Double memorials to late Superbike champion
TWO identical, life-size, bronze statues of Steve Hislop, the late Superbike champion, will be erected in his native Borders and on the Isle of Man after a memorial fund for the rider raised £45,000 in only six months.
Hawick-born Mr Hislop was killed in July 2003 when the helicopter he was piloting crashed into a remote hillside in the Teviot valley.
The 41-year-old, known affectionately as "Hizzy", was regarded as one of the most talented motor cycle riders of all time, having won 11 Isle of Man TT titles, and claimed the British Superbike championship on two occasions.
Contributions for the Steve Hislop Memorial Fund, set up by friends and fellow bike racers last August, have poured in from all over the world.
A series of major fundraising events, including one to be held in Hawick next month, have helped to swell the total, which is expected to top 50,000 by the time it closes later this year.
According to Jim Davidson, a Manx businessman and longtime friend of Mr Hislop, enough money has already been collected to commission the two statues from a sculptor whose identity will be revealed in the near future.
"There has been a magnificent reaction since the fund was launched at a really special night on the island a few weeks after Steve’s tragic death," said Mr Davidson, who delivered an emotional and humorous address at Mr Hislop’s funeral in Hawick. He said that Hizzy never appreciated just how idolised he was by countless thousands of fans.
The Hawick memorial will be sited in Wilton Lodge Park, close to a statue of Jimmy Guthrie, another motorcycle racing champion from the town who perished after a crash in the 1937 German Grand Prix.
Mr Davidson said the second bronze would be situated on a clifftop at Onchan, the Manx village where Mr Hislop was based early in his career. He returned there a few years ago with his partner, Ally Greenwood, and sons Aaron and Connor.
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