Queen’s Birthday Honour for Ray McCullough

Irish road racing legend Ray McCullough has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2021.

By Kyle White

The ‘Dromara Destroyer’ has been made a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for Services to Motorbike Racing.

Quiet and unassuming, McCullough is one of the greats of Irish road racing, claiming over 170 victories until his retirement in 1984.

He made his racing debut in 1960 and enjoyed an exceptional career spanning more than three decades, during which time McCullough was a race winner at the North West 200 and famously at the Ulster Grand Prix in 1971, beating Grand Prix stars Jarno Saarinen and Dieter Braun when Dundrod last hosted a round of the World Championship.

Primarily a specialist on 250cc and 350cc machines, he excelled particularly at Dundrod, winning seven races in all.

Throughout the 1970s, McCullough was the number one rider on the Irish road racing scene who was highly respected by a young up-and-coming Joey Dunlop.

The Co Down man largely limited his racing exploits to Northern Ireland, but McCullough did compete at the Southern 100, where he won nine times, including a big victory in the 1975 Solo Championship race at the Billown course.

Photo courtesy of Southern 100 Archive depicts Ray on his way to winning the 1975 Southern 100 Solo Championship Race.

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