Father of TT death biker Dan Kneen praises Prince William

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Dan and Richard KneenImage source, Richard Kneen
Image caption,
Richard Kneen (right) was touched by the prince's words following the death of his son

The father of late TT star Dan Kneen has praised the "compassion and understanding" of Prince William, who offered his support to the family.

Mr Kneen, from Onchan, was killed in a collision on 30 May.

The Duke of Cambridge requested a private meeting with his family during his first official visit to the island.

Richard Kneen said the prince showed "genuine interest" and "wanted to hear all about how Dan first got involved with bikes and what he had achieved".

Mr Kneen, whose son Ryan is also a TT racer, described William as a "thoroughly compassionate and understanding young man."

Writing in a post on Facebook, he added: "What a lovely young man he is. He spoke to all of us one by one."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The prince tried out a motorbike during his visit to the island

An inquest into his son's death was opened at Douglas courthouse on Thursday.

It heard the 30-year-old respected rider died from "multiple injuries", but few other specific details were revealed.

However, the court heard the former Irish Superbike champion would have been travelling about 140mph (225km/h) before the crash, which happened on the Churchtown section of the Mountain Course.

An investigation is continuing and Coroner John Needham adjourned the hearing, with a date for the full inquest yet to be decided.

Mr Kneen's partner Leanne now plans to set up a charity in the biker's name, and said William had pledged to "do what he could" to support it.

During his visit, Prince William, who has a life-long love for motorcycles, met organisers and spectators, watched riders reach speeds close to 200mph (322km/h), and even started the TT Zero race for electric machines.

Image source, Steve Babb
Image caption,
Dan Kneen set his fastest ever lap of the TT Mountain Course the night before he died

He told how he used to have a Ducati 1209 but had downsized to a less powerful bike and revealed he used to ride scramblers with his brother the Duke of Sussex.

However, he admitted: "I'm a father of three, I have to tone it down now."

Norton's owner Stuart Garner, who met the prince, said: "He's a bike guy, he understands motorbikes so it's good to be able to chat bikes. He genuinely gets it".

The Isle of Man TT was first staged in 1907 and is one of the oldest continuous motorsport events in the world, and is renowned for its difficulty and danger.

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