Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
23/11/2022
DVD Review: 70s - A to Z
Your Feedback
 
30/10/2022
Why is it in decline?
Plus Points
 
18/09/2022
Dream Team: Garry Robinson
The Golden Hammer - 1996
Your Feedback
 
11/09/2022
Raking Over Old Coals
The Golden Hammer - 1995
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
04/09/2022
Ode to Brough Park
The Golden Hammer - 1994
Which Craven?
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
07/06/2022
Ivan Miller
The Golden Hammer - 1993
Your Feedback
 
22/05/2022
Generator - Prem Pairs
The Golden Hammer - 1992
 
01/05/2022
As The Crow Flies
The Golden Hammer - 1991
 
24/04/2022
Generator - Danish League
The Golden Hammer - 1990
Your Feedback
 
18/04/2022
Oxford's Minor Miracle
The Golden Hammer - 1989
 
03/04/2022
The Golden Hammer - 1986
The Golden Hammer - 1987
The Golden Hammer - 1988
 
27/03/2022
The Golden Hammer - 1983
The Golden Hammer - 1984
The Golden Hammer - 1985
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
13/03/2022
The Golden Hammer - 1980
The Golden Hammer - 1981
The Golden Hammer - 1982
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
27/02/2022
The Golden Hammer - 1977
The Golden Hammer - 1978
The Golden Hammer - 1979
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
16/01/2022
The Speedway Bike
Your Feedback
 
02/01/2022
45 Years a Racer
Your Feedback
 
15/12/2021
DVD: Sheffield Memories
Your Feedback
 
21/11/2021
Ronnie's Newcastle Nightmare
Plus Points
 
14/11/2021
Book Review: Where Eagles Dared
The Cheetahs Are Back!
Your Feedback
 
07/11/2021
King's Lynn - Part Four
Track Pix: Redcar
Your Feedback
 
31/10/2021
DVD Review: Hans Nielsen
Track Pix: Sheffield
Your Feedback
 
10/10/2021
Artem Laguta
Track Pix: Birmingham
Your Feedback
 
03/10/2021
King's Lynn - Part Three
KENT - Central Park
Your Feedback
 
19/09/2021
Book Review: Yearbook 2020
Track Pix: Peterborough
Your Feedback
 
07/09/2021
Ian Hoskins Tribute
Ian Hoskins Tribute
Your Feedback
 
29/08/2021
Speedway's Black Hole
Track Pix: Mildenhall
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
22/08/2021
Kirky Lane Demolition
Cinder Kings Exhibition
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
09/08/2021
Aussies at Ipswich - 1
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
18/07/2021
Steve Langton Strikes Gold
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
11/07/2021
Book Review: Split Waterman
Your Feedback
 
27/06/2021
King's Lynn - Part 2
Your Feedback
 
13/06/2021
Irish Eyes Were Smiling
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
31/05/2021
King's Lynn - Part 1
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
23/05/2021
Speedway in Germany 1933
Dream Team : Kevin Huggett
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
09/05/2021
The Bill Allen Mystery
Your Feedback
 
02/05/2021
The Ipswich Witches
The Danger of Winning
Your Feedback
 
25/04/2021
Australia 70/71
Canterbury Noise Trials
Your Feedback
 


Workington '81 - Bagley's Gamble

Bagley
Pusey
Hindle

Think of Workington nowadays and the perception is of a well run, professional and successful club. This reputation owes much to the investment of Tony Mole, the promotional skills of Ian Thomas and the one man sensation that is Carl Stonehewer. One man, Ron Bagley, once hoped that he could lead the club into such happy times.

Bagley took over the Workington promotion during the 1980-1981 winter. He had previously enjoyed success as team manager with Mildenhall and Ipswich and was keen to try his hand at promoting. He couldn't have picked a harder place to start. Workington had finished stone last in the league in 1980 and had only managed to win two matches. They had also suffered the humiliation of a 65-12 defeat away to Crayford. Unsurprisingly this pitiful record had badly affected the attendance figures.

Bagley was convinced that a respectable side was the key to tempting back the missing thousands. He made this his top priority and gradually pieced together a side that looked capable of holding its own.

His main capture was Nicky Allott. The experienced Buxton based rider was a capable performer who was expected to fill the number one racejacket. He looked the part at practice but stunned Bagley by quitting before the first meeting of the season. He moved on to Scunthorpe where he turned in the kind of solid scoring that Bagley had been looking for. It wasn't the best start for the new promoter.

Allott's main backup was intended to come from Chris Pusey. Pusey had missed the 1979 season after a fall out with Halifax and had spent 1980 with Weymouth. His average was below the six point mark but this was largely attributed to the travelling from his Manchester home and his lack of experience on National League circuits. Bagley was confident that a rider of Pusey's experience and talent couldn't fail to deliver.

Bagley's faith proved to be misplaced. Pusey's form was very disappointing and he struggled to score any points at all. He was a shadow of the rider he had once been and soon lost his place in the side.

Bagley's third heatleader, Ian Hindle, didn't fare much better. Hindle had held the side together in 1980 and deserved to have much more support this time around. Unfortunately he took a nasty tumble early in the season and broke his leg. This ended not only his season but also his career.

A similar injury and fate befell Mike Hiftle. Hiftle was tempted out of retirement to add some middle order strength to the side. He had last ridden for Berwick in 1979 where he was famous for his high home scores and miserable away performances. The same kind of pattern would have satisfied Bagley, performing well at Derwent Park was the first target for this side. Hiftle's season was over as early as the second match.

The new promoter found himself in the middle of a nightmare. One by one his top four had all fallen by the wayside and the season had barely started.

Bagley's Comets battled on gamely but the results were understandably poor. Terry Kelly and Wayne Jackson, signed as lower order riders, were thrust into the spotlight and responded well. Their scores prevented many heavy defeats from becoming total humiliations. The remainder of the side consisted of promising youngsters and riders discarded by other clubs.

The team managed to avoid the wooden spoon but the fans didn't respond in sufficient numbers. The BSPA refused to allow the club to continue unless all debts were cleared. Bagley's attempts to raise the cash fell short and the club closed down.

In truth the task of rebuilding the club was simply too big for one man. Bagley suffered from bad luck, bad judgement and the damaged reputation of the club he inherited. His gamble of reviving the club was a brave one, it deserved to succeed.

 

This article was first published on 30th April 2005

[ Use Mobile Version ]
 

 

Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

   Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole