Morecambe bike legend John McGuinness praises Tyson Fury apology as both attend BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Most of the attention at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony was on Tyson Fury but another Morecambe sportsman was there too.
Motorbike legend John McGuinness was an invited guest at the Belfast event but was sad he didn’t get chance to talk to the world boxing champion.
“It was nice to see Tyson Fury and I felt like I should introduce myself but he was getting ushered around,” said the 23-times TT race champion.
John, known as ‘The Morecambe Missile’ for his exploits around the Isle of Man road race track, watched from the 7,500-strong audience in the Odyssey Arena as Tyson finished fourth in the Sports Personality poll behind the winner tennis star Andy Murray, second-placed rugby league player Kevin Sinfield and third-placed world heptathalon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.
The 6ft 9in fighter was also interviewed on stage by football icon and TV host Gary Lineker.
As a live BBC1 TV audience watched on, Lineker asked Tyson about the furore caused by his recent comments about homosexuality and a woman’s role in society.
Fury said: “If I’ve said anything in the past that’s hurt anybody, I apologise.”
John said: “It takes a big man to apologise in front of millions. He got booed a bit early on but after his apology he got cheered. “It would be nice to get together with him. He’s a local lad, he only lives a short way from me. He’s good at his job and I’m good at my job.”
McGuinness did get chance to mingle with other sporting greats at the after-show party.
“I had some banter with the golfer, Rory McIlroy, the jockey AP McCoy and the actor James Nesbit. I spoke to some of the rugby players as well.
“They’re all into their bikes. Northern Ireland is big for bike racing.
“I didn’t get to bed until 5am and then was on a flight home from Belfast at 7am.”
Morecambe-born McGuinness is second on the all-time list of TT race winners behind Joey Dunlop.
Next year marks his 20th anniversary of racing around the dangerous Isle of Man 38-mile street course. He lives in Bare, Morecambe, with his wife Rebecca and two children Ewan and Maisie.
Fury, who lives in nearby Hest Bank with his wife Paris and two children Venezuela and Prince, became unified world heavyweight boxing champion in November when he beat Wladimir Klitschko on points in a huge upset.