South African Tour of Europe in 1951
IN the early 1950s, for a variety of reasons, a bid by former Hastings and Liverpool rider Buddy Fuller to bring a South African team to England for the 1951 season was rejected by British promoters.
But Fuller, never a man to be put off by officialdom, still went ahead and brought a team to Europe where, during a 10-week tour, they raced in Holland, Denmark, Norway, Germany and Sweden.
Apart from Fuller, the only other rider in the squad with British track links was Toby Boshoff, who had been with Rayleigh and Leicester in the 1949 and 1950s season.
At the same time, a surprise exclusion from the side was the formidable legtrailer Doug Serrurier who had been a spectacular favourite with Liverpool in the 1949 and 1950s seasons. Seemingly, despite Serrurier's distinguished British racing pedigree Fuller regarded his form as being inconsistent.
Others with established British track reputations surprisingly also left out of Fuller's team were Belle Vue's Henry Long and another former Liverpool star Fred Wills.
The South Africans won 10 of their 17 matches but lost a four match test series 3-1 to the Dutch. Surprisingly, the tour was never recorded in the British speedway press at the time.
This article was first published on 24th December 2017
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