on duty during the Skerries road race near Dublin at the weekend.

The 35-year-old Dr Hinds suffered serious injuries when his bike crashed into a wall when following the practice laps for the Supertwins class on Friday afternoon.

Such where the extent of his injuries he unfortunately passed away on Saturday morning at the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

Dr Hinds, who worked as an anaesthetist at Craigavon General Hospital, and was from Tandragee in county Armagh, leaves behind his partner, Janet.

Close friend of Dr Hinds, Ian Forsythe (president of the North Armagh Motor Club) said: ``It's terribly sad. His expertise saved an awful lot of lives of riders. He was a very quite man who had a great way of dealing with people in putting them at ease at the scene of an accident. Its a huge loss to the sport and the medical profession.

Former racer Phillip McCallen also paid his own tribute to Dr Hinds.

"I cant believe it. I have watched him save lives and it is that instant response that saves lives. Its a massive loss," said McCallen.

Top road racer Guy Martin also paid his own tribute to `Doctor John'.

``To hear the news about Doctor John has shocked me - its rocked me,'' he said.

``He had travelled to Germany with me a few times and as well as being a genius in his own profession, he was also some boy on a bike. He was no slouch and just like me he loved his dog. ``He is going to be a massive loss."

Just last weekend Dr Hinds was praised for saving the life of Portstewart road race Ian Morrell, who was seriously injured during the Kells Road Races in county Meath.

Morrell who had stopped breathing at track side after hitting a wall was kept alive by Dr Hinds before Morrell was rushed to hospital.

Morrell's wife, Michelle, paid her tribute to Dr Hinds insisting that her kids have a father because of his intervention.

"Our children have their daddy because of him, and it's hurting me even more now as I never got the chance to properly thank him. He spent 45 minutes with Ian before he could be airlifted to hospital, so if it was not for him Ian would have been dead,'' she said.

``I could never imagine life without Ian so I will never be able to express how grateful I am to Dr John. He was an amazing man."

Dr John Hinds shared his love for road racing after joining the MCUI medical team along with his mentor, Dr Fred McSorley.

Speaking earlier in the year about his role as a race doctor, Dr Hinds said: "If you are a fan of road racing then there is no better seat in the house as mine. You are giving something back into the sport. It is a privilege to be involved in the way I am."

He had recently been instrumental in launching a bid to have an air ambulance and was fighting to have this essential medical aid passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly. TUV MLA Jim Allister called for the air ambulance service to be introduced now in memory of Dr Hinds.

Last night over 25,000 signatures had been posted on a petition which was set up after Dr Hinds's death in support of an air ambulance.

All our thoughts and prayers are with his partner Janet, and all the family circle, who will miss this guardian angel of Irish road racing.

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