FANS young and old came out in droves for the chance to meet motorcycle legend Carl Fogarty when he made an appearance in Crewe.
The seven-times world champion was at Ottakar's bookshop in Victoria Street on Thursday to sign copies of his new book Foggy: The Championship Years.
The queue spilled out on to the street as people packed in for a glimpse of their idol. But the cold and rain did not put people off as they waited for one of the most popular British sporting figures of all time.
Following the success of previous books, his autobiography Foggy and rider manual Foggy On Bikes, this new project deals with his favourite subject - winning.
A catalogue of all 72 professional races he won in his career, from Superbike successes to the Isle of Man TT, it tells the story of each in pictures and in Carl's own uncompromising words.
He said: 'It's a picture book essentially and I like the fact that it is more photographs than words! I can remember every race like it was yesterday.'
Invited to pick a favourite, he said: 'I get asked that all the time and it really is so hard to pick one. Obviously, all my World Superbike victories were special, the champion-ship clinchers at Phillip Island in 1994 and at Brands Hatch in 1995 stand out.
'Early in my career I used to love racing at Oulton Park. I raced there from about 1983-1991 and it was where I won my second ever race.
'Then again I also broke my leg badly there in 1986! But I used to dream it would host the Grand Prix and I would win as a wildcard entry and things like that.'
Foggy, 39, is now retired and managing his own superbike team, Foggy Petronas Racing. He is credited by many with turning the marginal sport of motorbike racing into a global phenomenon attracting huge television deals from the likes of Sky.
The Blackburn-born superstar won a string of titles in a glittering career, including two World TT Formula One Championships in 1988 and 1989, the FIM F1 World Cup in 1990 and four World Superbike Champion-ships in 1994, 1995, 1998 and 1999 on a 1,000cc Ducati bike. He was forced to retire in 2000 after a crash in Australia left him with an arm broken in three places.
'I do miss it, of course,' he said. 'Nothing can replace the feeling of being out there or, more importantly, being up on the podium at the end.'
Carl, who lives in Blackburn with wife Michaela and daughters Danielle and Claudia, takes his astonishing fame and cult status all in his stride.
He said: 'It doesn't bother me. I just think it's amazing someone from motorbike racing can reach that level.'
Foggy: The Championship Years is published by HarperCollins priced £20 and available in all major book-shops.