`There were always just the two of them, Robert and Liam, and there wasn't one weekend when Robert went racing that Liam wasn't with him. They were a formidable force, and Robert only needed Liam in his corner, he didn't need anyone else.'
Louise Dunlop, Robert's wife.
Liam Beckett wears many hats - plumber, footballer, manager, pundit, broadcaster and Black Santa. But it is perhaps as Robert Dunlop's mentor and mechanic that he is best known. When he offered a young Robert the use of a workshop at his house back in 1988, he didn't realise that it would mark the start of an extraordinarily successful working relationship that would last until Robert's tragic death at the NW200 in 2008.
Now, for the first time, Liam talks candidly about their incredible partnership - the struggle to get Robert to believe in himself; the long nights spent fettling the bikes; life on the road and in the paddock; and Dunlop's determination to race and to win, often in the face of unthinkable adversity. From the North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix, to the Isle of Man TT and the racing in Macau, Liam was with Robert every step of the way - and this is the remarkable story of a life lived at full throttle, told in Liam's inimitable style.
Including many intimate behind-the-scenes photos of Robert Dunlop, this riveting book is not to be missed.
Liam Beckett was born in Ballymoney, County Antrim. He is a sports pundit on BBC Radio Ulster and writes a weekly football column for The Newsletter. He played football for Crusaders and Coleraine in the Irish League as well as for Drogheda in the League of Ireland before moving into management, first with his hometown team Ballymoney United, and also Cliftonville and Institute.After his playing career came to an end Beckett offered a young Robert Dunlop the use of a workshop at his house in Ballymoney. For the next 20 years, he worked as his mechanic/manager until Dunlop's untimely death at the North West 200 in 2008.