Tributes paid to young Carrickfergus motocross rider

Poignant tributes have been paid following the death of a Co Antrim motocross enthusiast.

Brendan Graham.
Brendan Graham.

Brendan Graham (22), from Carrickfergus, passed away following an incident at the Mountainview practice track near Desertmartin at the weekend.

Members of the emergency services were tasked to the site shortly after 11am on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said: “The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a 999 call at 11.09am on Saturday, June 13 following reports of road traffic collision incident at Rectory Road, Tobermore.

“NIAS despatched two emergency crews to the scene. The charity Air Ambulance with HEMS crew on board were also tasked to the incident.

“Following assessment at the scene, no one was transported to hospital.”

Expressing sadness in a post on social media, a spokesperson for the Motocross Club of Northern Ireland said: “The MCCNI committee and club would like to offer our sincere condolences on the passing of one of our club members, Brendan Graham. We were deeply sadden to hear the news.

“Many of you will know Brendan from the paddock. He was such a friendly, bubbly, happy young man. He never passed vans without smiling or stopping for a chat. He touched many of our lives.

“He gained many friends from coming to the races and we all gained a friend in Brendan. He loved nothing more than a good day’s racing with everyone. He will be greatly missed round the paddock by many. Rest easy Brendan, we will all miss you #21.”

Brendan was also a talented boxer and a member of the Newtownabbey-based club, Evolution Boxing Club.

Paying tribute, a spokesperson for the club said: “Our hearts are broken. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Graham family on the tragic passing of their son, Brendan.

“Brendan was a valued member of the club with a passion for sports, who would turn up early and was one of the last to leave. He always enjoyed a joke and had a good bond with everyone in the gym. All the coaches had him marked as a lad who had the potential to do very well.

“When he wasn’t boxing he was an aspiring young motocross rider and found the perfect balance between both sports. He would have excelled at either sport and in life. A young man who will be deeply missed by us all.”

Mr Graham was a member of the congregation at Victoria Evangelical Hall.

A tribute was posted on the church’s Facebook page on Saturday evening. It said: “Unfortunately, today we lost a much-loved member of our church family, Brendan.

“To say that we are devastated would be an understatement. Brendan never failed to make us laugh and when he was in church he was always there with a full heart and everyone of us were met with a hug.

“Brendan, we will miss you beyond measure. We as a church family can not express the heartbreak we are feeling.

“We would ask you to keep Brendan’s family in prayer at this heartbreaking time.”

Funeral details were posted on the church’s social media page this morning (Monday), stating: “Brendan’s funeral service will be from his home 22 Copperwood Drive Carrickfergus on Wednesday, June 17 at 12.30pm. Due to Covid-19, this is for friends and family only.

“Please keep Joy, Alan, Lorna, his girlfriend Shannon and the rest of this family in prayer.”

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