Taken from a biography of Eddie Laycock by TTSC Representative, Myles Lally …… the year in question - 1989 - illustrates the highs and lows, the triumph and tragedies of motorcycle road racing and shows the great versatility of one of the best exponents of the sport to come out of the Irish Republic.

"With a busy season ahead for '89, Joe Miller purchased new machinery for Eddie. An ex-Roger Burnett RC30 was added to the stable alongside the 250 Yamaha and the 500 Honda from the previous year. At the annual trip to Daytona in March, the Yamaha seized during the race when Eddie was lying in third place.
A disappointed Team Miller returned and Eddie did some coaching at Mondello with the MCUI, and enjoyed passing on his experience. He then rode the ex-Burnett RC30 at the Donington Eurolantic Races, but it dropped a valve. Left with a hefty repair bill, Eddie headed to the Mettet Races in Belgium to ride in the "King of the Roads" series scoring 4th and 2nd in the two legs.
Eddie returned to the NW200 which this year was celebrating its Diamond Jubilee. It was also notable for the absence of Joey, who could not attend due to his Brands Hatch accident with Stephane Mertens. In practice Eddie was looking good for a top spot in the Junior, and the 500 was clocked at 183mph on the run down to Metropole.
So for the race on Saturday, it looked like it was going to be another cracker. With 50,000 spectators waiting along the 8.9 mile circuit the first race was the "Prince of the Roads" 250/350. The favourite Woolsey Coulter was out at the start with a broken handlebar! Lucky for Woolsey it was discovered at the line rather than flat out at Station Corner! Steve Hislop was also out of contention with ignition problems.
When the flag dropped the race was between Brian Reid, Kevin Mitchell, Johnny Rea and Eddie. All three led the race at different points but after three laps Eddie retired with a broken clutch while in third. Mitchell won the race with a new lap record of 111.83 mph with Reid 2nd and Rea 3rd.
Bitterly disappointed, Eddie was fired up for the" King of the Roads" Superbike Race and, aboard the 500 Honda, blasted off the line leaving Steve Hislop, Robert Dunlop on their RC30's ahead of Stephen Cull on the new JPS Norton. Also at the front of this race was NW200 debutant Darren Dixon on another very fast 500 Honda.
Eddie led into Metropole on the first lap and along the coast road, but ran wide at the chicane to let Hislop through to lead, followed by Eddie, Dunlop, Dixon, and Dave Leach. At the Metropole on the next lap Dixon out-braked the leaders to take up the running, and then it was announced that Laycock had stopped. Cull retired at the end of the lap. After adjustments on a loose wire Eddie got started again and was clocked through the speed trap at 177mph in an effort to catch the leaders. At the start /finish Hislop regained the lead from Dixon with Dunlop third. By then Eddie had caught and passed Sam McClements to move back up to fourth. On the next lap Dixon's Honda cried enough as he retired with a seized engine. By now the question on everyone's lips was could Eddie catch and pass the flying Haggis? As they entered the last lap Eddie was up to third after passing Dunlop and going through the speed trap even faster at 179mph on his way to recording the quickest lap of the race and a new lap record, 118.35mph. At the flag it was Hislop with Eddie 12 seconds down, Dunlop was 3rd, Leach 4th. Robert admitted later he was suffering from fuel starvation, but Eddie was still the fastest on the day.
So for the second 250 Race, Eddie wanted to make up for his disappointment. Also wanting to make amends was Woolsey Coulter who took off at the start and was never headed, with Mitchell 2nd and Eddie getting on the rostrum after a race long duel with Brian Reid.
Eddie's hopes were high for the feature NW200 Superbike Race, but after a downpour the whole grid changed to wets. Eddie tore off into the lead and led Hislop by 8 seconds after the first lap, followed by Dave Griffiths, Jamie Witham, and Nick Jefferies with the only JPS Norton of Steve Spray in sixth. Spray took over second spot on the second lap with Eddie disappearing into the distance lapping in the 118 mph bracket. Unfortunately, on the fourth lap the Honda triple cried enough on the run to Metropole and he retired with a split crank. With the chance of Spray winning on the Norton the crowd was kept entertained until the end, with Hislop taking the flag first, Witham 2nd, Spray 3rd. A disappointed Eddie had the consolation of the A.L.R. at 118.35 mph.
Next on the agenda was the TT, which, as usual, brought triumphs and tragedy. It's mostly remembered for the emergence of new TT star Steve Hislop and for the loss of stalwarts Phill Mellor and Steve Henshaw in the ill-fated Production Race.
But at the start of the week on the Friday evening, June 2nd, Irish eyes were smiling at a great performance from Eddie aboard an RGV 250 Suzuki in the Supersport 400 class. In the race he stormed to a start to finish win and averaged a great 105.27 mph for the four-laps. He dominated proceedings from the start with an opening lap of 106.78 mph, and on lap two he increased his pace to 106.90 mph, a new lap record. Graeme McGregor was 2nd on another Suzuki, third was Barry Woodland who was fastest in practice on his 250 Yamaha. Eddie recalled afterwards "the little Suzuki was just flying, the only problem I had was the slagging over the condom sponsorship and the rabbit I nearly ran over at Governors Bridge!!"
In the F1 dominated by Steve Hislop, Eddie, on the RC30, was lying in 12th on the last lap when he retired with mechanical trouble. With one win under his belt Eddie felt he had a good chance in the Junior, but Hislop had other ideas after taking 7.2 secs off Joey's lap record. And so it was that after lap two when Hislop was leading by eight seconds over Johnny Rea that disaster struck. At the Quarry Bends at over 135 mph Hizzy went down right in front of Eddie, this shook him as he recalled, "Hizzy was sliding down the road in front of me and I didn't see where he stopped; on the next lap I spotted him sitting on the wall and was relieved he was up and ok". After stopping for fuel and a new battery, Eddie, shaken and stirred, got his head down and chased Johnny Rea home, setting a new lap record of 114.04 mph in the process. He finished only 2.8 secs behind Rea who later admitted that his machine was losing revs on the last lap. Steve Hazlet finished 3rd to give it an Irish 1-2-3. My own favourite memory of this race was the superb wheelies across Ballacrie on every lap. 
In the Senior, won by Hislop, Eddie had brake problems and coming from 12th on the first lap he was happy to finish 5th particularly after the mixed emotions from the tragedies in the big Proddy race.
The following post-TT Killinchy meeting was a mixed bag for Team Miller. Eddie had to overcome a sticking throttle to win the first Junior 250 race, having to reel in and pass Johnny Rea. In the second, he broke down to leave the win to Rea. In the big race Eddie finished a great 4th after a race long battle with Sam McClements who finished 2nd and Robert Dunlop, 3rd. It was a delighted Dave Leach who won, having just decided to live in Ireland.
Eddie then returned to his GP campaign, and at Assen, in the closing stages of the race, he was knocked off his Honda by Ron Haslam. After other mixed fortunes in Belgium and France, where he finished outside the top fifteen, he returned to ride in the British GP at Donington. He crashed at McCleans in practice and hurt his wrist and ankle, nearly putting himself out of the Diamond Jubilee UGP.
After practice Eddie was looking forward to the racing after qualifying second to Brian Reid in the 250 at 109.63 mph. As expected, Eddie topped the Supersport 400 leader board riding the TT winning Suzuki. Junior TT and Killinchy winner, Johnny Rea, was drafted into the team by former TT winner Mick Grant, to back up Eddie in the 400 Race 
With the Supersport Race first up, Eddie put in a storming lap of 107 mph to lead from Rea, Dave Leach, Steve Ward and Ian Lougher. Eddie eventually won by 21.6 secs from Rea. Lougher was third after a great dice with Leach, only 0.15 secs separating them as they crossed the line. Eddie also got the fastest lap of the race at 110.14 mph.
He then completed a double by winning the "Prince of the Roads" 250 with another fastest lap at 111.66 mph; Reid was 2nd, Coulter 3rd and Rea 4th. Eddie remarked afterwards "I had an easy run in the Supersport, but the conditions were very slippy in the 250; I took it steady for a few laps and then speeded up after getting the signals that Brian was reeling me in ". He also finished 11th in the F1 race won by Carl Fogarty giving Carl his second F1 World Championship. Eddie said " I was pleased with 11th in the mixed conditions as I'd only ridden the RC30 twice and was still getting used to the bike's limits ".
Carl Fogarty also won the Superbike Race with Hislop second after a great dice with Eddie,.who later commented on the great race with Hizzy "In the King of the Roads race Steve just pipped me for second place after a great dice, it was a real cracker from where I was watching! Our bikes were dead equal on speed, though I think Steve's pulled better out of the corners. It was pretty scary on the last lap on the climb to Jordan's when we almost touched, and I was nearly through the hedge!" 
To round off a great 1989 season Eddie returned to Mondello for the Christy Clarke Memorial Races, winning both 250 Junior Races from McCallen; he also finished 6th in the EBC Superstocks Race won by Robert Holden after dicing with Andy McGladdery and Colin Gable. Eddie and Team Miller also made the trek to Macau in November for the first time and were rewarded with a great 4th behind Dunlop, McCallen and Hislop. Not a bad year for the Miller Team with a TT win, two UGP wins, the "King and Prince of the Road" titles and a few GP points."

Eddie, who retired at the end of 1992, now lives in Templeogue with his wife Helen and their two boys and runs a successful pet shop at Cornellscourt in south Dublin.

Myles Lally