Tracy Holmes reminds us of the controversy that surrounded the final in 1977.
Friends of Speedway (a non-profit making organisation who are proud to part sponsor the British Youth Speedway Championship) are pleased to announce the 72nd edition of their magazine the Voice which is packed full of interest and enjoyment. This issue is a huge 24 pages, which will keep your interest for hours!
In this issue, Charles Mckay asks Where did the money go? Plus Fake news. Roy Delaney's article on Crashes were plentiful. John Hyam on Vic Ridgeon plus Bob Warner. More tales of a wandering nomad plus Ask not for whom the bells tolls from Jeffrey C. Jameson. The Editor reports on the Kempton Park Road Show and scattering his friend around Wimbledon. Sue Towner is on her Soapbox and giving the Accounts of the last year. Slider says, 'Are we at the crossroads or is it now a roundabout?' Followed by much more reading.
Available from Friends of Speedway; 117 Church Lane, Chessington, Surrey KT9 2DP. Please send your cheque for £12 made out to the above for four issues of the Voice to Stu Towner at the above address or ring 0208-397 6599 for more information.
"Bunbury Speedway is more known as a car speedway track mostly hosting Sprintcars, Speedcars (midgets) and Late Models, though it does occasionally host both solo and sidecar racing. The 530 metre long clay track, which is almost flat with next to no banking at all, played host to rounds of the old International Speedway Masters Series that was run in Australia from 1995-2000. Not surprisingly, with the length of the track one of the more successful motorcycle speedway riders to race there was the late Simon Wigg."
"Couldn't agree more with John Fray's comments on the future of speedway. I've said it many times before here, and will repeat it. Unless and until speedway is run by a third party, who only has the interests of the sport at heart, but can do it without a financial interest at any particular track, ie definitely NOT a promoter, it will continue to wither and slowly die on the vine. John Berry's offer in 1986 was turned down by the BSPA. Maybe now they may just listen when at the end of the 2019 season, they come out with their usual nonsense but look closely at the bottom line which will show yet another inexorable decline attendances. It's not a question of 'when will they learn' - it will eventually be forced upon them. Sadly, it will be the dwindling number of fans who will suffer as there will be less and less tracks to attend."
"Pinjar Park's new 300 metre track has now officially opened. It hosted the running of the 2019 Western Australian Solo Championship (which strangely was run on the same night as Rd.2 of the Australian Championship at Mildura). Showing his continued support for where he grew up and the club that both he and his father Rob were such a big part of, the WA title was won by none other than reigning World Champ Tai Woffinden who not only rode on the night but also helped with the track preparation."
"Bob Watts rode for Teesside as a lowly reserve for a short while in the 70s and drove from, I think, Exeter for the pleasure. The fans certainly took to him - he was a trier."
"With all due respect to Phil Rice the BBC sports personality of the year event is now no more than an excuse for licence payers funded junket. It is run by control freaks who don't want anyone from sports ignored by the BBC to get a mention. It is a sad fact of T V life that sport now, largely, equals footballl and maybe the other odd thing such as tennis. I see the sports personality on par with the Eurovision Song Competition as a complete load of rubbish and not worth watching. I don't get hung up about it - I just ignore it. Let's face it the BBC just ignores a whole raft of sports and as far as I can see that is not likely to change."
"Like Bob was at first meeting and last. Always thought that he was the best announcer that I had heard around the tracks. Sadly like Bob my speedway patronage has run its course from a meeting available virtually every night when I was growing up to nothing now. Despite Jon Cook's assertion, there is no accessible speedway to me as a retired personage with limited finance. ( I have always placed Eastbourne on the South Coast). I am left with many happy memories of Arena/Lakeside not least Alan Sage's ability to scatter the other riders should he reach the first bend in the lead by throttling back!!!"
"I'd like to nominate "Gentleman" (and he is) George Barclay when he lived in Plaistow, east London, and commuted every Sunday up to Sunderland, around a 750 mile round trip for home meetings. He gave them exemplary service too and I would imagine is still fondly remembered by many in the area. "
"The largest ever speedway crowd recorded at Odsal was 47,050 for an England vs Australia test on 5 July 1947. England won 65-43 that day. The English side that day was: Jack Parker (c) - 9+4 Norman Parker - 13 Bill Kitchen - 16+1 Tommy Price - 7+1 Alec Statham - 16 Ron Clarke - 7 The reserves were Malcolm Craven and L. Wotton who did not ride. The Aussie's were: Lionel Van Praag (c) - 3 Bill Longley - 6 Vic Duggan - 16 Frank Dolan - 3+1 Ron Johnson - 5+1 Max Grosskreutz - 10 The reserves were Aub Lawson and Ray Duggan (younger brother of Vic) who also didn't ride."
"I have every sympathy for Tai getting a nomination be it for say an MBE or being a top three finisher in the BBC's Sports Review of the Year. As far as the latter is concerned the BBC nominated a ten strong shortlist which was only released on the night which clearly was set up to avoid the sort of mass voting that has been seen over the years, In many ways this is a fair way to do it but of course speedway continues to be ignored by most of the media. With low crowds, guest riders and the ridiculous double up and down facility is it surprising? The sport needs an organisational shake up and some sort of medium term plan. Sadly easier said that done."