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Dream Team : Graham Hall

PerksWilson

My very first speedway meeting was actually the third meeting of the 1964 season, if my memory serves me correctly, Long Eaton v. Exeter in a Southern League challenge, and I think the score was 39-37 to Long Eaton. From then on, I was hooked, we lived in Derby at the time, and Tuesday nights were something to look forward to. I supported Long Eaton through good and bad, who can ever forget the match against Scunthorpe when Long Eaton won the league. Never seen so many grown men crying, excitement I hasten to add!

Various combinations of our family visited many away tracks, mainly with my late father, we could never find Cradley Heath! My favourite other track was probably Sheffield, the next nearest, which during the 80's I visited loads of times with my younger brother. Memories of Long Eaton, so many, but I remember the local derbies with Boston, the visiting hordes of tartan clad supporters from Glasgow, the match when Mildenhall refused to race giving Long Eaton a 65-0 victory, and one weekend in the 80's when a group of us did 4 matches in 2 days, World Final at Bradford in the afternoon, league match at Halifax in the evening, Belle Vue on the Sunday afternoon, and Stoke on the Sunday evening on the way home. So, after a lot of deliberation, here is my dream team.

Dave Perks
A rider who was the king of the NL, did so much for Long Eaton over the years, a perfect stylish rider.

Mike Sampson
A rider who could be brilliant one week, often was, but not very good the following week, I understand he was very temperamental. Could have been a good middle team rider at Cradley too.

Ray Wilson
Started when 17 year olds were unheard of, memories of him barging past anybody who got in his way, and often getting away with it, always seemed a bit too 'chunky' to be a good rider, but really made it big in the early 70's, anybody scoring a maximum for their national team deserved a medal.

Norman Storer
Made riding a speedway bike like he was sitting in an armchair. My first ever speedway hero, and a rider any promoter would be proud of. A first class loyal team rider, especially when paired with Ray Wilson.

Alan Witt
Only rode at Long Eaton for a short time, he used to follow riders for 3.75 laps and then take them on the old pits bend which became known as the 'Witt turn'.

Glen McDonald
One of the many Aussies to come to Long Eaton, I had visions of Glen becoming a world class rider, sadly this didn't happen, but very entertaining all the same. Also impressed with his limited outings at Cradley.

David Tyler
The original overnight sensation, and many times a match winner, again, should have gone on to bigger things, he was tried at a couple of BL tracks far too early in his career, it was rumoured he lost his nerve and passion for racing.

So, that's it, hope this will be enjoyable reading for many fans, as it has been for me reading others.

 

This article was first published on 31st December 2004


 

  • Rob Dicketts:

    "I would like to see Station Rd statium reopen because I have family who used to work there on speedway nights. My Uncle Joe Heath and my cousin Frankie Heath. Unfortunately Joe has now passed away."

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