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Paul Bird - Obituary (1967 - 2023)

Gold and Goose
Paul Bird

One of the most successful owners and great characters of motorcycle racing Paul  Bird succumbed today (Friday) to an illness which attacked his liver and other parts of his mid area.  His family were with him when he passed away.

News of his death has touched the motorsport community both domestically and internationally, no surprise for a man whose enigmatic manner and larger than life personality made him a familiar figure in paddocks the world over.

BSB race director Stuart Higgs had this to say: ”We will realise what we’re missing when he’s not there. He and I occasionally had differences of opinion but we worked together and he was of great  value to the series .”


North West 200 Event Director Mervyn White, added: "Sad news. An absolute gentleman, put so much into the sport over many years. I worked with Paul for many, many years bringing his team to the  North West. Texted him Tuesday and he came back to say he was very ill. Will be sadly missed. Condolences to all the family.”

Paul Bird started his motor sport life as  motocross rider and might still have been there 
had it not been for a serious injury to his leg. He later turned to car rallying with considerable success and his skill on four wheels was inherited by his son Frank who is also having success in rallying as well as track racing. However, Bird senior’s rallying career came to end from differences of opinion with the governing bodies.

In between all these activities he was helping his father Frank with an absolutely huge chicken business in the village of Langwathby near Penrith.  He was in charge of marketing and that experience helped, plus the backing from his mother and father, when  he turned to team management and ownership. It led to eight British Superbike Championships with riders like Steve Hislop,Shane Byrne (five times), Scott Redding and Josh Brookes.

If anyone was in the ‘never give in’ brigade it was Paul Bird  just about to be illustrated this season when, after two of his worst seasons, he picked two brilliant riders and persuaded Ducati to give him a couple of better bikes. And, unlike many people in that sort of position, he had few enemies - except perhaps himself.  He will certainly be remembered for his achievements and his personality. 

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