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Dream Team : Adam Smith

Not old enough to remember the old one night world final format, earliest memories for me are going down Dudley Wood to watch Cradley with the old man, couldn't have been any older than 3 or 4. Obviously as Cradley are no more, I went over to support Coventry Bees but in the last year and a half I have took more of an interest in Dudley as they are carrying the old Heathens name as well as I live in the area.

NielsenCross

Billy Hamill
The Bullet!!!! My idol, all time favourite rider, his style, charisma and all round ability on the bike. From his early days at Cradley, to wowing the world in the mid 90s, the 1996 world champion never got the career he deserved. Billy was a natural rider who oozed with style, never known for making the gate, but if there was ever a rider who could come from last to first in four laps, then the bullet fills this role. My team captain!!!

Greg Hancock
You can't have one with out the other, the old team exide, Hamill and Hancock, the greatest double act in my lifetime. Classy rider who consistently makes the gate to this day, knows how to win races. Hancock has been a truly outstanding rider, and speedway as a sport should be eternally grateful for his passion and dedication to the beautiful sport. 1997 world champion!!!

Tony Rickardsson
The stylish swede, 6 time world champion, what more needs to be said. As well as Billy, a natural rider who could make the gate but overtake as well. Untouchable in his peak years, and it was a sad day for speedway when Tony retired, it's riders like tony that make me wonder how much would he be worth if the sport was as big and popular as football. There are nowhere near enough words that can describe the ability this guy had, from tussling it out with the great Dane Hans Nielsen in the mid 90s to mmixing it with Crump just a decade later. Arguably one of the greatest riders of all time?

Bruce Penhall
A bit before my time, but my old man has told me enough to know that it would be criminal to leave this guy out. May not have had the pasion and commitment that could have seen him smash records and leave an unbelievable legacy behind, but what he did do in such a short space of time just shows how superb a rider he was. Two time world champion, my number 4!!!

Jan O. Pedersen
The pint sized Dane & 1991 world champion!!! Old videos and stories have given the number 5 slot to Jan O. someone never afraid to overtake and take a gamble, seems very similar to Billy, with his natural syle on the bike and continous enthusiasm to entertain the crowd.

Hans Nielsen
Four time world champion, the great Dane could get the job done, former Coventry great, the Dane was the master of making the gate and had a great level of consistency througout his career. Had some great rivalries with the likes of Gunderson and Rickardson, and even Hamill in 1996.

Simon Cross
Heathen through n through, all round hard man, another great rider who could of had a more glittering career if it werent for unfortunate injuries. Some of my earliest memories as a speedway fan was seeing Crossy flying around Dudley wood, literally taking no prisoners, no world titles to his name but I would happily say that Crossy is one of the greatest British riders never to win a world title!!!

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This article was first published on 17th September 2011


 

  • Chris Stockwell:

    "No GUNDER THE WUNDER? Maybe you were too young? You should ask your dad about him, took over from Penhall as number one and in my opinion amuch better rider and more loyal to the club!!"

  • Tracy Holmes:

    "1989 World Cup Final, September 17, Bradford. 1st England. Kelvin Tatum, Simon Wigg, Jeremy Doncaster, Paul Thorp and SIMON CROSS. Yes, he may only have lasted one quater of a lap, caught up in the Gundersen crash but Simon Cross is a World Cup Gold Medalist. Does that he did in fact win a World Title? YES SIR !!!"

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