Soundbites: Best of 2004
"Right now, Mr Andersen is right up there in my estimation with the man who stole my
testimonial money at Poole Speedway 20 years ago!"
"The referee's decision was just unbelievable. I'm convinced that had the match been on
television it would have gone ahead but the referee was not even prepared to see how
it went for a couple of races. It's a financial disaster for the club and has cost us more
than £3,000 in stadium rental, travel expenses for the riders, some of whom flew in from
abroad, printing programmes, paying medical staff and so on.
As far as I am concerned David Peet will never referee another meeting at Belle Vue while
I am the promoter and the only way he will be welcome back here is if he pays
his £13 admission at the turnstiles to watch as a spectator."
I didn't fancy another trip to the Isle of Wight at this time of the year. Who wants
to get seasick going to a speedway meeting?
Besides, the track's rougher than a bear's backside."
"We have nothing to prove to people.
We should be booed when we don't ride well, but we should be loved when we win.
That is the nature of speedway. You have your ups and downs."
"The lad has proved everybody wrong. He is just so determined. Eight weeks ago he was in intensive care, now he is about to go back on the track."
"I really am sick to death of the Thursday night weather this year. It's so frustrating
because until about 6pm we were on - and then the rain returned with a vengeance."
"We'll stick by Rory because it's such a stupid, unfair rule. I can't see why it was brought in. What difference does it
"People assume that because of my dad and uncles I've been on a motor bike since I was out of nappies and doing speedway
for years. In my case that didn't happen. I went to meetings to watch dad ride but to be honest I hated speedway and I
"Staechmann even visited the referee's box to suggest the fog was so bad he couldn't see the
first bend from the start. When the referee visited the pits to discuss the matter he could
see Inverness from there, so it must be old age catching up with Jan's eyesight. "
"No-one was really tipping us to do particularly well, but I knew from the beginning of
the season that the title was on the cards from the word go.
It's been good all year, the title has not been won overnight, it's been won from the outset."
"From the day he walked into the pits at Wimborne Road last year and scored a 21-point paid
maximum on his debut against Exeter we all stood open-mouthed and knew that this kid was a bit
special. What is impressive about him is his natural ability, whether it's skiing,
skateboarding or riding a bike he has that exceptional balance that seems to set him aside
from the others."
"If you buy trousers that do not fit, you change them."
"Actually, I'm quite amiable, although some reckon I'm a real bastard, but I'm not bothered
what people think. When I'm out trials biking, I'm the life and soul of the party.
But when I'm running the job, I'm from an old-fashioned background.
If a job's worth doing it's worth doing well or not at all. I don't suffer fools gladly."
"We had three choices last September, shutting down, dropping down to the Premier League or
taking a huge gamble and staying in the top flight.
It was a close thing and we knew we dare not get it wrong after failing our public in 2003."
"The people who at the beginning of the season didn't turn up because they thought we had a
rubbish side missed some good speedway."
"If Theo continues with his shocking away performances and he maintains an average home
performance, there is no possibility he will be in the team next year. I've already spoken
to him about his away scores and it produced almost no improvement. Enough is enough."
"I don't know why he suggested he would score points round Sheffield. Anyone who has followed him would know he is a
guaranteed non-scorer there. You have got to build yourself up mentally to do well. While publicly Gary gave the
impression he would achieve something, privately he knew he had no chance of scoring. And now with each match that
passes he has no chance of picking up any points. His confidence is at rock bottom."
"There are so few speedway riders over the years that have an aura about them, but Tony has a presence.
I look across the pits and see him preparing and I observe the rest of the Poole team sensing they have a very special
rider alongside them. Visiting riders are immediately aware that they are in opposition to a giant."
"Hull Vikings have been something of a surprise package, leading the way in the opening months
of the season, but I still think their wheels might come off. For a team who haven't got an
obvious number one they have done remarkably well to open up such an advantage in the early
stages. I just have a feeling that they won't stay the course."
"We did ask the school time and time again to give Matt time off for his speedway, without
a lot of success. The staff did allow him to take Fridays off to ride in the under-15s
competition, but there were so many different speedway meetings he needed to attend.
We have a van which we travel in everywhere with a desk in the back so he can still do his
work when we're on the road."
"We were aware he had an erratic lifestyle. He was at his best if he'd had a drink the night
before. I say that tongue in cheek. He is also rarely seen without a cigarette - he is not a
role model for youngsters.
However, when it comes to delivering the goods on the track no one is better. If he saw
something he could make better, he didn't hang around, he'd do it."
"I don't like it at all. Always it is badly prepared, at least all the times I have been there."
"I turned 21 last Tuesday, and they say when you turn 21 you become a man, but I'm still a kid
at heart and I'm still going to go out and enjoy my racing."
This article was first published on 23rd December 2004
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