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Dream Team : Steve Andrews

My dad first took me to Cradley when I was seven years old in 1968. I was immediately "hooked" so we went virtually every week thereafter. My first "hero" was Bernie Persson in 1969, I also liked Bob Andrews, in fact looking back i liked them all really. Up until Cradley closed down I spent many years following the team home and away, hardly ever missing a meeting. I had been to all the British tracks and numerous venues abroad for World Championship events including ice racing.

Olsen Penhall

Ivan Mauger
I remember the buzz around town whenever Ivan Mauger was coming to town, he was almost unbeatable around Dudley Wood and virtually everywhere he went. I also saw him win his sixth and final World title in Poland in 1979.

Ole Olsen
The rider all Cradley fans loved to hate. I would never have included him in a "dream team" in the days when he rode for Wolves and then Coventry and can't say I even liked him in those days but, looking back now, he was a great rider. Strewth - I've just surprised myself for including him !!!!

Bernie Persson/John Boulger
I can't split these 2, I used to love seeing Bernie lower the colours of the 2 above which he managed sometimes and he nearly gave us long suffering Cradley fans a World Champion in 1972. And I was absolutely thrilled to bits when Johnny B was "allocated" to Cradley in 1974 as a replacement for Bernie, he stayed for 3 seasons and was magnificent.

Maicolm Simmons
From about 1975 onwards "Super Simmo" was almost unbeatable around Dudley Wood and really should have won the World Championship.

Erik Gundersen
My all time favourite Heathen, a fantastic bloke and a great little Speedway rider. I was at Odsal on that very sad day in 1989. A large action picture of Erik still adorns my office wall. A massive thanks to Dan McCormick for bringing this bundle of Danish dynamite to Cradley in 1979 when Wolverhampton were hoping to get him.

Bruce Penhall
This guy just oozed charm and charisma and was a brilliant Speedway rider, a real Champion. Again thanks to our promotor at the time, Dan McCormick, for transforming the Heathens from a mickey mouse team into a team that the entire country would be envious of.

Greg Hancock
It's great to see Greg Still putting on a show in the Grand Prix's. Another wonderful and extremely popular Heathen, such a shame he was forced to move on after the demise of Cradley.

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This article was first published on 9th September 2010

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