Dream Team : Tony Sanderson
I first went to see Belle Vue in 1967 aged 7 years, and fell in love with the atmosphere, smell and excitement of the riders and the old Hyde Road stadium. Heroes like Sandor Levai, Cyril Maidment and Soren Sjosten and even oposing riders like Jim Airey, Nigel Boocock, Reidar Eide. All greats, if only the racing was like that nowadays.
He was the greatest without a doubt, he held the white line like no one I ever saw before. He was the ultimate professional, with his gleaming machines and leathers. He taught lots to younger riders too.
He was a tiger in many a sense of the word. He rode for the Glasgow Tigers and was brave and exciting too and was always great to the fans, signing autographs and a pleasant word. I got his autograph at about 9 or 10 years of age and loved seeing him ride at Belle vue when Glasgow came down...eventually he rode for the aces for a while too.
He was one of the most exciting riders I ever saw. He could ride the boards at speeds which are hard to imagine and his style and determination were second to none.
A brilliant pole, who wasn't far off being a world champion. He rode for many years and was always a great tryer and was well liked by fellow riders and many fans I knew, myself included.
He was a great rider, a great man, and very well respected by many in the sport. He was a massive star and a household name in 60's and 70's britain, even though he was a massive rival to my favourites, I still hold him in great regard as one of the all time greats...so reliable.
It was sad to see Jim go back to Aussie and quit riding in Britain. He was an amazing rider with his own style. I saw him at Sheffield and also around Hyde Road and he was always worth the admission fee alone.
I loved it when we went to Coventry or they came to Hyde Road. He is my favourite English rider of all time..boy blue..he had a great style and never say die attitude, another who could hold the white line so well.
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This article was first published on 21st August 2008
"Good picking Tony. I can't disagree with any of your selection except that I would have slipped in Charlie Monk, Martin Ashby and, possibly, Terry Betts."
"How well I remember also the great Nigel Boocock, and in particular the ENGLAND V USSR match at Poole, anyone else remember this match? "
"Some mighty riders in those you
have named. I note you said it was 'sad to see Jim (Airey) go back to Aussie'. Let me assure you, as an Aussie, it was just magic to see him come back.
One I would include would be Gordon Gausco - 'Horse' was magnificent to watch and his duels with Jim Airey are legendary."
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