Paul Shoesmith, who lost his life participating in the 2016 Isle of Man TT Races and his family have been awarded the 2016 PokerStars Spirit of the TT.
The award is given annually to the person or persons who best represent the ethos and values of the TT Races including decency, honesty, generosity, courage, compassion, integrity, respect, teamwork and commitment to the development of the races.
The presentation of the award was made at the Grandstand podium ahead of this year’s PokerStars Senior TT Race.
Paul Shoesmith was one of the biggest characters in the TT paddock who not only competed in the TT Races but also gave the opportunity for a number of riders to race on the Mountain Course through his Ice Valley Four Anjels Racing outfit including Peter Hickman, who made his TT debut for the team, and Simon Andrews as well as a number of international competitors. He was also well known for his fundraising efforts, most notably his work with the Simon Andrews Foundation.
Eric Hollreiser, Director of Corporate Communications, PokerStars commented:
“We have been overwhelmed with the response to this year’s award. Paul has received many more nominations than we have ever had before and it is clear that he has a huge number of friends in the TT paddock and helped numerous people at the TT.”
David Cretney, Isle of Man Government’s Tourism and Motorsport representative said:
“Paul was truly one of the largest personalities in the TT paddock and his character shone through in everything that he did. He made an enormous impact on everyone who met him, not only through his racing but his larger than life personality, his incredible generosity and willingness to help anyone. He was a great ambassador for the TT Races and his loss is hugely felt by everyone associated with the event and the Isle of Man.”
“This award is not only for Paul but also for his remarkable family who have shown such spirit and resilience in such difficult circumstances.”
As well as the award to Paul’s family, PokerStars would also like to highlight a number of other people who were nominated including fundraiser Shaun Hogg, who raises money to run ambulances at Motorsport events on the Isle of Man in memory of his brother Phil.
A number of marshals have been recognised this year including Matthew Horn who is battling major injuries from a motorbike crash but continues to marshal at this year’s TT, Kevin Quinn who marshalled this week at Alpine despite battling cancer and a posthumous award to Willy Killey who marshalled for 59 years at the TT and passed away during TT2015 race week, after carryout flag duty throughout practice week. TT marshal Emma Limerick who continued to marshal this week despite personal loss will also be recognised.
PokerStars will be creating mementoes for all of the above named nominees, which will be sent out to them shortly.
Representatives from the Isle of Man Government’s Motorsport team including David Cretney, the Isle of Man Government representative with responsibility for Motorsport and Tourism, TT rider liaison officers Richard Quayle and John Barton, ACU Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson and PokerStars Director of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser judged the award. Nominations were invited from members of the public and from officials associated with the TT.
Previous winners have included Paul Owen, Conor Cummins, the Birchall Brothers, TT Marshal Eric Alexander and TTRA secretary Frances Thorp. Last year’s winners were 91 year old Harold Leece who opens up his garden to visitors and 8 year old fundraiser Cici Reed.
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of iomTT