Old 18th December 2006, 08:27 PM #1
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Losing Darran

Found on another site, heartwrenching stuff.
best wishes for Christmas to the Lindsay Family

Jammers


Monday, December 18, 2006

Four-times Irish National road racing champion Darran Lindsay (34) died three months ago during a practice lap for the Killalane Road Races near Dublin. Here, in her first media interview, his wife Kerry tells Gráinne McCarry that despite her husband's love of bikes ... he loved his family even more

Decorations of Santa and his reindeers adorn the sitting room of Kerry Lindsay's home - a sign that Christmas will continue as normal. "There's a huge void in all our lives since we lost Darran," she says. "I worry so much about the kids and how they are going to be affected, what they are missing out on not having their daddy. Every day is different, I've good days and not so good. The children, our children, are my life. I just want to get them through life as best I can. I do have my days when I'm terrible, but I have to be strong for the children."

With trips organised to a pantomime and Santa's Cottage in the Mourne Mountains, it's clear that Kerry is determined to make sure her children experience all the excitement that the festive season brings ... even if their daddy won't be there to help unwrap their presents on Christmas Day.

Her memories are what make each day bearable, particularly at this very difficult time of year.

When Kerry ran 26 gruelling miles in the Belfast marathon on May Day this year Darran, an electrician by trade, was unable to cheer her on. He was away racing, so instead he had a huge sign erected on the roadside to encourage her. The big letters read: 'Go Mummy Lindsay Go! Hurry Home And Make Our Tea! Love Ben, Zak and Poppy.'

That time, she was running to raise money for the Northern Ireland Mother and Baby Action - next year, Kerry will run again this time as a widow, in memory of her much-loved husband, with the money raised going to a fund for injured riders.

Killed instantly

Darran was killed instantly during a practice run at the Killalane Road Races, near Skerries on Saturday, September 9. Kerry was unable to attend the race, because Ben was due to start pre-school at McKinney nursery unit near their home in Dundrod, Co Antrim. She was at her parents', William and Myrtle's house, bathing their three youngsters when the phone call came, alerting the family that there had been a smash. "My dad answered it and came and told me there had been a bad accident ... I knew straight away that Darran had died," she remembers. "Then his parents came over and confirmed it. I put the children to bed and waited until they were sound asleep before I went down to see him at the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. I sat with him that night and travelled back the next morning up to my mum's to be there when the kids got out of bed."

Kerry places no blame on road racing for claiming her husband's life. "It was an accident that was no one's fault," she says. The races continued the following day at the insistence of the Lindsay family. "If Darran had thought for one minute that the race would have resulted in his death, he would never have competed that day. He wasn't reckless," adds Kerry. "Riders just never think that it will happen to them. They go out to get the buzz from the race and not for one minute do they think it's going to end in their death."

Coming from a biking background herself, Kerry understood Darran's addiction to bikes. Her father William Johnston, formerly a much-respected road racer and short circuit rider when he retired from racing, he fixed up bikes at his garage beside the family home in Dundrod and it was when Darran came to get his bike fixed that the two first met in the summer of 1994. Kerry was 18, Darran was 22. "My mum, dad and I were in the kitchen one day when he appeared at the back door and introduced himself to my dad," she recalls. "My dad instantly took to him, as most people did. He just had something about him that made everyone like him. He had no enemies."

A couple of weeks later, a chance meeting at a local pub in Moira was to become their first date, then the summer ended and Kerry went off to university. "I went to do a BSc in sports science at Manchester Metropolitan University, but I came home after three weeks," she admits sheepishly. "It was more to do with homesickness, and I hated the course. We didn't start dating properly until a year after we met. Darran proposed in June 2000 in the Villa Italia restaurant in Belfast, six years after we met."

Nine months later, the couple said their marriage vows in front of 22 family and friends in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where they honeymooned.

Later on in life, they were to discuss their first meeting in her family home and laugh about the instant attraction between them. "It was probably a mixture of things; his personality, his mischievousness, he was so friendly. We just had such a laugh together ... that's what upsets me most about it," she says, her composure wavering. "We were so happy together, all of us as a family. We used to sit and talk about everything."

Hands-on father

Some questioned why Darran continued to participate in such a high-risk sport when he had a young family to raise, but Kerry says that Darran without bikes would not have been the Darran she knew and loved. "Racing season was from March to September, and when Darran came back from a race he was a completely hands-on father. He was such a devoted dad. He idolised his children. When he came in the door from work or the bikes, he spent all his time with the kids, bathed them and put them to bed. When the kids were in bed at night, we used to sit and chat about our plans for the future, our hopes for the kids and what we wanted for them. We used to talk about how lucky we were to have each other and three beautiful healthy children; the family holidays we were going to have and where we would take them."

One of their dreams was to take Ben, Zak and Poppy to the Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The pair had first travelled there when Kerry, an air hostess, worked on long haul flights. "Darran was so full of life and like a big kid himself," says Kerry. "He would have loved to see the kids' reaction ... I had the kids really close together. We didn't expect Poppy so soon, and we thought she was going to be a boy. We had picked the name Noah."

When a girl arrived, Kerry says they were so overcome that they both cried with joy for two days afterwards.

A few weeks later, they moved into their newly-built two-storey house on the site of Kerry's parent former family home ... coincidentally, yards from the Ulster Grand Prix circuit course.

Darran spent the days leading up to his death putting the finishing touches to the flower beds at the front of the house which, on a clear day, has stunning views of Lough Neagh. "Darran was involved in all the plans for the house, he picked out the fixtures and fittings and wired it all. He used to drive me around the countryside looking at the stonework of other people's houses to find out what he wanted," she reminisces.

Road racer

Like any wife of a road racer, Kerry worried about the safety of her loved one. "It was always in the back of my mind. Don't get me wrong, I would've sometimes said to him: 'Would you not think about stopping?' I used to think that the more kids we had, it would be better if he gave it up ... " she trails off. "You can't make anybody do something, they have to make that decision for themselves. If he had been forced into giving up the bikes, through injury or whatever, he would never have been the same person. He wouldn't have been the Darran we all knew and loved. Each time Darran had an accident and I went to his hospital bed, he would've have been so upset for putting me though it. He used to be so apologetic. I was just glad he was alive. I used to say to him 'Darran, I don't care as long as you're here and alive. That's all that matters'"

Darran's last major smash before the accident that would cost him his life was during the races at Kells, Co Meath, in July of last year. He came off his bike and shattered the bones of his forearm and doctors said there was a chance he wouldn't be able to ride again.

Among the major wins of his career were first place in the senior class of the newcomer's race at the Manx Grand Prix in 1997 and wins the following year in the ultra lightweight division and at the Northwest 200 last year. "My heart was always in my mouth waiting for the red flag to come up" , Kerry says. "I can remember having this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. In February this year, Darran went for a few test runs in Spain to see how he had recovered, how it felt to be on the back on a bike again, and he got on really well."

He went on to win a first, third and fifth place at the Ulster Grand Prix the month before he died.

Adds Kerry: "I don't know what we'll do when it comes around next year. It will just be too much to hear the noise of the motorbikes ... "

Source: Belfast Telegraph
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Old 18th December 2006, 10:13 PM #2
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Brings it all back home...
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Old 18th December 2006, 10:33 PM #3
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Aye, what a harrowing story, its so hard to believe that the two most popular and approachable riders in the paddock are gone in the space of a year,there are very few people who have the following of Darran or Richard Britton,its just a reminder of the bad side of racing on the roads
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Old 18th December 2006, 10:44 PM #4
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rip..respect.
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Old 18th December 2006, 11:26 PM #5
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Aye, tis certainly a sad story. Certainly makes you think and respect the riders more for what they do.

@Eleven
As you talk about two greats, Richard and Darran, Jammers (I think) put up a pic a while ago with the two of them in it. Darran getting the chequered flag and Richard egging him on

here we go
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Old 19th December 2006, 12:17 AM #6
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Christ, but that's awful.

What a waste of a man and a father and a sporting talent.
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Old 19th December 2006, 02:18 AM #7
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heart wrenching story.
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Old 19th December 2006, 07:18 AM #8
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Fair play for the reminder Jammers. Makes me feel bad at how quickly I put the tragedy out of my mind.
R.I.P.
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Old 19th December 2006, 04:44 PM #9
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Watched him win at the Ulster this year he was on top form.Its so sad.Brings it all back.RIP.
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Old 19th December 2006, 05:56 PM #10
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RIP Darran
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Old 19th December 2006, 07:13 PM #11
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Really really sad - touching stuff.

RIP.
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Old 19th December 2006, 07:23 PM #12
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certainly focuses the mind and make u appreciate ur day. my thoughts go to the family and friends..
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Old 19th December 2006, 11:12 PM #13
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rip darren ....
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Old 20th December 2006, 09:21 AM #14
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Daz finished 2nd in our Two Stroke Racing Supporters Club 2006 Championship in the 125, 250 and the popular Mini July Championship.
A very sad loss to the Sport, his many fans, friends and all in the paddock
#55 - another Star shines in the sky tonight
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Old 11th January 2007, 03:30 PM #15
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10.20pm New Year's Eve when most of us were in d'Pub, a mega fan of Darran who lives in England posted this deep and personal tribute on one of the Road Racing sites -

Darran - with an "a"
Another year has gone round again, another New Year's Eve, and a time to drink a toast to old friends, new friends and lost friends. This year my friend, I can't send you a text with our seasonal wishes on it, as I have for the last few years. This year it will be our thoughts that we send to you, to Kerry and to the three wee Lindsay's, pride of their father..
No glass of Champagne, no Courvoisier to toast this humble and self effacing man, just a pint of the black stuff - supposedly brewed in Dublin. Here's to you my boy, for all the great times. I cannot swallow - the lump in my throat prohibits it. Count to ten and try again.
We weren't friends for that long really. Just eleven years, all but that one fateful week, one fateful week in which my, and several others' worlds fell apart. Three months later it still hurts like Hell, and probably will keep on hurting for the rest of my life, I hope so, as it means your memory and my memories are never forgotten.
I could go on forever about the good times and the bad times, but I won't, I'll just pick a couple out that stick in my mind at this moment. The night we met you on a cold September Saturday night, 1995, in the Spa rooms in Scarborough - little knowing then what a friend and hero you would become to us. We laughed about you ending up through the fence on the wee 125 at that year's Ulster, you were a lucky lad. The treble at the same place a few years later. The first win at the North West after all those years of trying. There are literally hundreds of good times to be extolled - perhaps there's a book to be written about you by some well known motorcycling scribe? Who knows?
Of course there were the bad times. Falling off doing no miles an hour on the 125 and breaking your arm again. That year at the Skerries when you had been fastest in practice, in several classes, including the Superbikes, only to throw the 600 up the road while leading the race by an Irish mile. We worried and whittled you had a broken neck, till the news came through from the hospital that you were ok, just a helmet strap injury. We were all relieved at that, but gutted for the rest of the day - you could have wiped the floor with them all. Then of course there was the day it all ended, for me, for your family and friends and for your hundreds of fans, young and old alike, and of course, for you. September 9th 2006.
It was teatime when the mobile phone rang. I knew it was the end when I looked who the caller was. An Irish mate would text me results any time, but this time he was ringing me. He was in tears as he told me the dreadful event of that afternoon, I was in shock, just biting my lip, tracing shapes across the bedroom floor with my big toe and mumbling some incoherent crap. What do you say when somebody tells you that sort of news? The bloke that used to introduce ME to his friends, the bloke that told them all about my accident and told of my recovery with pride in his eyes. Can you imagine how proud that made me feel? You can't. I thought I would burst with pride. Here was my hero telling people about me. Not going on about how many seconds he won by, not moaning about the tyres being wrong, or the gearing, but talking about me. I tell you that if pride is one of the seven deadly sins, then I will surely go to Hell. But this was Darran. This was Darran with an "a", as I will always remember him. That cheeky little grin, those eyes full of a zest for life. No hint of a boast, no hint of a bluster. The last time we spoke on the Friday night of Ulster Prix week, I was staying in his old caravan and told him I'd nicked all the stickers I could find. "No problem". "Right, see ya tomorrow, do ya best and keep the fkr upright". Laughs and I wandered over to the beer tent, Darran peddled off to try and find some oil.
I still have the stickers, I still have the jeans with the barbed wire rip in them I did while trying to get back to the paddock to see Garry Dickinson's Dad. I still have my programme with the 250 results pencilled in. "Winner D. Lindsay #55. And new lap record." I still have my old Nokia 6600 with Darran's texts about Christmas, New Year, Birthday, News and even the proud one where he's on about getting his suit on, as it was Poppy's christening that day. I still have the red paddock shirt, given to me by my good friend Noel, worn with pride on any occasion. Best of all though, I have my memories. I have a head full and a heart full of memories of this lovely lad, of this friend, of this hero. Thanks Darran.
Ade! and Deb.
Derby.
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Old 11th January 2007, 03:41 PM #16
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it shows how much darran was admired and respected.
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Old 11th January 2007, 05:43 PM #17
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Thumbs up

Every year more of our top talented riders are taken from us in their prime...

Its been like this in roadracing since I can remember.... but we still go back to watch these lads risk their lives in their chosen sport, for our own entertainment...

Each time another rider is buried, I think to myself, this can't continue, the bikes are getting too quick for the roads, the top riders, are so talented, that they're riding the wheels off them to win races.... and its utter madness..

I take my hat off to the rider who comes in last in roadracing, because I wouldn't have the balls to do it at all....

All I wish to say is... God bless and protect all riders competing in this next season, and beyond....

and as regulars to this site will know... I'm not a religious man..

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