Tributes have been paid to motorsport icon John Surtees who died today at the age of 83.
A post on the Henry Surtees Foundation’s Facebook page announced: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our husband and father, John Surtees CBE.”
So sad that the amazing John Surtees has passed away without ever getting that knighthood so many of us wished for. A real one of a kind.
— Tiff Needell (@tiff_tv) March 10, 2017
Surtees had been admitted to St George’s Hospital in London last month with “an existing respiratory condition”, and, according to the post, “passed away peacefully this afternoon.”
He had a long and illustrious career in motorsport, winning the 500cc world championship four times as well as the 350cc championship an additional three times.
Today the F1 family lost one of its all-time greats
1964 F1 world champion and motorsport legend John Surtees has passed away aged 83 pic.twitter.com/qAhTp7HANY
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 10, 2017
Surtees famously won the 1964 Formula One world championship behind the wheel of a Ferrari, later taking second place two years after.
Back on two wheels, he also won the Isle of Man TT six times, becoming the first rider to win the prestigious event three years in a row, with victories in 1958, 1959 and 1960.
It made him the first – and, to date, only – competitor to become a champion on two wheels and four.
John Surtees, Motorsport legend and 1964 World Champion with Ferrari, passed away. Our thoughts are with his family pic.twitter.com/dVzAHSGo2A
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) March 10, 2017
Made an MBE in 1959, he also won the Sportsview Personality of the Year Award that year. Awarded an OBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours, he was created a CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to motorsport.
The Facebook post added: “John was a loving husband, father, brother and friend. He was also one of the true greats of motorsport and continued to work tirelessly up until recently with The Henry Surtees Foundation and Buckmore Park Kart Circuit.
So sad to hear of the death of John Surtees. Such an important part of racing history – for me, always Sir John. RIP
— Andy Palmer (@AndyatAston) March 10, 2017
“We deeply mourn the loss of such an incredible, kind and loving man as well as celebrate his amazing life. He has set a very real example of someone who kept pushing himself at his peak and one who continued fighting until the very end.
“We would like to thank all the staff at St George’s Hospital and The East Surrey Hospital for their professionalism and support during this difficult time for us. Thank you also to all of those who have sent their kind messages in recent weeks.
“Funeral details will be announced in due course.”