Gary’s back in the top job for the Isle of Man TT

Gary in action at last year's TT.
Gary in action at last year's TT.

Last year, Boston-born Gary Thompson became the first man ever to cancel the Isle of Man TT’s blue riband event.

In the event’s 105-year history, no previous senior clerk had ever had to make that call.

But, because of the poor weather conditions, he had no choice other than to call off the senior TT.

That was Gary’s first year as senior clerk.

However, his handling of the fortnight’s events - and the way in which he dealt with the cancellation of the Senior TT - impressed enough that he will be back in the role this year.

Given his performance throughout the two weeks, where communications with the riders, officials, marshals and spectators saw a dramatic improvement on previous years, he was acclaimed for the decision he made.

A former pupil of Old Leake’s Giles Secondary School, Gary lived in Wrangle until he joined the Army at 16 years of age.

In a military career which spanned 23 years, Gary served in the Falklands Campaign in 1982, the Gulf War and saw action in Bosnia and Sierra Leone.

He has previously been awarded the MBE for operations in Bosnia and the BEM for services to the Army.

Thompson is the General Secretary of the Auto-Cycle Union Ltd – the National Governing Body for Motorcycle Sport, an appointment he took on leaving the Army in November 2002.

He has been involved as an official at the TT since 2003.

A regular at Boston Speedway in the 70s, Gary commented “I’m delighted to be appointed again as the Clerk of the Course for the Isle of Man TT.

“It is the oldest and most famous road race meeting in the world, steeped in tradition and nostalgia, so it is an honour to be so involved with it.

“Obviously last year, I was disappointed at having to cancel the senior race, but at the end of the day, it is the safety of the riders and officials which has to be my main concern.

“Preparations are well underway for this year’s event, so all we need now is some decent weather.”

This year’s TT starts on May 25 and finishes on June 7.

The TT Races can be followed on ITV 4 this year.