Following his triumphant return to the Isle of Man TT races. Mike selected Donington Park’s July Internationals for his farewell meeting. It attracted the circuit’s biggest crowd, at that time, but they were denied a final glimpse of the famous riding style by a cruel accident during practice.
He broke his collarbone and had to spend the night in hospital. He had an operation and on the Sunday morning, raceday, he was in agony. He could not race but he insisted that he had to be at Donington, and see the public. He was driven round the circuit in an 8-litre Bentley, ‘in great pain’ but insisted on doing a number of laps.
As part of the D.P.R.A.C.’s welfare fund Mike was sent a cheque “for hospital comforts’. Mike returned the cheque with a very nice letter.
13TH July 79.
Many thanks for your very nice letter received today, and the enclosed cheque for £15. It is with great pleasure that I learn that there is such a fund for, as you put it, “hospital comforts” for injured riders from Donigton, as I know from experience how miserable it can be in dock, even for one night……… With all humility I would like to return the cheque and have it put back in the fund and saved for a much more deserving case then myself.
I would like to take this opportunity of wishing yourself and the D.P.R.A.C. continued success, and enjoyment. Incidentally, I shall be there on the 29th of this month for some kind of Honda promotion, so perhaps I shall see you there and thank you personally.
Meantime, good racing and good luck to you all.
With very best wishes MIKE HAILWOOD.
Mike was true to his word and spent time in the club caravan at our Macleans corner.