Dream Team : Alan Rogers
I have been watching speedway since the late 60's mainly at Belle Vue but all over the country when work moved me. In the 70's my ex-father-in-law sponsored some of the great and up and coming riders of the time. The top 5 of my list were all 'Shepley Equipment' sponsored riders the last two were just good and talented young riders who I had the privilege to know.
A great rider with a never give up style a real crowd pleaser. A really nice guy. Chris was the first rider to be on the Shepley books.
Belle Vue, Halifax and Poole - Eric had a distinctive style I think brought on by his size, he was always a tryer. The man from Burnley was always one of my favourites.
What a great rider and such a tragedy to the sport when he was so cruelly injured. Joe was unbeatable on his day. Just a great talent.
I went to school with John's brother Mike, a very good cycle speedway rider himself. John progressed from cycle speedway to being a very useful rider at Cradley and Oxford. The year he was badly injured was going to be one of his best, such a pity. I helped out with his bikes and went all over with John when he first started. Great fun and a time not to be missed. I was devastated to hear about his accident when his Mum rang.
What a likeable chap. He was Mr Professional the Ivan Mauger of that league. His equipment was always immaculate as was all our dealings with him and not a bad rider to boot.
One of the Collins dynasty, he was always a laugh a minute. Whether mooning us on the motorway or in the Cradley chip shop where he always asked for faggot and chips, he was great fun. A great rider and very supporting to John at Cradley. He very helpfuly told John that if his front wheel lifted from the start just wind it on, it would be ok. I think John only tried it once!
Another tragedy, such a nice guy and family. When John fell off Pip's Mum was always there to support John's Mum. Another rider with talent who could have gone far in the sport.
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This article was first published on 3rd January 2008
"I can only agree with Alan Roger's assessment of Joe Owen. If not for his first major accident at Hull I believe Joe was a possible world class rider. I have never seen a rider have such dominance at a track as Joe did at Brough Park in 1976. I'm sure his only dropped points were due to mechanical issues (although brother Tom did beat him a few times in the 2nd half final)"
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