Tributes to Tony Merry

UK racer Tony Merry passed away on 21st July 2010 after a battle with cancer.

Tony is most immediately remembered for his exploits in the Liquidator, a Ford Pop which can without a doubt be counted amongst the iconic cars of UK drag racing. However, as well as being a hard racer, Tony also did a lot to promote the sport, worked with other motorsports, and was also involved as a sponsor. Such was his determination in taking on his illness that in talking to Tony one would not have known that there was anything wrong as his friendly and cheerful personality shone through when most of the rest of us would have sunk into self-defeat.

We have received the following tributes to Tony. To send your own tribute, E-Mail

The most recently-received tributes are at the top of the page.

I would like to respond on behalf of the family to everybody who has taken time to post their comments about Tony. Each and every post has been read by the family and all of your kind words are very much appreciated. The funeral has been arranged for Friday 6th August at 1230. The service is to be held at Weeley Crematorium, Colchester Road, Clacton on Sea, CO16 9JP and the wake will be held at La Cascada, Fox Street, Ardleigh, Colchester CO7 7PP. Everybody is welcome. Family flowers, anybody wishing to make a donation should send this to St Helenas Hospice, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Colchester, CO4 9JU. Should you require any further details please send an E-Mail to Thank You once again.

-- Chris, Rob, Vicki and Anna

I was very sad to hear about Tony's passing. I met Tony at the Pod c1970 and soon afterwards persuaded him to work as Service Manager with me at Ray Powell Romford when he lived in Seven Kings, Essex. He was always cheerful and customers loved him. Not long after I joined the UK drag racing forum about a year ago Tony called me and we BS'd about old times for about half an hour but he never mentioned his health problem. He was one of the best. My condolences to his family.

-- Cliff Jones

Tony was one of life's genuine characters - the type of person anyone would enjoy spending time with. The weekends I spent helping out with both Panic and Stripteaser will always be remembered as some of my most enjoyable days. Tony introduced me to drag racing when I was a young lad and, in no time, had me cleaning and polishing dragsters, changing oil and making sandwiches for him and Bob. With the amount of work he did on my own cars too, Tony was, and will always be, so much more than just a friend. He will be sorely missed indeed.

-- Darren Ward

We have known Tony for many years, from the Loakman and Burton days. He was always helpful, cheerful and had a story to tell. We can't believe that he won't be at the track "Chewing the fat" any more, we will miss him. Love to Chris and family.

-- Brian and Julie Pateman

Of all the people you meet in life there are some who stand out over and above the rest. Not for any particular reason but they just have a star that burns brighter and, in Tony's case, shorter. He was one of the genuine people that I always looked forward to talking to. His company was always pleasant and he was one of the most well-respected, considerate and understanding of people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. To say I'll miss him would not do justice to a person who, along with being a sponsor, has always been a good friend. We will all miss him.

-- Paul Marston and all at Paul Marston Racing

Terry and I were very sad to hear of Tony's death. He was a nice person, funny, well-liked. We all go back such a long way to the days of The Liquidator, Panic, The Devil, The Assassin. He always helped Dave/Panic and Terry/The Assassin. We have great memories of those days at the Pod. The parties we had were great fun. We wish Christine and the kids all our love. Tony will be fondly remembered.

-- Jan and Terry Revill

So sad to hear the news. Tony was the kind of guy who was just always there with his smile and happy nature. He will be sorely missed and we will all lose the benefit of his advice and experience. Condolences to Chris and the family, it's been a privilege to have known him for so long.

-- Geof Hauser

I have worked with Tony now for thirteen years. We gelled from the first meeting as we both share a love of racing and soul and Tamla Mowtown music. He has been an inspiration to me and when you hear stories about Tony being one of the nicest guys you ever met it is 110% true. A great family man, a great guv'nor and the best friend you will ever have. Taken away from us far to early I find it difficult to accept he has gone. The only salvation is that he is now at peace. My heart and thoughts are with Chris, Rob, Vicky and Anna. Sleep tight old chap!

-- Derek Andrews

When you mention the name Tony Merry, the first thing that comes to mind is his smile. He was such a good guy and helpful in every way, both in drag racing and in the motor trade. Our love and sympathy goes to his family at this sad time.

-- Roz Prior, Gerry Andrews and Dave Stone

I have known Tony for almost 30 years and in all that time have never seen him without his smile. Even when he had to phone me to b*ll*ck me for late payment again (Engine Parts UK Ltd), he still made the time for a catch up and a laugh. He will be sadly missed by his family (love to Chris), his friends, and the whole engine trade in Europe. Why is it always the best ones?

-- John Ellis

This has been very sad to hear about the loss of a really nice man and a great drag racer from the old school. The sport was lucky to have had Tony. My deepest sympathy to all of his family, from an old racer friend, Keith Potter (The Devil). Bye Tony xxx

-- Keith Potter

I was very shocked to read about Tony. I first meet Tony in 1981, when he became the third team member of the Stripteaser race team owned by Bob Jarrett. In the years following, we had a lot of fun and success. We lived in Essex with a small river separating the villages. Bob moved on to Fuel Funny Car, and me to Top Fuel and away from England. I did not see Tony for many years. When he did came to Santa Pod, he would always come over and have a chat. I last saw him last year; he seemed his old self and I had no idea he was so ill. I had contact with Tony for many years not only Drag Racing also in business. He was always full of ideas, always the first to help. A big loss to many people. My thoughts go out to Chris and her family. R I P Tony.

-- Robin Grice

Back in 1977, my two heroes were Dennis Priddle and his Funny Car and Tony Merry and the Liquidator Pop. Saddo that I am, I so liked Liquidator that I used that name as my CB handle on the old illegal CB airwaves way back when; the old fogies will know what I am talking about. Some years later, Tony became a friend not only to me but also many of the members of our car club; I run the Damn Yankees. Always friendly and willing to take the time to explain things whilst working at Loakmans and Burtons. One of life's gentlemen, gone before his time. Thanks Tony from Gary Hall and all those Damn Yankees.

-- Gary Hall

Huge condolences to all Tony's family. A big shame, just told my old man and he said that same as everyone, really nice guy. When my grandad had his huge heart attack in 1986 at Long Marston, Tony pushed all the trailers out of the way for the ambulance to get through. On his own. Thanks Tony you very likely saved my grandad's life. RIP.

-- Luke Bennett

So sorry to hear about the death of Tony. I have many fond memories of him in the pits when we were racing against him in the 1970s. Sad news. RIP Tony.

-- Roy Fursman

What a great life it's been knowing you from our early days when things were so simple, to growing old and seeing drag racing grow into what it is now. You were a great ambassador for our sport and infact all the motorsports you were involved in, you will be sorely missed by all of us in your drag racing family. Be at peace now and have your well deserved rest my friend.

-- Paul Watson

I was sad to hear about Tony's death although I knew he was ill when I last met him earlier this year. He was a great character - always with a smile. One of those club racers who made it all worthwhile during the 1970s. RIP Tony.

-- Brian Taylor

I'm very sad to hear Tony has lost his battle with cancer. I have known Terry for many years in business and socially. The last time I spoke to him was a Santa Pod last year when he told me of his problems. At that time I was not aware that I also had a problem, but thankfully mine was curable. Tony said he would not let this disease beat him, and that positive attitude was something that was always in my mind when I was going through a similar situation. Cancer has such a traumatic effect on all your family and friends which you only know when it comes into your life and disrupts any thoughts of a future. So my thoughts are with all of them at this sad time. God bless Tony.

-- Stu Bradbury

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