A loving memorial has been unveiled to a Wigan bike star tragically killed taking part in the sport he loved.
Jamie Hodson, 35, died from injuries sustained in the same Ulster Grand Prix multi-machine smash last year in which his younger brother Rob was also hurt.
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Now his parents Jim and Carole have been granted the unusual privilege of being allowed to place an inscribed memorial bench outside race control in the world famous Douglas paddock of the Isle of man TT Races.
The bench was built by the uncle of reigning World Superbike Champion Jonathon Rea and was dedicated during an emotional ceremony held during the isle’s Classic TT Festival of Motorcycling event.
An engraved plaque on it states simply: “In Memory of Jamie Hodson. Sit and rest a while on Jamie’s Bench. He left us on 10th August 2017 racing at the Ulster Grand Prix. Always in Our Hearts.”
The TT has a long tradition of honouring key fallen riders and Jamie was a former Manx Grand Prix class winner and rising star. Jamie’s bench now joins memorials to late road racing giant Joey Dunlop, Scotsman Jimmy Guthrie and multi-world champion Mike Hailwood.
Both Jim and Rob took the brave decision to resume racing this year after the accident and are set to conclude their respective successful race seasons at Darley Races at the weekend.
Jim, 57, said: “We decided as a family that we wanted to do something where everyone could share his memory and this seemed appropriate. We needed special permission from the Manx Government but when we approached them they were very supportive. It just shows how well thought of Jamie was because they are pretty careful about what goes where, because of the fantastic history of the races.”
Jim admitted that it was “a very difficult” decision for father and son to continue racing, but ultimately, both believe that it was the correct one.
He said: “I didn’t say to Rob, ‘continue or don’t continue’ and he didn’t say it to me. We both made the decision separately. It hasn’t slowed either Rob or me down when we race because we both agree that we are not there for a ride around and when you are no longer competitive it is time to stop.
“We are sure, at the end of the day, that continuing is what Jamie would have wanted us to do.”