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An Evening With The Champions of Speed 2013 - Report
By Neil Burrows

Reg Fearman

Speedway fans from around the country recently descended upon the Westgate Suite in Long Eaton for the eagerly awaited 'An Evening With The Champions of Speed' with guest speaker Reg 'Fearless' Fearman (former rider, team manager and promoter).

The evening proved to be very entertaining with Fearman living up to his nickname of 'Fearless' with the way he feared no questions that were asked of him to answer, from personal disputes to reasons as to why he left Long Eaton as a promoter at the end of the 1967 British League season.

Fearman also brought the world's best riders over to ride for Long Eaton, "I rang Ove Fundin up and asked if he would come and ride at Long Eaton, all Fundin wanted supplying was a machine and to have it maintained which I agreed to and over he came," he said. Ray Wilson maintained the machine and Fundin was on standard money but after only a handful of matches the dream ended, Fearman added: " Ove had his racing licence withdrawn because he refused to ride in some meetings in Sweden so he never rode again for me."

On leaving Long Eaton he said: "I always enjoyed getting up and going to the speedway and despite the difficulties of promoting I always thought that the next day or the next week it would get better. At Long Eaton it was a commercial decision as to why I left at the end of that 1967 season, the crowds increased when such teams as Belle Vue were there but the damage that the stock cars caused eventually proved to costly to carry on."

He concluded: "It's been 45 years since I've been to Long Eaton and have found this evening a very interesting one, thankyou."

Long time speedway fan Ian Price enthused: "It's been very interesting listening to Reg going back to the early days of speedway, I've learnt a lot tonight."

Ann Townsend (left) presents Sue
Billington (Lincs/Notts Air Ambulance)
with cheques

As with this event and all the events organised by the Long Eaton Speedway Reunion Group all the proceeds go to speedway related charities and on the evening a special presentation was made and gratefully received, a £380 cheque plus a £20 cheque (donated by Costco) was presented by Ann Townsend (committee secretary) to Sue Billington (volunteer) on behalf of the Lincs/Notts Air Ambulance.

"With £1.7 million required each year to maintain the service provided by the air ambulance we couldn't survive without donations like this so I would like to say thankyou, we are very very grateful," said Sue.

Peter Wrathall. Chairman of the Reunion Group added: "I would like to thank everyone for attending a very captivating evening and despite the adverse traffic conditions there was still a great turn out which shows how much support there is for speedway in general and speedway in Long Eaton. The committee look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion in June."

Calling all Invaders fans: Under the name of the Long Eaton Project, the Invaders speedway team race their home fixtures at Leicester Speedway and are about to enter their third season of racing in the Midland Development League, Martin Widman (Project Director) said: "We would like to urge all fans to attend as this will give us added strength in finding a new home, see you there in 2013."

For future event information held by the Long Eaton Speedway Reunion Group please contact Peter Wrathall on 01332 872187 or 07970419170, email: wrathall39@tiscali.co.uk or visit longeatoninvaders.co.uk


This article was first published on 17th February 2013

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