The Golden Hammer - 1990
July 18. 1990.
This is how Steve Johnson reported it for Speedway Star. "Simon Cross took the trophy for the first time thanks to a superb display which sounded a clear warning for his World Championship rivals. The Cradley skipper had to do it the hard way, coming from behind each time to win his first three races in spectacular style and including a fine victory over World Champion, Hans Nielsen in Heat 9. He dropped a point to Kelvin Tatum in Heat 15 but when Tatum was last in his final ride, Cross needed the two points to secure victory and he was content to stay behind Gary Havelock in Heat 18 to claim the Title. Former winner, Hans Nielsen smashed the track record by half a second in his first ride and was roaring away again in Heat 6 when his engine failed and ruined his chances."
Three days later, Cross and Tatum represented England at the World Pairs Final in Landshut. For Cross, it lasted less than a lap. It was a harmless looking fall but the tragic reality was, he had badly injured his back and was rushed to Munich hospital. Thankfully, he would make a full recovery but this is how cruel it can be.
Simon returned to racing and even later in the season, was third in the Erik Gundersen Big Night at Vojens! Henrik Gustafsson won the meeting with 12 points, beating Hans Nielsen in the run-off. Simon scored 10. How cool was that?!
Heat 1. Doncaster, Knight, Correy, Handberg.
Simon Cross 13. Ronnie Correy 12. Kelvin Tatum 11. Hans Nielsen 10. Jan O Pedersen 10. Gary Havelock 9. Mark Loram 9. Jeremy Doncaster 8. Jimmy Nilsen 7. Richard Knight 6. Per Jonsson 6. Neil Evitts 5. Martin Dugard 5. Alan Grahame 4. Gert Handberg 3. Andrew Silver 2. Res David Haynes 0. Res Scott Smith dnr.
This article was first published on 24th April 2022
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