Tuesday 2nd April 1940
Born on this day, Mike Hailwood, MBE, GM, British Grand Prix motorcycle road racer regarded by many as one of the greatest racers of all time. He was known as “Mike The Bike” because of his natural riding ability. Later in his career he went on to compete in Formula One auto racing, becoming one of the few men to compete at the Grand Prix level on motorcycles and in auto racing.He was Grand Prix motorcycle champion nine times in the 250cc, 350cc and 500cc categories and won the Isle of Man TT competition 12 times on the island mountain course. His talent as a racer found him fame and medals, but it was his daring act of bravery which won him the highest honour of all. During his time as a car racer – which was not as successful as his career on bikes – he pulled fellow driver Clay Regazzoni from his burning car after the pair crashed into each other on the second lap of the 1973 South African Grand Prix. On approaching the fiery wreckage his driving suit caught fire but after it was extinguished Hailwood went back to pull Regazzoni from the burning car. He was awarded the George Medal, the second highest civil decoration in the UK. Hailwood was killed after a collision with in 1981. The Grand Prix racer, 40, had left his house with his two children Michelle and David to buy fish and chips. On their way home a truck collided with the car, killing nine-year-old Michelle instantly. David survived but two days later Mike died in hospital due to internal injuries. The truck driver was fined £100.