"A poignant reminder of how dangerous speedway can be. Ove Fundin was my hero as a kid. I worked with his mechanic Les Mullins at Pointers Motor Company. Les told me one day that in one race against Peter Craven, Fundin came back to the pits and said little bugger I had to put him back on the bike twice in that heat."
"Good comment DWood. Such a shame PC was not at Wembley in 78 but I would not be so quick to hand it to him over Ole. I say that because of the BLRC at Belle Vue several weeks later, where Ole takes him from the back, twice, in their last heat decider to take the Title. AT BELLE VUE !!!
So ... Interesting your take on early 70s Finals. Ole certainly lost it in 72 by falling and Ivan in 73 by totally stuffing his second heat. People only refer to the run-off but whose to say he could have got passed Szczakiel had he not made such a hash of it ? Yes, he had a faster bike but Szczakiel had him for breakfast twice ! The 'Mauger is god' brigade still find that hard to swallow !
I see you have PC winning in 77 as well. Maybees, but I think, even a fully fit PC would have had trouble in the Gothenburg rain. I still say that night belonged to Ivan because of his expert experience over ALL his rivals that night. As for Ivan's 'Mini me' in 82, really??? mmm Great fun debate my friend, thank you !!!"
"Still got the single somewhere - the only 45 I've got left - although it's probably 30+ years since I played it! I remember buying it: (1) in the vain hope of getting speedway on Top of the Pops; and (2) because Hull had just gone up into division 1 and 'Jimmy Mac' was our new number one. "
Tracy Holmes with part four of his series.The final no longer ensured qualification for the quarter final stage of the championship, but the increased number of qualifying positions proved significant in the context of the season as a whole.
"As a kid I lived within walking distance of the Dons home on Plough Lane. I thought it was magic watching Ronnie. He always rode for team points often protecting his regular partner Cyril Brine from the opposition. Ronnie's ability to hug the white line was the best ever. Marvelous."
"Great article on supporters clubs Steve. I, as well as you, don't remember the days, but the history books show that in 1949 Wembley Lions had a supporters club membership in excess of 60,000. Utterly unbelievable now in the days of 1-2,000 crowds alone. In fact are there any supporters clubs left? And what about the good old "war cry" days? 2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate? (insert your own clubs initials at this point).
Golden days indeed, never to return in reality, as the younger generation have so many more things to occupy them now. My two daughters, both in their 20's have visited the speedway with me many times over the years, both enjoy it, but both in truth can take it or leave it. The old days of being "hooked" I'm afraid are gone. All we have are memories - but brilliant ones at that. Nobody can take them away or replicate them. Hanging off the safety fence to see giants like Mauger, Briggs, Olsen, Penhall, Collins, Lee, etc will always be there."
"My family were supporters of the Monarchs and watched the awesome Jack Young from his first races. Ken-le-Breton, the white ghost. Magical times. We were 'third-benders' and it was so good to meet with like-minded supporters. Such happy days and what a clean, honest sport it was."
"I would agree. Peter didn't have the mechanical advantage he had in 1976 and 1977 when his Weslakes were more than a match for Olsen (and Mauger's) jawas and good as PC was, Olsen was flying.
However, I have always felt that rather than 1975 it was 1978 that was the one that got away for PC. He won the Master of Speedway with a round to spare, motivated partly by his concern that he might be banned following missing a Belle Vue meeting because his flight from the US was delayed. This was a serious victory given they were racing for £10k.
Peter had a strong season in the league and in individual events and Ole was the best at Wembley on a night when no-one dominated. PC rode Wembley really well and if his engines hadn't been sabotaged at Coventry I believe he would have won the Worlf Final. In my 'alternative world' World Final results, I have Ole winning in 1972 as well as 1971, Ivan winning in 1973 and Peter winning 1976-1978. And Preben Eriksen didn't put Kenny Carter in hospital just before Los Angeles, Ivan insisted he used Carlisle's and he won in 1982."
"I have never heard of a rider named Archie Moore - and most certainly not at Wimbledon. The only sportsman I know whose name was Archie Moore, a wonderful American cruiser weigh boxer and one-time world champion. The only riders with the surname Moore at Wimbledon in 1950 were Ronnie who rode in the team and his father Les who had a few second-half rides."
"I do think its a shame that Jerzy Szczakiel has the reputation of a one hit wonder because from all reports, he was better than that. I think part of that though is that he rarely rode outside of the Iron Curtain so people, especially the Brits, rarely got to see him. And it's not because he didn't want to, but because the Polish authorities wouldn't allow him to for some reason. They allowed Edward Jancarz and Zenon Plech to race all over the world, but not Szczakiel.
Ivan Mauger definitely recognised his talent though and when he and Barry Briggs were running their troupe's all over the world in the 70s, Jerzy was invited to be part of it, but he was simply never allowed to go. But one thing that can never be taken away from him is that he is a genuine World Speedway Champion. As was said above, there were supposedly better credentialed riders who never even got close to being that. But he did."
"Ah yes North of the Border. Having paid 11 visits to Glasgow speedway over the years at its various locations including Coatbridge, 2 or 3 Blantyres was it, Shawfield Park and its current track Ashfield.
First visit was in 1975 with the Crayford Kestrels losing 25-53 with Trevor Barnwell, George Barclay and Alan Sage as top scores wi th Glasgow having a young Mitch Shirra who was supposed to have been the next Ivan Mauger. Upto the late 80's they tended to be one sided affairs until 1988 when Hackney with their all concoring side won 50-46, again top scorers this time being Chris Louis, Andy Galvin and Mark Loram.
I had relatives in Stirling so when on holiday would always take in the speedway and even got to see Willie Templeton's Testimonial a Berwick. From 2006 -2008 having a mate who had a Scottish girlfriend we would stop at her place and do the Rye House northern tours taking in Edinburgh, Berwick and Glasgow.
Yes, fond memories of great times, unfortunately now I'll be lucky to see another live speedway match.."
"My dad Allan Jackson was a member of the New Brighton Motorcycle club and later President. Every weekend they had a race meeting, dad and I would go out on the Saturday to lay out the track for race, mainly at Clarkville in those days just out of Christchurch. Dad would be official scrutineer checking the bikes out to ensure they were safe.
Every one was riding 4 stroke bikes and they hated any little jumps most preferring to go around them. Graeme and Gordon Holland had many exciting races and they had the crowds cheering big time even the local motorcycle gang would go out and enjoy the spectacle.
Times changed when Graeme came back from his time riding in UK with a 2 stroke CZ from memory, then they really stepped up riding in gully at Halswell quarry and throwing their bikes over the jobs. My most vivid memory was at a North V South meeting in Timaru where the south was being punished But Graeme came down the hill on a dangerous line and passed two of the best North islanders the crowd erupted.
He took risks most others didn't and certainly had a huge fan base. I kept scrapbooks of all the amazing happening in Scrambling as it was known and passed them on the Ruapuna Speedway for safe keeping. I do still have many home movies my dad made including the incredible pass at Timaru. An amazing athlete well deserved of this article."