A MOTORCYCLING pioneer from Gwent is to be remembered with a new pub being named after him.

Malcolm Uphill from Machen was the first man to average over 100 mph for a lap of the Isle of Man TT on a production bike. He did this in winning the 750cc production class on a Triumph Bonneville in 1969.

Dunlop named the TT 100 tyre after his lap that averaged 100.39 mph, while in a 14 year career Mr Uphill won the production class at the Isle of Man TT in 1969 and 1970 plus a double victory in the 1965 Manx Grand Prix .

He also finished ninth in the 1968 250cc world championship despite only competing in the races around the UK.

Mr Uphill died in 1999, aged 64 from asbestosis.

Now pub chain Wetherspoon’s will open The Malcolm Uphill on Cardiff Road, Caerphilly, in October, paying homage to the late rider who was was president of the Ponthir Motorcycle Club.

JD Wetherspoon has sent his widow, Lila, a letter asking for permission to name the pub after the father-of-one and grandfather-of-four.

Close friend Brian Farmer, 71, from Rudry, travelled around with Mr Uphill when he started riding as an amateur in 1956, with a group of mates chipping in for petrol to make competing affordable.

Mr Uphill won around £300 for winning the Isle of Man TT, which is a world away from the millions current stars such as Valentino Rossi earn.

But, Mr Farmer is convinced he would be a world star is he was competing today.

He said: "Malcolm was a very modest man, but was fearless on a bike, he was special. Whatever it takes to race, he had that. It’s like the runner Usain Bolt or other outstanding sportsmen- a lot of people can run, but he can do it that bit better."

Mr Uphill raced semi-professionally until 1970, when a broken leg in the Ulster Grand Prix forced him to retire and he then worked erecting roller shutter doors.

His eldest grandchild, Joshua, 17, has now got his first bike, inspired by the achievements of Mr Uphill.

Mr Farmer added: "It’s a great honour for the family and will make sure Malcolm’s name lives on."

JD Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said they wrote to Mrs Uphill last week informing her of the intention. Mr Gershon said work started on the pub in June, with the aim of naming it the Billingsley Rose when it opens on October 11.

But, after local people questioned the name, they decided to name it after Mr Uphill when fans suggested it, with Mr Gershon calling it "a perfect name".