Freedom of borough plan for NW200 chief Mervyn Whyte

Mervyn Whyte has been involved with the NW200 since 1973
Mervyn Whyte has been involved with the NW200 since 1973

The Causeway Coast and Glens Council is to consider awarding the ‘freedom of the borough’ to North West 200 race director Mervyn Whyte later this week.

The council will vote on whether to award the honour to the 67-year-old ‘Mr North West’ during a special sitting on Thursday.

The Limavady man signed up as a volunteer marshal for the NW200 in 1973 and went on to succeed Billy Nutt as clerk of the course in 2000, before going on to become race director.

He has been the public face of the famous motorcycle race for many years.

The motion to award the honour was first brought before the council last month, by DUP councillor James McCorkell.

Mr McCorkell paid tribute to his fellow Limavady man’s “steady hand in guiding the North West 200 through good times and bad”, something Mr McCorkell said had made him “one of the best known and admired figures in Northern Ireland sporting circles”.

He said Mr Whyte has seen the NW200 “become perhaps the best known road race in the world”.

He added: “He is the steady head on race day, the one making all the big decisions and the one who always has the racers’ safety and best interests at heart.”