Vauxhall International North West 200 Event Director, Mervyn Whyte, MBE, received the Freedom of the Borough of Causeway Coast and Glens Council today in a special reception in Coleraine. The honour was presented in recognition of his services to the North West 200 and recognises his contribution to motorsport across Northern Ireland.
The Limavady man has been involved with the North coast races for 45 years since beginning as a marshal at Station Corner in 1973. Under his guidance and direction, the event has become Ireland’s biggest outdoor sporting attraction.
“This is a great honour and privilege which I am delighted to receive, not just for myself but on behalf of the whole North West 200 team.” Whyte said.
“It has been wonderful to share this day with my family and friends and all of the people who work to make the North West happen every year.”
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE, presided over the ceremony. Speaking afterwards she praised Mervyn’s dedication and passion.
“As the highest distinction which a Council can grant it affords the opportunity to express civic recognition of Mervyn’s lifelong commitment to road racing. The North West 200 is a hugely important event for our Borough. It has grown in to a week-long festival which attracts huge visitor numbers and showcases the area to a global audience. I was delighted to have this opportunity to share this occasion with Mervyn and his family and I have no doubt he will continue to be an outstanding ambassador for the area.”
Mervyn Whyte was born and raised on the family farm at Edenmore, just outside Limavady. He is married to Hazel and is the father of Ryan, Rachael and Peter and grandfather to Callum.
He spent over thirty years working for Dupont, succeeding in various management roles at their Maydown plants before spending time in New Orleans and Kentucky.
Over the years Mervyn succeeded in a variety of roles at the North West 200, from working on course set up, to Race Treasurer, Race Secretary and eventually Clerk of Course.
In 2006, he received an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours for services to motorcycle racing in Northern Ireland.