Dream Team : Bill Gibbs
I started watching the Diamonds in 1962 but it was the 1965 season which I will always remember as that was the year we won the Provincial League title! So I am going for the men who did the business when they won down at Poole. That same night 8,000 plus crammed in to Brough Park just to watch a Best Pairs meeting, which was won by Charlie Monk and his partner representing Glasgow. We were getting regular updates as to how the Diamonds were doing against the Pirates!
The brother of Peter and a great all action rider to watch. He gave nothing but 100% every meeting.
The little Kiwi was the perfect partner for Brian. The women used to love his swarthy looks!
Tough as old boots and boy could he ride Brough Park....had a style which looked as if he was locking up but what a performer.
Just got on with the job of collecting valuable points.
Ken always reminded me of everyone's favourite Grandad...he was to later ride for the enemy, Sunderland Saints at East Boldon. I believe he was tragically killed in a car crash.
My all time hero, who I met this year...I remember Ivan going about ten weeks at home without dropping a point until he was beaten by a ypoung Hackney Hawk number one...Colin Pratt. He was beaten shortly afterwards by a Wolverhampton rider...Peter Jarman. I went to Wembley in 1966 to see Ivan win the European Championship and it is the only time I have come out of Wembley a winner as six trips there with Newcastle United have produced nothing!!!
A gritty rider who we dubbed "The Legend"...he was nothing great but we loved him!
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This article was first published on 9th August 2007
"Sorry about this, but Ken Sharples joined the
Diamonds owing to the demise of Sunderland Saints. Incidentally, The Saints promoter, Bill Bridgett, had given 2,000 free tickets to the local population,
who enjoyed their free meeting, against Newcastle, very much, but preferred not to return, because they would have had to pay! Hence the real reason for
the closure, with Bridgett having lost �6,000 pounds on the venture."
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