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DVD Review: Mort

Belle Vue and England legend Chris Morton is the latest to sign up with Retro-Speedway for a DVD reviewing the highs and lows of his career. Mort's story is a particularly interesting one as he's developed from teenage fan, to international rider and then become promoter - all with the famous Manchester club.

The DVD mixes classic footage with a lengthy interview with Mort and with others who know him. Those interviewed include his brother Dave and faithful mechanic Ged Blake.

Mort famously started riding around fields with the likes of the Collins brothers, Andy Reid and Steve McDermott. He then progressed to the proper grasstracks, following in the tyre-tracks of his hero Chris Pusey and friend Peter Collins. The DVD features some rare colour footage of Mort in early grasstrack action, his exciting style already much in evidence.

There's also great film from some of the 1970's British Lions tours of Australia - showing the top Brits of the era larking about around the pool as well as on track. Chris Pusey also reveals a hitherto unknown talent for cart-wheeling.

1980 was a brilliant year for British Speedway, with wins in the Pairs, Individual and Team World Championships. Mort played a big part in the team success and we see classic action from the qualifying round at King's Lynn (and an opportunity to see how much that place has changed) and from the final at Wroclaw. There's also archive footage from the Inter-Continental Final staged at White City that year - the winner being no other than Chris Morton. Mort admits that was probably his finest hour on an individual basis.

Chris wasn't part of the 1980 Pairs winning duo, but did win the same title at Lonigo in 1984. A victory made all the sweeter as his partner was Peter Collins, his long-standing friend and team-mate. Sadly the footage available of that meeting isn't of the best quality, nonetheless it's included so we can enjoy seeing clips of this classic meeting once more.

Chris appeared in seven World Finals and he reviews these on the DVD and admits his one regret is that he never won a World title. He also shares the details of his biggest ever mistake - when he miscounted the laps in a vital race, an out of character but crucial mistake.

Despite his success on the world stage, there's no doubt that Chris will be best remembered for his heroics for the Belle Vue Aces. As you'd expect this DVD covers that aspect of his career also. Mort reveals that he almost left the Aces at one point, but with the benefit of hindsight is now delighted that he didn't.

We also get to know a little about Chris' life away from speedway. Richard Clarke from Speedway Star magazine shares a memory of some jam sessions that featured Chris as lead vocalist. We also see Mort in mountain bike action, clearly a new outlet for his natural lust for adrenaline.

Chris is now at the forefront of the campaign to build a new National Speedway Stadium - as home for both the Aces and international events. He shares insights into the plans and challenges surrounding the new venue. His passion, competence and intelligence shine through. One gets the feeling that if Chris can't do this, it simply can't be done.

We commend this new DVD to you. At four hours, this is a detailed examination of a lengthy career and Chris comes across as a decent bloke and a mad speedway fan. An ideal Xmas present for any speedway fan, but fans of Belle Vue and England will obviously regard this as an essential purchase.


How To Order

By Phone : 01708 734 502

By Post : Send a cheque for £16 (payable to Retro Speedway) (add £2.50 if outside UK) to:

Retro Speedway
103 Douglas Road
Hornchurch
Essex
RM11 1AW

Online : At Retro-Speedway.com

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