John Little, Scotland’s Enduro Supremo

JOHN LITTLE 13th May 1935 – 8th September 2019

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of John Little, former trials and enduro rider who had suffered two dibilitating strokes recently and slipped away peacefully on Sunday, 8th September 2019, aged 84 years.

John was originally from Edinburgh, but made his home at Elgin, Moray in the 1980s with his wife Eileen.

john-little-bultaco-sonnys-1967
John Little on his 1966 Bultaco Sherpa seen here in the 1967 White Heather on ‘Sonny’s’ at Rogart – Photo: Grant Family Collection, Rogart

Father of top Scottish enduro rider Derek Little, John or Johnny as he was also known was a prime mover in the Grampian MCC and Elgin Enduro clubs with his friend Gilbert Rae. He was a passionate supporter of both trials and enduros.

27E - 1995 - ISDE - Poland - Group DL - MT - Richard Reid - Graeme Farish
1995 ISDE Poland – John Little was an enthusiastic supporter of the ISDE squad for many years.

He rode in the 1973 International Six Days Trial in the USA at Dalton, Massachusetts on a 169cc Greeves Pathfinder enduro, then switching to Laverda for the 1974 ISDT and finally Husqvarna machinery. John was a regular competitor in the Welsh Three Day Trial.

31E - John Little - Husqvarna - JY
John Little on his Husqvarna at a Borders Enduro – Photo: Jimmy Young

He was life-long friends with Jimmy Ballantyne who also died earlier this year.

John Little - Jimmy Ballantyne
An early 1960s photo of John Little (left) and Jimmy Ballantyne (right) taken in Edinburgh. Machine is a DMW.

John Little - Jimmy B ISDT Reunion Carlisle
John Little and Jimmy Ballantyne at the ISDDT ReUnion at Carlisle – Photo: Campbell Chatham

After retiring from active competition, Little took up support work for the Scottish ACU ISDE teams along with friend Ballantyne.

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John Little (Husqvarna) – Photo: Jimmy Young

John Little also served on the SACU Enduro committee and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award by the SACU management some years ago.

My beautiful picture
John Little was a keen trials rider, seen here on his Bultaco Sherpa (FFS169D) on Sciberscross in the 1967 White Heather Trial – Photo: Grant Family Collection

Trials Guru’s John Moffat said: “I have known John Little for well over 50 years. He was one of those people who rode competitively for many years, but put more into the sport than he took out. He worked tirelessly for the sport and encouraged many riders to take up enduro racing, that included myself. It was Johnny that insisted that I try my hand at enduros and I was grateful for his encouragement. I spent time in his company in 1976 at the ISDT in Austria and it was then as an 18 year old that I realised how helpful he was in supporting the Scottish ACU riders in that event. He had the ability to talk to anyone, of any age and his enthusiasm was infectious. He told me many times that motorcycling was a ‘disease’, to which there is no cure.

John was a true enthusiast, he rode trials, enduros and road bikes, he restored and prepared machines to a very high standard. There are many stories I could tell which involved Johnny, but this, for me, isn’t the time. I will miss his enthusiasm, I will miss his friendship. Johnny Little was one of the good guys.”

John’s funeral will be held on Friday 13th September 2019 at 2.30pm at William Watson Funeral Directors, 17 Blackfriars Road, Elgin, IV30 1TY – all welcome to attend.

Our sincere condolences go to the Little family at this difficult time.

John Little (2)

3 thoughts on “John Little, Scotland’s Enduro Supremo”

  1. Sorry to hear this, I have amusing memories of Johnny Little. 2019 is proving to be a sad year with several Scots from the golden era leaving us.

    1. Staggering news. Poor wee Johnny Little. So glad we could share some banter at the Arnott Run recently. Johnny was his usual fun self. Unbelievable.
      What a lovely wee chap he was. God bless him!

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