Johnny was a formidable trials rider in the 50’s and 60’s
winning several trials and he was a regular competitor in the Scottish Six Days
Trial in the days when it started in Edinburgh, he enjoyed the sociable side of
the event rather than fighting for a top finish and with a different attitude
to having a pint at lunchtime he made the most of it with his great friend
In the 70s Johnny’s focus switched to Enduros competing for
Scotland in several ISDE events of which the Isle of Man and the USA ISDE were
the most talked about. In the late 70’s and early 80s Johnny would organise
Enduros and Motocross events in the North East of Scotland and these events
were always well run and designed to be enjoyable for riders of all abilities.
There was always a great welcome from Johnny and the further you travelled to
attend the greater the welcome.
Johnny was the SACU ISDE team Manager for several years and
he is remembered as much for the end of the week celebrations as he is for his
enthusiasm to supporting the riders to achieve the best results for Scotland.
Johnny’s son Derek is a top Scottish, British and International competitor with
the support from his dad and he is a multiple Scottish and British Champion. Johnny’s support was not restricted to Derek,
he supported all riders especially those who travelled to the British and International
events. There is not a Scottish rider of any note who has not benefited from
Johnny’s experience, wise words and wit, too many to mention here but he did
have a soft spot for Ricky Mair with his extravagant riding style and his
ability to match Johnny’s banter on the long drives to and from the north of
More recently Johnny organised his events at Lossie forest
near Lossiemouth, Scottish and British Championship two day events, always challenging
with tight checks to test the riders although he was conscious that competitors
from the south may have travelled further to Lossiemouth than to a European
Event and he wanted his events to be as competitive and enjoyable as possible
Most riders will remember Johnny and his lifelong friend
Jimmy Ballantyne for their banter at the major events around the country and
internationally travelling far and wide to support all the Scottish riders,
unfortunately Jimmy died earlier this year leaving the sport with the loss of
two fervent supporters for off road racing. Our thoughts are with his wife
Eileen, son Derek and their extended family at this extremely sad time. Johnny
will be greatly missed along with his best pal Jimmy Ballantyne, their names
and antics will be remembered around the Parc Ferme for many years to come.
The funeral ceremony will be held at William Watson’s in
Elgin on Friday the 13th September at 2,30pm, all are welcome.