Southern 100 Marshal stalwart Roy Gelling has been honoured by Isle of Man Sport at their annual sports award evening being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to sport over many decades including the Southern 100 Road Races and Isle of Man Snooker.
Now a spritely 89-year-old, Roy assisted and marshalled at the first Southern 100 in 1955 and received special recognition of his 60 years’ service, along with the late Jack Ward at the races ‘diamond jubilee’ in 2015.
Still keeping an eagle eye on the races from his farm entrance on the back section of the 4.25-mile Colas Billown Course Roy is possibly now more famous for his hospitality, with a specially erected scaffold grandstand where he entertains fellow racing fans during practices and racing and in the process raises much welcome donations to assist in the running of the popular races.
The excellent vantage point is also used by Greenlight Television to film the action, which is broadcast world-wide.
Chief Marshal, Peter Chadwick said: ‘The Lifetime Achievement Award is richly deserved for Roy’s massive and continued support of the Southern 100 and of course his involvement and dedication to Isle of Man Snooker, which like the road races he hasn’t missed a season for 65 years!
‘Over the years of his marshalling, Roy became very adept at forecasting the weather during the practices and races and was rarely wrong!
‘It is people like Roy Gelling that have helped the Southern 100 gain the reputation it now holds and has become known as ‘the friendly races’.
Roy Gelling becomes the second Southern 100 stalwart and official that has received this unique recognition from Isle of Man Sport, with Club President Phil Taubman MBE receiving the honour in April 2016.
The Southern 100 Marshals Association and Southern 100 Racing offer their sincere congratulations on receiving this much deserved award and look forward to seeing him continuing his hospitality duties in 2021.
Roy Gelling is also Captain of the Parish of Malew.
Photograph courtesy of Diane Neale shows: Roy Gelling flanked by regular visitors & friends from Northern Ireland James McKillop – George Huey – Roy – Sam Huey – Johnnie McKillop