George Ridgeon – Racer and Supporter
Southern 100 Racing is saddened to learn of the passing of George Ridgeon, on Saturday 16th April 2022. He was involved with the Southern 100 Road Races for a period of ten years, until an accident whilst performing his duties as a member of the Fire & Rescue Service, resulted in him being wheelchair bound for the remainder of his life.
George made his racing debut at the Southern 100 in 1972, riding a 250cc Greeves he finished 13th in the Lightweight race.
The then fireman returned each year up to and including 1981in a total of 19 races, with varying degrees of success.
George’s best result was ninth in the 1975 750cc race riding a G50 Matchless on which he is shown in the photo, taking the inside line at Castletown Corner, just ahead of Paul Martin.
In what was to be his last race in 1981, riding a Seeley he finished 23rd in the Solo Support race.
George may have had his racing career cut short, but his enthusiasm never waned, till the end. Once he was able to get around, he was a regular visitor to the Billown Course and its close neighbour the Snaefell Mountain Course, sponsoring riders over a number of years.
George Ridgeon was a larger than life character, who lived life to the full, despite his disability and had recently completed a lifelong ambition to write his autobiography, which he publicised via social media, despite being confined to his bed – a wonderful example to all, whether able bodied or otherwise, his presence on the Isle of Man will be missed, as will his bubbly personality and enjoyment of road racing.
All involved with Southern 100 Racing express their sincere condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.
(Photo courtesy of Southern 100 Archive)