Carl Fogarty made sure a new road named in his honour was opened in style.
The superbike legend unveiled the new Carl Fogarty Way in his own distinctive way, setting off on his custom-made CM Foggy Edition Spitfire to be the first to ride along the road.
He was joined by Mayor of Blackburn Councillor Jim Shorrock who brought along his own ride, nicknamed ‘The Beast’, to be the second person to try out the new road, as well as children from St Thomas CE Primary School, Councillors and construction partners.
After inspecting the new road, Carl officially declared it open by riding through ceremonial tape held by his wife Michaela and daughter Claudia and then giving his bike a spin, throwing in a few wheelies for good measure. He even got to take home one of the road signs to mark the occasion.
Carl was specially chosen to have the new road named after him to celebrate his achievements as a local legend.
He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1998 New Year Honours.
In 2014, he earned a new level of fame when he became the King of the Jungle on ITV’s ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ show.
Carl said: “I’ve won quite a few awards in my life but this honour is a bit different! It’s brilliant to see your name on a road sign and it’s great to be the first to ride along it on the Foggy Spitfire. It feels amazing, it really does, it’s really great, it’s not every day you get a road named after you, especially in your home town, there’s no word to describe it, it’s a massive honour. Having the road to myself for a moment before we let all the traffic through felt really special. It’s my road!”
Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member for Growth and Development, said “Carl Fogarty is a local legend and this seemed a great way to celebrate him and everything he was given to the borough. We’re very proud to name this road after him and it’s been a fantastic way to open it. This road has been a long time in the planning, and it is designed to ease off a lot of traffic between the town centre and the motorway – although I would strongly advise motorists not to try and copy Carl when they are travelling down it!”
The Mayor added: “It was a complete thrill to be able to share the road with the incredible Carl Fogarty. Obviously, while my bike is my pride and joy it can’t quite compare to the Foggy Spitfire! It was a wonderful celebration of the new road and also of one of Blackburn’s most famous sons, and a very different way to open a new road!”
Mr Eric Wright, Chairman of Eric Wright Group which oversaw the building of Carl Fogarty Way, said: “I am obviously delighted and proud to see this road opening today and having a local celebrity of this stature makes it even more special. This man is a legend in his own lifetime and being associated with all this brings me great pride. The road will bring improved facilities and access and will be a great development for the area”.
Carl Fogarty Way runs near Blackburn town centre between Gorse Street and the Red Lion Roundabout, past Burnley Road near the Tesco store.
The 600m stretch of road will link up the Bottomgate and Copy Nook route into Blackburn town centre with the Red Lion Roundabout at Whitebirk/Junction 6 of the M65, bypassing Burnley Road to ease traffic.