Manx Senior GP: Goodall succumbs to injuries

Manx GP veteran dies after allegedly falling on oil at Manx Senior Classic

John Goodall - killed in action at the Manx GP

JOHN GOODALL the veteran racer who won the first-ever Manx Grand Prix Senior Classic 25 years ago and has competed in every event since then, has died of the injuries he received during a crash at Ballacraine during yesterday’s (25 August) 2008 Senior Classic.

The accident happened on the first lap of the race, which had been delayed until a 6pm start owing to poor weather and shortened to three laps. 67-year-old Goodall and his Matchless G50 approached the Ballacraine right-hander only a few moments after another leading contender, seven-times MGP classics victor Bill Swallow, had gone through. Swallow, whose Aermacchi was reportedly spewing out a lot of oil, pulled in when his machine finally expired about a mile up the road at Ballig Bridge.

‘He lost the back end on the oil but hung on and almost saved it,’ said an eye-witness. ‘But then it high-sided and spat him hard into the side wall of the old Ballacraine Hotel on the exit from the corner.’

Goodall was treated by paramedics on the scene and then rushed to the Island’s Nobles Hospital by Airmed rescue helicopter. He was initially described as having suffered "serious chest and rib injuries" and succumbed to these this morning (26 August).

Honoured only two days previously with a special “Spirit of the Manx” award to mark his quarter of a century of success in classic racing on the Isle of Man Mountain Course, Goodall had 40 MGP Replicas to his name and a number of podium finishes.

The race was eventually won by TT star Ryan Farquhar on a DOHC Paton twin, with Alan Oversby on a Manx Norton in second spot and local man Allan Brew third on a Seeley Matchless G50.

There had been an early challenge by another TT star, Gary Johnson, riding a unique MV Agusta triple replica. But after pulling out a lead over Farquhar during most of the first circuit, Johnson apparently began to experience gearbox problems and retired at the end of the lap.

Given the challenging conditions, the rate of attrition was very high with retirements affecting almost a third of the field including many top runners such as Steve Linsdell, Roy Richardson, Chris McGahan and Mark Parrett.