Phil and Ben hit it off straight away and they discussed the corse and other subjects which could help Ben, We even went round the course in my car, me driving with either Ben or Phil in the back seat with Phil giving a comprehensive commentary....Ben appreciated the help he was getting and we all went to the Villa Marina for the Prizegiving after the Wednesdays races. Phil didn't drink but we had a most memorable evening, ending when we laughingly sent Phil to bed "You are racing tomorrow"
We thanked Phil for his help and said our goodbyes since Ben and I were returning home early Friday - Ben had to get back for weekend work.
We had such a wonderfully rewarding ten plus days with Phil and Suzuki and Ben felt confident he would be OK to ride in the 1990 Manx.
Ben and I arrived back in Slough and I dropped him off at his flat. I drove home and switched on the TV --------------- The dreadful news came up on the screen...Phil had died in a crash at Handleys.......I phoned Ben and told him....We were both completely shocked and horrified to think we had all been together the night before
Ben did ride in the 1990 Manx in memory of Phil....................
Other riders with whom I have been involved include close friend Steve Hislop who didn't lose his life racing but crashed his helicopter in Scotland.....
Similarly I had been working closely with Sandor Bitter and was supporting in the TT..However prior to the TT he fell heavily in the NW200, the sponsorship money went on hospital bills and then he was found dead in bed. by his girlfriend. He had swallowed regurgitated food.
Finally I would like to pay homage to my Dad who took me to the TT in 1947 and introduced me to an interest I have kept going through thick and thin for 70 years......Thanks a million, Dad !!
There have been many others, too many, but all are good memories of the occasions when we drank and/or ate together or were part of race teams.
We can't bring them back but they are forever in my mind.