Dream Team : Andrew Dixon
As somebody who supported Halifax and Bradford before changing to Sheffield when I went to study there, here is my dreamteam made up from the riders I watched over those years.
A fantastic performer and arguably the best rider never to be crowned world champion. Just before he sadly passed away in 1986 he was supposed to be struggling but still had an average of over 10 points (if I remember correctly). The first rider who really captured my imagination and turned me into a speedway follower forever. True Yorkshire grit and who knows what would have happened during the rest of his career if it hadn't been prematurely cut short???
A progressing talent at Halifax who showed his true form in 1986 after the move to Bradford, being crowned British Champion and reaching the World Final. If not for a string of knocks and injuries he may have gone on to much bigger things? His races against Kelvin Tatum alone were always worth the entrance money. Also put in a few excellent seasons for Sheffield to make himself qualify for my selection from all 3 teams!
A dazzling talent when he first burst onto the scene and a very exciting day when Bradford clinched his signature. An exciting rider with style and an ability to win from the front or come from behind when he needed it who just got better and better as I watched him. The highlight was of course seeing him crowned World Champion in Poland. Another rider who perhaps could have gone on to produce more without the spell he spent banned on the sidelines and the horrific injury which has obviously affected him since. Good to see him still riding and I wish him all the best for the rest of his career as he represented Bradford 100% until they closed.
A rider 100% committed to Bradford during his time there who recovered from a terrible back injury to regain form, especially when coming from behind around the wide bends of Odsal. I have then been fortunate enough to see him again at Sheffield where he has somehow appeared to become even more enthusiastic about the sport and committed to his team. Always good to watch at Bradford but has been selected for the last few years he has given to Sheffield.
Selected after just one season at Sheffield but it would be hard to argue with. Carried them through in many meetings during the experiment with one combined league where the club could not compete with the top teams as they once had. A rider who had a chance of winning any race he was in and with the right support could always be relied upon to do his bit. An excellent team rider who capped his season by winning the league riders championship.
After watching him come and beat us again and again with Oxford, aided and abetted by Wigg and Nielsen, it was good to see him on our side for a change. A class performer who you knew would consistently score points and helped to end the guaranteed hammerings the Dukes used to get on their travels. Always a great team man and it was a shame his career had to end so soon and I hope everything goes well in his future.
A fantastic rider and it has been a pleasure to see him improve season on season for the Tigers. Hopefully another year of progress and a shot at the top boys in the Elite. Always fully committed in every race, stylish when in front and always has a chance of overtaking when behind. I look forward to seeing him get better and better and hopefully with David Howe become Britain's very own Nielsen and Gundersen on the world front for many years.
Honourable mentions to Doug Wyer, Steve Baker, Eric Monaghan, Michael Graves, Gordon Whitaker, Lance King, Randy Green, Andy Smith, Paul Thorp, Scott Smith, Robbie Kessler and Andre Compton. I'm sure I have missed a couple of names out but thankyou to every rider who has entertained me over the past 17 years and long may speedway be successful to entertain me some more!!!
This article was first published prior to October 2002
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