Dream Team : Michael Farrant
Milton Keynes Knights from 1979 to 1991. I was working as track staff for eight or so meetings in their last season. I knew Jason Bunyan the Milton Keynes mascot from the age of 10 onwards. That was Jason 10 and me 12. I don't see anything of him though nowadays. I still look out for his name though.
He still holds the track record around Cowley if my memory serves me right. Nobody could touch him, not even Tony Rickardsson. How many times has Tony ridden there without getting close to Hans's record? It has stood for many years and I don't think it will ever be beaten.
Had my photo taken with him by the track photographer at Groveway Stadium back in 1986 when I was 12. It was my claim to fame and was proud of it. I made sure all my schoolmates knew. I was at his farewell grasstrack meet too. It was very sad. It still upsets me now. He was my role model. My hero. And Hans' right hand man.
National League Riders Champion 1988. Stuffed the likes of Loram, Galvin, Kennett, Rasmussen and Poole and was a generally a great character around Milton Keynes. I look at him as I remember him and reckon he could have become as good as the next rider that I will mention.
After Milton Keynes closed a few seasons later I ventured up the A1 on a Friday night to watch the double Aussie pairing of Crump and Sullivan. It reminded me of the Troy Butler and Mark Carlson double act at Milton Keynes in the late eighties. The treble was down to those two. Milton Keynes never won a trophy and to see the Panthers wipe the board that year was very emotional. Crumpie is a truely world class rider. I think Hans is still the master but Jason is now a close second.
My first recollection of a heat leader was Bob. He went on to start up the training track at Elfield Park which was redeveloped as Milton Keynes primary track after the Groveway was closed down. Always a nine point average man. My hero as a five year old. Hope you're doing okay now mate.
The master of the Groveway. He knew all the racing lines on that track inside out. His average was always kept down though with his lack of scoring power away from home. Who cares though? He was a great character and friend and even took me and my mate round the track on his bike after a meeting. Something that I have never forgotten in more than 20 years. God bless you Chalky, wherever you are now.
Like I say, I've known him since I was 12. I kind of hoped that after all those nights of playing football with tin cans after meetings and collecting discarded programmes that he would have made it to World champ by now. Still who cares, He's a mate and will always be.
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This article was first published on 9th November 2006
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