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The Speedway Bike
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45 Years a Racer
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Ronnie's Newcastle Nightmare
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Steve Langton Strikes Gold
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Irish Eyes Were Smiling
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King's Lynn - Part 1
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Speedway in Germany 1933
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25/04/2021
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It's All About You... Gavin Davis

CollinsPenhall

Tell us about your introduction to speedway

My parents were keen fans who went to Southampton in the 50s and 60s. My father retained an interest after they closed but only via televised highlights on World of Sport. After seeing some of these myself, I managed to persuade him to take the family to Poole one night. We became regulars from the mid-70s to mid-80s and I still manage occasional visits there and to other tracks.

 

Tell us about your favourite meeting of all time

It has to be the 1981 World Final at Wembley. I hadn't seen Penhall ride before then but he didn't take long to prove that he was the real deal. The atmosphere when he made pulled-off those last-gasp victories was very special and I'm so pleased I was there to experience it.

 

Tell us about your favourite rider of all time

Peter Collins. I'd become aware of him from World of Sport and he was the reason why my first visit to Poole was to see a league match against Belle Vue. He could win from the back seemingly at will and his style was so good to watch.

 

Tell us about your favourite track/stadium

Tricky. The best stadiums don't necessarily have the best tracks and vice versa. For atmosphere, Wembley and Cardiff. For racing, Somerset and Poole.

 

What are the best things about speedway?

Closeness of the action; the noise; the smell; friendliness of the fans.

 

What are the worst things about speedway?

Poorly prepared tracks; over-reliance on averages; constant tinkering with the rules.

 

What one thing would you do to improve speedway?

Make air-fences compulsory at all tracks.

 

Tell us about a rider you wish you'd seen

Peter Craven. Even today, my dad still talks about his style. Every picture I see of him in action makes me wish I'd been born earlier.

 

What does the future hold for speedway?

I think there will be less tracks in Britain and they will run shorter seasons. World Class riders will only be seen in an expanded Grand Prix series.

 

 

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This article was first published on 11th February 2010

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