Papers of David Wood, manager of the late Joey Dunlop OBE MBE

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The content consists of approximately twenty-two photographic and newspaper cutting albums documenting Joey Dunlop’s and other riders’ careers (including Wood’s early riding career); riding events range from Irish, Manx and International races. Further photographic material includes loose and outsize photographs of motor cycle events and riders. Other material relates to rider agreements and contracts of Dunlop’s.

Much of the correspondence relates to the sponsorship Dunlop received throughout his racing career, with names such as Honda, Shell Oils, Shell Lubricants UK, Gemini Oil, Michelin Tyres, Kushitani motorcycling clothing and Arai Helmets. Other correspondence relates to Dunlop’s riding activities, press releases and race results. Printed material and ephemera items such as newspaper cuttings (outsize cuttings included) Irish road racing magazines, Isle of Man TT magazines and Suzuki VIP lanyards for Brands Hatch Circuit (2004), Kent, are also included.

Administrative / Biographical History

David ‘Davy’ Wood (c.1947-2004), was a former Irish motor cycle racer and long standing manager of world champion motorcyclist William Joseph ‘Joey’ Dunlop, MBE, OBE (1952-2000). Wood’s racing career began in the 1960s and by 1980 was the Irish 200cc champion. In 1981 Wood had moved to a managerial role and together with Johnny Rea (motor cycle racer), he secured a riding contract with Honda for Joey Dunlop. Wood became Dunlop’s official manager, witnessing his twenty-six Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) wins, twenty-four Ulster Grand Prix wins and five consecutive TT Formula One world titles.

Wood had a strong association with the Isle of Man, bringing over many talented road racers from Northern and Southern Ireland to compete in the TT and Manx Grand Prix (MGP); in 1998 Wood was guest of honour at the MGP. Riders associated with Wood include Phillip McCallen (b.1964), Ricky Mitchell, Darran Lindsay (1971-2006), Adrian Archibald (b.1969), Richard Britton (1970-2005) and Australian James Courtney (b.1980). Wood introduced and secured some of the biggest sponsorship deals to Ireland’s Motorcycle Sport Governing body of Road Racing – the MCUI (UC): Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre). Deals included big names such as Embassy, Superkings and Lambert & Butler. Wood also secured deals to supply riders with equipment such as Arai Helmets, exhaust systems, oil products, knee sliders, racing suits and energy drinks.

For many years he was the chairman of the Motorcycle Road Racing Club of Ireland and was a constant ambassador for the sport. Wood passed away in 2004 and in his memory the Motorcycle Road Racing Club annually awards a David Wood Scholarship to the most promising rider. Since September 2014 a Short Circuit Championship event has taken place at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit, Northern Ireland; the event is called the David Wood Memorial Trophy Races and its feature event focuses on the Supersport 600 Class; a Class in which Wood was instrumental in introducing to Irish racing. In 2015 the David Wood Ulster Grand Prix House opened at the Ulster Grand Prix Circuit, Northern Ireland. Ulster Grand Prix was one of Wood’s favourite courses and the house is situated in the circuit’s paddock. The house contains the main race office, the race timings team, commentators, home to Club meetings and is available for community events throughout the year. Wood is survived by his wife Mrs Lee Wood.

Conditions Governing Access

No regulations or restrictions are implemented on this material.

Advance notification of a research visit is advisable by emailing library@mnh.gov.im.