The Negende Internationale Olof Races at Tilburg was one of several race meetings that gave a privateer like Tom a chance to earn some welcome extra money away from the action on the grand prix circuits. 

Most took place early season in the springtime and such races were commonplace in the 1970s, particularly in The Netherlands.

But on April 11th 1976, the ninth edition of the Olof Races at Tilburg witnessed an act of sportsmanship that made it that bit special - and Tom was the recipient of it. 

Resplendent in his white leathers, Tom was riding really well on that warm spring day in Holland. 
He had already broken the lap record in the 250cc event and proceeded to do the same in the 350cc race as he headed for what looked like a certain win. 

However, at the hairpin Dutchman Boet van Dulmen attempted a make-or-break effort which resulted in Tom being torpedoed off the track and down they both went.
Such was their lead at the time, Boet quickly re-mounted and went on to win. 

Tom meanwhile had also got back on but the damage had been done and he came home in seventh.
Or so he thought.........


When Boet went to the winners area he took the microphone and then incredibly announced over the loudspeakers that............ 
'Ik need hem voor zijn sodemieter' - 'It was my mistake' 

He then went to the Ulsterman who was having a refreshing a can of coke, and proceeded to hand him the winner's garland, trophy and prizemoney.

It was a superb show from one of the nicest guys in the paddock and Tom accepted what was a fantastic gesture, 

As Tom himself aptly put it at the time..........
'Be Jabbers, wasn't that nice!!'

Stephen McKeown
August 2007



Tom (55) sits on the front row for the 350cc race. Included are, Alan North (63), Boet van Dulmen (2), 
Leo Bovee (34), Alex George (60) Leif Gustafsson (66) and Charlie Williams (50). 





Tom leads Stan Woods in the 750cc race.
Photo: The Jan Burgers Collection
By Kind Permission


Main Photos:  The Jan Burgers Collection
By Kind Permission