THE funeral of a 27-year-old motorcyclist who died whilst racing the Isle of Man TT has been held, with hundreds of people and bikers in attendance.

Daley Mathison, of Fairfield in Stockton, died on June 3, after crashing whilst on the third lap of Race Day 1.

Daley, originally from Murton, County Durham, had been married to Natalie Mathison, and had a three-year-old daughter, Daisy.

On Wednesday, June 26, hundreds joined his family at St Bede’s Chapel, Middlesbrough to say their final farewell to the racer.

The Northern Echo:

Around 450 bikers travelled to the funeral Picture: TOM BANKS

Before the funeral, around 100 bikers travelled in convoy from Murton to his address in Stockton.

At the chapel, people from across the country filled the hall, spilling outside with those paying tribute able to watch the service, relayed outside.

Daley, who rose to fame after his TT debut in 2014, was described as a "showman" by family members, as 'The Greatest Show' was played.

At the family's request, guests wore daisies.

Many also turned out wearing Mathison merchandise, while some paid their respects with biking outfits.

Conducting the service, Andy Haynes, known as the Racing Preacher, opened the funeral with a welcome and thanked everyone for attending.

Adressing Mrs Mathison, he said: "It's clear how deeply you loved him and how deeply he loved you - but the best thing about all of that is that you both knew how deeply you are loved by the other."

Speaking on behalf of Daley's parents - Carole, and Darren Mathison - Mr Haynes then read out a eulogy which explained how Daley's career quickly "became way of life" for the whole family.

His father Darren said: "Daley's first job was in McDonald's, I think that's where he developed a taste for them.

"He later worked on the building sites, that would have been the case if he could find them.

"He spent a third of his life on his phone, a third of his life in what he would call the 'office' and a third of his life doing everything else. But Daley had an unbelievable skill, racing in the rain.

"He was known as 'The Rain Master' ."

The service fell silent as Born Free by Kid Rock was played, before Daley's former racing colleagues paid tribute.

The Northern Echo:

Daley had previously attended Darlington College

Steve Watson of WH Racing, the team Daley had signed up to ahead of the 2019 TT, said: "He made racing look so easy, he always seemed happy. He become the 'one to watch'.

"I liked the way he would go about his business, very professional and straight talking. I met him in February, he had the same banter as us.

"It was a real pleasure and privilege to work with Daley."

Miquel Gimeno-Fabra of Nottingham University, where Daley had previously ridden for the university's electric motorbike team, also paid tribute.

The family tribute of Daley Mathison

Speaking on behalf of Mrs Mathison, Mr Haynes said: "Natalie got to know a few things about Daley, he couldn’t spell, but mechanically he could do it all.

"Natalie said he was a huge Coronation Street fan, he absolutely loved it, he downloaded the ITV player app, when he went away for racing – once on a plane ride from holiday, he put his headphones in and watched Coronation Street, leaving Natalie and Daisy to it."

Sharing her last experience with Daley to those paying tribute, Mrs Mathison said: "On the day of his final race, we got his final message. The photo was the last thing he would have seen.

"It was a photo of his baby girl, Daisy. I know it would have made hm feel good knowing his girls where watching him that day."

Mrs Mathison reflected on their final day and a conversation she had with Daisy.

She said: "I remember I told Daisy, daddy is flying with the fairies."

One final message from Daley was read out, which followed on from Mrs Mathison's tributes.

The message said: "I don't always tell you as much as I should, Natalie Mathison I love you – Daisy melts my heart. I love you to the moon and back. Teamwork makes the Dream work."

The service ended with words of committal, and 'You're Welcome' from Moana. 

Friends and visitors were also invited to refreshments with the family in the afternoon in Darlington.

  • The Northern Echo attended the service with permission from Mrs Mathison