Tom's personality and skill earned him the admiration and respect of many people, among them friend and former journalist Barry Coleman. 
Here, the Joint-Founder and Executive Director of Riders for Health tells us how Tom's daughters Kim and Zoe have gone on to forge highly successful careers in their own right, their love for Tom's parents and how they share many of Tom's characteristics. 
Barry then goes on to pay tribute to Tom, in which he explains how the awful events of 1979 would bring about changes that ultimately helped save lives both on and off the racetrack 

Thirty Seven Years On 
''Even as babies Tom and Andrea's girls were rather spectacular. 
Maybe it was just because they were twins or because so soon after they were born they took to the life of the Grand Prix paddock. 
But maybe it was a certain look in their steady black eyes - a look we had all seen before. 

Who knows where character really comes from, but there is no mistaking today that these are Tom Herron's daughters. They both have very challenging, highly independent lives. 

Zoe lives in London and is a designer, with degrees in English and Religion and Multimedia behind her. Kim is an artist and lecturer in Art and is also based in London. 

They both know who Valentino Rossi is but they hardly hold racers in awe. Kim once obliged Mick Doohan to apologise to her and once told Olivier Jacque off very seriously for being rude to her brother Oliver, 
I wonder where she got that from? 

And they both treat Kenny Roberts with impatient tolerance as if he were a mad uncle who needs just that - treatment. 
Oliver, who has also had to put up with the likes of Kenny and the equally loony Randy Mamola his whole life now lives in New York. His sister keeps a pretty fierce eye on him. 

The part of Tom's life that most moved them was not the racing but his parents and their home in Bryansford Road. 
They loved Grandpa Scott and Gran Elizabeth and routinely gave them a very hard time on everything from how to drive, to what they saw as inappropriateness of their traditional politics. Nothing was sacred if you couldn't defend it. 
Again where did that come from? Kim and Zoe miss their grandparents rather painfully and talk about them all the time.
Thank-you Newcastle. Thank-you Elizabeth. Thank-you Scott. Thank-you Tom. 
And those beautiful little girls? 
They are all that you could have wished for..............''

Touched by the Elusive Genius of Sport
''All premature deaths, even those marked by terrible predictability, stop us in our tracks. 
More so than usual, the death 34 years ago of Tom Herron. 
Tom was one of Ireland's leading sportsmen, lying fourth in the 500cc World Championship at the time of his death, he was then and is now mentioned in the same breath as Best, Higgins and the rest - those somehow touched by the elusive genius of sport. 
There must be a million reasons why Tom's death was so shocking. 

His rather fierce kindness, his black eyes, his irresistible humour, his impudent wisdom...all that and the awful pointlessness of the way in which he died. 

Tom Herron was a world-class, world orientated rider. 
His professional focus was the World Championship and there was a stiff breeze of change already picking up out there. 

In Spain, a week before he died, Tom committed himself fully to that change. 
The great American racer Kenny Roberts, who loved Tom and his family, was dumbstruck by Tom's death. But he never forgot Tom's commitment and responded unswervingly to it. 
Grand Prix racing would change and it has. 
Part of that is the legacy of Tom Herron. 
Another part is the work of Riders for Health, MotoGP's official charity, which now brings health and hope - and life- to literally millions of people in Africa, using motorcycles. 'Riders' was founded by Tom's widow Andrea, Randy Mamola and myself. 

All this is Tom Herron's legacy..................''


'And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years'
Abraham Lincoln


Main Photo
Tom's daughters Kim and Zoe pictured in 2011.
Photo:  Tom Gildon
By Kind Permission.