Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
DVD Review: 70s - A to Z
Your Feedback
Why is it in decline?
Plus Points
Dream Team: Garry Robinson
The Golden Hammer - 1996
Your Feedback
Raking Over Old Coals
The Golden Hammer - 1995
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Ode to Brough Park
The Golden Hammer - 1994
Which Craven?
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Ivan Miller
The Golden Hammer - 1993
Your Feedback
Generator - Prem Pairs
The Golden Hammer - 1992
As The Crow Flies
The Golden Hammer - 1991
Generator - Danish League
The Golden Hammer - 1990
Your Feedback
Oxford's Minor Miracle
The Golden Hammer - 1989
The Golden Hammer - 1986
The Golden Hammer - 1987
The Golden Hammer - 1988
The Golden Hammer - 1983
The Golden Hammer - 1984
The Golden Hammer - 1985
Plus Points
Your Feedback
The Golden Hammer - 1980
The Golden Hammer - 1981
The Golden Hammer - 1982
Plus Points
Your Feedback
The Golden Hammer - 1977
The Golden Hammer - 1978
The Golden Hammer - 1979
Plus Points
Your Feedback
The Speedway Bike
Your Feedback
45 Years a Racer
Your Feedback
DVD: Sheffield Memories
Your Feedback
Ronnie's Newcastle Nightmare
Plus Points
Book Review: Where Eagles Dared
The Cheetahs Are Back!
Your Feedback
King's Lynn - Part Four
Track Pix: Redcar
Your Feedback
DVD Review: Hans Nielsen
Track Pix: Sheffield
Your Feedback
Artem Laguta
Track Pix: Birmingham
Your Feedback
King's Lynn - Part Three
KENT - Central Park
Your Feedback
Book Review: Yearbook 2020
Track Pix: Peterborough
Your Feedback
Ian Hoskins Tribute
Ian Hoskins Tribute
Your Feedback
Speedway's Black Hole
Track Pix: Mildenhall
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Kirky Lane Demolition
Cinder Kings Exhibition
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Aussies at Ipswich - 1
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Steve Langton Strikes Gold
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Book Review: Split Waterman
Your Feedback
King's Lynn - Part 2
Your Feedback
Irish Eyes Were Smiling
Plus Points
Your Feedback
King's Lynn - Part 1
Plus Points
Your Feedback
Speedway in Germany 1933
Dream Team : Kevin Huggett
Plus Points
Your Feedback
The Bill Allen Mystery
Your Feedback
The Ipswich Witches
The Danger of Winning
Your Feedback
Australia 70/71
Canterbury Noise Trials
Your Feedback

A Rather Special Evening
By Dudley Jones

Igor Plechanov

The day in question was 10th July 1964. The place was the Firs Stadium at Norwich.

The year was the year when the Russians sent a test team to Britain. Always ones to do their own thing, the Norwich management booked, and billed as such, the full Russian test team to race in a meeting entitled 'Norwich v. Soviet Russia'.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the powers that be blocked this event, but the usual (very) large crowd were expected and something had to be done.

Four Russians were brought to Norwich. The match was programmed as an 18 heat, seven aside, match and the programme included all seven Russians. After a short debate on what to do, the Russians elected to race the 18 heat format, without the assistance offered (I believe that Norwich may have got one or two big names along to ride with them).

The Russians present that night were the great Igor Plechanov, Yuri Checkranov, Gennady Kurilenko, and Gabdrakhman Kadirov.

Kurilenko was the Russian number 3, but without Samorodov these lads, never having seen the place, were up against it.

It was announced that the Russians would each race in every other race, for the full 18 heats.

Heat 1 saw Fundin and Levai line up against Igor and Yuri. Not surprisingly Ove won, from Igor, with Yuri third.

Heat 2 saw Nygren share the points with the second Russian duo, but in Heat 3 Trevor Hedge got the better of Igor, and Billy Bales made it a 4-2 to the Stars.

The racing was thrilling throughout, of the very highest quality. The lead changed hands in heats 7, 12, and 16, with no less than 10 shared heats.

At the end of possibly the greatest meeting I have seen in 45 years, the Russians were all still standing, and contesting every point - and they finished just 2 points ahead of the Stars.

The scores were as follows:

Norwich Stars
Fundin 18 (maximum)
Levai 0
Nygren 17 (beaten only by Igor)
Read 1
Bales 8
Hedge 9
Trott 0

Soviet Russia
Plechanov 19 (including a fall racing Fundin)
Chekranov 9
Kurilenko 16
Kadirov 11

So close was it that Billy Bales engine failure, when 3rd in heat 14, cost the Stars a draw (the Russians, despite the beating the bikes must have taken, had no mechanical failures). Then again, if Igor had not fallen when contesting the lead...

Fundin and Nygren's scores should not suggest that the Russians were in any way outclassed, both were at their very best that year, and near invincible at the Firs.

My admiration for Igor Plechanov was probably born that remarkable evening at Holt Road.


This article was first published on 31st July 2008


  • Igor Sokolovsky:

    "On the same day, July 10, 1964, Boris Samorodov, Anatoly Gruzintsev and Konstantin Krishtal acted in Swindon in the International tournament pairs. Vitaliy Shilo was seriously injured in the first race at Wembley Stadium on July 4 and was in the hospital."

    [ Use Mobile Version ]


    Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

  •    Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole