Ryan Kneen awarded the PokerStars "Spirit of the TT" for 2018
Ryan Kneen has been awarded the 2018 PokerStars Spirit of the TT Award following brother Dan’s accident during this year’s TT Races.
The Kneen family have close links with the road racing community and Ryan, who was also competing in this year’s TT Races meeting, went out at the back of Thursday’s qualifying session wearing his brother’s helmet, following Dan’s death in Wednesday’s Superbike practice.
The PokerStars Spirit of the TT 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 on Friday – Senior Race Day - on the Grandstand podium ahead of the PokerStars Senior TT Race.
Guy Templer, Chief Operating Officer, The Stars Group, who presented the award commented:
“The Kneen family has shown incredible resilience and spirit and this was typified by Ryan’s gesture in his tribute practice lap to his brother that received such an incredible reaction from the fans at the event and a remarkable surge of support on-line as well.”
Rob Callister, MHK, Isle of Man Government’s Tourism and Motorsport representative said:
"Everyone in the local community and the broader road racing scene, was affected by Dan’s death. He was a hugely popular figure on the Isle of Man and made a great impact on everybody that met him. He will be sorely missed.”
“It is entirely appropriate that this year’s PokerStars Spirit of the TT award goes to Ryan whose spirit and dignity is a shining example of the values and ethos of the event. I personally attend the legacy lap on Sunday and it was incredibly moving to see Ryan and his father Richard leading around eight thousand bikers around the TT course.”
Representatives from the Isle of Man Government's Motorsport team including Rob Callister MHK, TT rider liaison officers Richard Quayle and John Barton, ACU Clerk of the Course Gary Thompson and the Stars Group Chief Operating Officer Guy Templer 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. The then ninety-one year old Harold Leece who opened up his garden to visitors every year and 8 year old fundraiser Cici Reed received the award in 2015 and the 2016 winner was TT rider Paul Shoesmith. Last year’s award was shared between the three organisers of the TT facebook helpline page - Barbara Keene, Margaret Cain and Sandra Diamond - which was set up to help visitors to the Isle of Man with travel and accommodation emergency issues.