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

Attended my first meeting, aged 7, when Middlesbrough reopened in 1968 against Berwick, from then on I missed only a handful of home meetings (holidays, illness, university) right through to the final night at Cleveland Park in 1996. Never got to numerous away meetings, but managed many local ones especially up at Brough Park. Nowadays follow the Bears again at Redcar.

WilcockDixon

Steve Wilcock
Without question the number one Middlesbrough rider of the modern era, watched him progress from solid second string to THE best rider in the National League. He never really received the full accolades he deserved, possibly due to being too quiet both on and off the track, just basically piling the points unnoticed. I also had the thrill of winning his race jacket and getting a ride round Cleveland Park with Steve after the Ellesmere Port match in 1985!!

Allan Brown
My first hero in 1968 was Graham Edmonds, but after he was injured Allan Brown came in and he became my top man. I don't have many personal memories from back then, but know he was very stylish (and won lots of races).

Tom Leadbitter
As well as being a top performer for the Teessiders/Tigers Tom was a great team man, always helping teammates on and off the track. He was also great with the fans and loved to be involved in everything going on. I have a fantastic picture of an end of season meeting. Tom is covered in flour, riding a donkey like it's the finish of the Grand National.

Martin Dixon
Dicko in full action was worth the admission money alone!! I've witnessed numerous passes both inside and out at Cleveland Park, when the opposing riding hasn't known what's hit them. At the time of his serious elbow injury in the late 80s, in my opinion Dicko was the best rider in the National League and would have dominated for several years. He also had fantastic equipment, I remember one away match at Stoke, M'bro needed a 3-3 to win the match, Wilks (Steve Wilcock) had been struggling all night, but came out on Dicko's bike against Paul Thorp, gated and won by a mile.

Gary Havelock
Witnessed his after meeting rides, pre meeting rides, first "official" team rides and all the time we all knew he had that special something. Another who never looked overly spectacular, but had a great knack of gating when he had to and winning the important races. Nowadays at Redcar he leads by example and if heat 15 is vital then he brings out all the World Champion class to produce the goods.

Bruce Forrester
Another of my heroes sadly no longer with us. Bruce came to Cleveland Park a novice, but was a quick developer, and another who led by example. Very quick out of the gate, Bruce also wasn't afraid to move opponents if he had to. One meeting up at Sunderland he invariably was ahead after turn 2 and the Sunderland fans gave him real stick, but at the end of a superb maximum they all applauded a great performance.

Jim Burdfield
For my last rider I wanted someone who typified the Middlesbrough spirit of wholehearted trier, if not a top performer. I considered John Spilsbury, Dave Butt, Bob Watts and John Place amongst others, but eventually went for Burdy - mainly due to his personality, his ability to produce match winning performances and most of all his never say die attitude.

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This article was first published on 17th April 2008

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