Eddie Rigg's Lifeline
Eddie's granddaugther appealed on the site recently for information about Eddie's career. From the information she received, added to what she already knew, she's put together these key milestones in Eddie's life. She'd love to hear of any additions or corrections and is particularly keen to see articles about Eddie. She can be contacted at email@example.com
This article was first published on 15th May 2008
"Eddie Rigg was one of my favourite riders in the 1950s - I was a London-based Bradford supporter (of sorts!). I also liked Ernie and Norman Price...another story ...and Oliver Hart. I had no idea that Eddie died in such sad circumstances. A very touching tribute to one of speedway's great chacacters in an era when speedway was a 'different sport.'"
"Great item, and a real tribute to Eddie. Proves with the combined efforts of this site, what can be discovered about a rider."
"I rode speedway slightly later than Eddie, but I regularly attended Odsal in the late forties and fifties. I seem to recall that there was a period when he was a sales representative for Millers Oil of Brighouse, about three miles from Mirfield. Before speedway I rode on Grasstrack and I remember Eddie entered for one event. However, the surfaces were very different and he came off at the first bend. From memory he broke an arm or a wrist. He always came across as a nice guy and was popular with the Odsal crowd."
"I found this article whilst looking to see if there was any chance of getting hold of a copy of the Odsal Speedway Story having lent mine out many years ago and never got it back. Taken to Odsal by Dad for first time in 1950. Bus to Bradford then walk up to Odsal, remember all the magazine and souvineer sellers, also big car parks on the right hand side with white coated attendants even in those days. Big crowds too. Eddie Rigg was my idol. I still have a wrinkled phtograph of him, on bike, as sold to supporters in those days. Saw all the greats of the time, Split Waterman, Aub Lawson, Jack Young, Alan Hunt, Williams brothers, Jack Parker, Arthur Forest and Ollie of course, Jack Biggs, Bill Kitchen and many more. Thrills, spills, drama and characters. Never will forget."
"I saw my first speedway at Odsal in 1946 and I remember Eddie a few years later usually riding in heat one with the great Max Grosskreoutz getting the boomerangs off to a 5-1 start. Sadly there is no longer any speedway at Bradford due to a short sighted council. So I have purchased a small camper van and at ripe old age of 76 I am travelling to places like Belle Vue, Sheffield, Redcar and Newcastle etc. "
"You lucky devil,Ken. I really envy you on your new lifestyle. In my younger days I regularly went on "speedway tours " with my mate, trying to get in a different track every night for a week, sleeping in the car, having a few beers at each track. The friendliest place we visited was Long Eaton where we parked near a school playground and at 8.00 am the dinner ladies brought us a cup of tea for our breakfast. Longest trip was Poole, where I think we were the only Halifax supporters there (it was midweek) so we tried to make enough noise to make up for it (we were drunk). The locals seemed to find 2 drunken Yorkshiremen quite amusing, especially as we were getting a pasting."
"Thank you for your replies guys it's very touching to hear your stories. I love hearing about your experiences and your knowledge, i'ts great to be able to carry on the history in such a unquie way. Ken nice work, very jealous i have a few more years ahead of me yet til i can retire :), youll have to keep us updated on your adventures. I was surprised to find there is a badge with Pa on it, found it today on the net, it's incredible the advertiesment and memoriablia that is around the world from the earlier days."
"I think I mailed you on this Patricia but just a wee reminder that Eddie was also manager of the Bradford Panthers during the ill fated 1960 Provincial League season at Odsal. Bit more speedway news on Bradford, there is to be a "speedway in Bradford" exhibition at the Industrial Museum this year and also a book on the history of Odsal as a track is imminently due. I have seen the proposed cover and I believe Eddie's is one of the photographs on it! What a perfect excuse to get something going on a return to action, maybe a roving Northern or Midland Development team as a start as the Halifax Dukes have already done?"
"A great bloke. Glad I knew him myself and Eddie helped Eric Boocook win the NSW Championships at the Sydney Showground. You would of thought Eddie had won it - a true gentleman."
"Just a little note to thank you all again for your comments it's so touching to know he was a valued man, the family name live on yet, as you wouldn't believe it but I have finally bought myself a bike :) in honor of Pa, just a little cbr 125, although mum was NOT keen on the idea, although I made sure to note it was only a 125 :). Also my email is now firstname.lastname@example.org"
"The terrible Accident that took Ken Le Breton, (I knew his family) happened right in front of me at the Sydney Sportsground. I was only a schoolboy at the time, but I'll never forget it, Ken Le Breton was my hero at the time. Also sad for Eddie. "
"Hi Phil, thank you for your post, yes Mum said it really hit hard for pa that fatal crash and he suffered from it also. I also believe there were rumors that it happened on purpose, however I can say from a psychological perspective, reminiscing on the time I spent with my grandfather and from what my mother recalls, it was not planned or expected. One of my last memories of pa, was when he "thought" he was going to meeting and was all dressed up sitting on the side of his bed when he asked me which sock went on which foot. It would seem his racing days never left him. Apparently the Claremont speedway in WA would not allow pa to race due to the rumors, sadly, however he always remained in contact with his close racing friends. "
"I lived at Mirfield in the 1940s/50s, as a little boy my memories of Eddie was that me and my mates were allowed to look into his garage where he was maintaning his bikes (not allowed in). I remember his "hello boys" and his smile very clearly - we were in awe of him and he was our hero - a great rider and a good man."
"I was born in Mirfield in 1944 and my father Joseph Wood knew Eddie well. At the age of 6 I was asked to be the team mascot but as a shy boy I turned it down. My brother and I used to go to Eddies garage off Lee Green in Mirfield and sometimes he would give us worn out speedway tyres to bowl along with a stick. As a family we went to many meetings at Bradford and remember the team setting fire to Johny Hoskins hat on many occasions. I think the smell of Castrol R oil will live with me forever.Eddie was my hero and will always be remembered. (ps) still got the autograph book."
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