It's been a real 'bad news week' for the sport with serious doubts expressed over the future of
another two clubs. We look at these new developments and the other teams that are struggling in
'Clubs in Crisis'.
Lonigo is the principal speedway track in Italy - well, can you name another? It's the
home of the Italian Grand Prix and has staged numerous International meetings
over the years. Trevor Picken was the man behind the lens for this set of
Former Newcastle rider Russ Dent is looking for a copy of the Diamonds
programme from 26/9/1966. His daughter was born on that day.
Steve Clark is trying to get in touch with Crayford riders from the
1968-1970 era. His late father Colin rode for them at that time.
"This is not a decision that has come overnight. Speedway has been a big part of my life for a very long time. I owe a lot to this sport and there have been many memorable moments that will always
stay with me. Now it is time for me to proceed.
This is one of the most important decisions that I have taken during my career but I feel confident that I am doing the right thing. It is quite easy to explain how I came to this decision. I simply
want to move on.
I don't know what future has in store for me, but it is a thrilling thought to go on in life without speedway as a main occupation. 2006 will very much be the same as 2005.
I will always do my very best!"
World Champion Tony Rickardsson declares his intention to quit at the end of 2006
Promoters and riders share their thoughts in our latest Soundbites article.
There are some incredible characters racing in Canada these days. British
ex-pat Graham Wale is one of them. Graham races as 'The Pirate', due to his
connections with Poole earlier in his life, and is still going strong at 63
years of age! You can visit his new website at
Artist Jim Blanchard has added Tomasz Gollob to his list of subjects, you can see the picture
and order your limited edition print by visiting Jim's website.
Kyle Legault of Sheffield and Canada now has a second website. This one is Canadian based and
aims to raise his profile and attract further sponsorship. Click
here to visit
his new site.
Did you know that we have links to hundreds of speedway websites on our links page?
Updated on 16th September 2005
Chris Morton was the boy from Partington who became a Belle Vue legend,
England international, World Pairs winner and an MBE! He's recently written his
autobiography - Until the Can Ran Out. We're delighted to bring you an
extract from the book on the site today.
We pick up the story in 1975 and find out about a very expensive blow-up,
the value of his tour of Australia and what Chris Pusey used to get up to
in the showers!
Read the extract and then dash off to order your copy.
"This club was on its knees a year ago.
Whatever happens now, this has been a terrific season for us. We are the best team because we finished top of the league over 36 matches, and I don't agree with the silly play-off system.
We should be the champions now, not having to play a cup competition to win it."
Belle Vue boss Ian Thomas
Reaction to all the week's events is in Soundbites
6th Sunderland Speedway Reunion
A sixth pre-Christmas Sunderland Speedway reunion will be staged in November.
It will be held at the ever popular Pullman Lodge Hotel at Seaburn, Sunderland,
on Saturday the 19th November, when many of the old Stars/Gladiators return to meet
the fans in an evening of nostalgia. The evening will consist of a first class
buffet, late licence (1am), giant raffle, old speedway film, disco, bikes and
photos of the stars who entertained us all those years ago ie Russ Dent,
George Barclay, Pete Wrathall, Dave Gatenby, Brian Havelock, John Robson and
Gerry Richardson. Also hoping to be there (work permitting) will be Kiwi
The evening will be hosted once again by local TV sports presenter Jeff Brown
and will be open to anyone. Some of our regular guests include Pete Wigley,
(all the way from Bognor Regis) the two Rob Grants, and hopefully a few
surprise new faces!
Tickets are available at £10 each, and can be purchased from Bob Ferry
(tel. 0191 5365064)
For those wishing to stay overnight at the hotel, rooms can be had at a very
reasonable rate (including full English breakfast). Book in advance, ring Bob
for further details.
All proceeds from this event are to be donated to the proposed Speedway Museum
at Paradise Park.
Maciej Wegrzyn has been digging even further into the career of Laurence
'Scottie' Michie and uncovered a couple of interesting anecdotes. These have
been added to the article we published a few weeks ago.
The VSRA are continuing their campaign to build a National Speedway Museum
in Hertfordshire. Alan Hodkinson brings us up to date with the latest state
Tracey Fairbrother is looking for video footage of her husband Paul during
his racing career. Paul rode in the juniors at Long Eaton and Stoke between
1978 and 1984.
Kevin Haney hopes to acquire a video copy of the 2005 Polish League Play-Offs.
Carl Oakes is interested in pictures and information on former rider Gavin Pell.
"Wow reading your inside story article on Elfield Park really brought back some happy memories for me. I was 16 when we had our last meeting at Milton Keynes and am still missing my speedway! I travel to
Oxford to see the Silver Machine about 3 times a season and long for the day that speedway returns to MK. There seems to be very little speedway information on the net so I'm really glad I've found
your site - keep up the good work!"
If you haven't checked out xtremespeedwayaction.com then it's about time you did.
This American site allows you to download videos of the latest action from
the Costa Mesa and Grand circuits. The videos are of good quality and come
down surprisingly fast. Well worth exploring.
may be of interest to collectors of matchday programmes. It features a list
of programmes available for swap or sale.
The excellent Speedway Researcher
magazine now has a website. It includes PDF downloads of some of their earliest editions and
11 Year old Shane Hazeldean is making steady progress down at Eastbourne. Find
out more at his new website.
Updated on 11th September 2005
Robert J. Rogers wonders if participation is the key to attracting the younger
generation to speedway. He suggests a low-cost, low-tech starting point.
David Hensby recalls a simpler time when he would 'play' at speedway in
his back garden. The fashion of choice was an old crash helmet and a pair
of dad's overalls.
We throught we'd do a catch up with some of the people who've asked for assistance on our
'Can You Help?' page to see what the success rate has been like. Find out what progress has
been made in 'Did We Help?'.
Grant Crawford hopes to measure clutch reaction times, is there anything
available to help him do this?
Tracy Holmes is on the lookout for pictures of the 1968 World Pairs final.
"I was a cycle speedway rider, rode for England twice, I went to Berwick in 1989, when
Poole Pirates had a treble in Scotland; Glasgow was our 1st, then Berwick, then
Edinburgh. Looking at the ground now is so disheartening.
"A very interesting article by Dave Green.
I always had the idea it would be good to have a 'Newcomers to Speedway' area where
people coming for the first time could all be together in one place and a member of
staff with enough knowledge could explain the match as it develops. A programme is a
must if you are watching a match, I can't enjoy it half as much without one, you have to
know how the match is progressing and this must be explained to newcomers otherwise
they are just watching bikes whizzing round and round as Dave says."
Ian St James:
"Only just found this place after a google search inspired by the discovery of a
handful of programmes from Plough Lane dating from the early 70's.
It evoked a wave of nostalgia for a sport that was going through one of it's last
peaks, and reminded me that I was privilaged to have witnessed some of Speedway's all
time greats in action.
Fantastic website, I'll be back........maybe I'll even get round to writing a
distinctly misty eyed article about those childhood race nights at Wimbledon!"
Alan Coyle has launched a new fantasy speedway game, he hopes to get some
feedback over the last few weeks of the season in preparation for next year.
Full details at fantasy-speedway.com.
Updated on 2nd September 2005
We've all been there, you tell someone that you like speedway and a puzzled
face is the reaction. Chris Seaward takes a look at this phenomenon in an
article entitled 'Speedway?'.
Colin Weatherhead recently took his son to see the remains of the old
Berrington Lough stadium in Berwick. Luckily he had the camera with him so
we can also see how the place now looks.
Maciej Wegrzyn is looking for pictures of the following riders:
Bill Gilbert, Wally Green, Bob Oakley, Henry Long, Dick Bradley, Eric Williams,
Phil Clarke and Henry Andersen. Can you help him out?
John Hyam is looking for facts on former Nottingham and Leicester riders
George Dykes and Fred Strecker.
Maciej Wegrzyn has supplied some interesting information on Scottie Michie. This
follows Diane Michie's request on our 'Can You Help?' page. It seems he made quite
a number of appearances in Eastern Europe in the sport's early days.
You can boost the speedway museum fund by purchasing one of these
specially produced badges. They are available in red, blue, white and
yellow and retail at £4. Full details on the
"This web site is a sobering reminder as to what riders put on the line
everytime they go out there to put on a show. No rider ever thinks that it will
ever happen to him but in reality it does from time to time regardless of the
improvements to track safety and individual riders gear.
While looking through the web site it was apparent that good riders and novices
alike were struck down in their prime of life. Fate stepped in on that
particular day. When you add to this all the riders who were not killed but had
their lives severely altered due to severe injuries etc. it puts things into
perspective about how this sport we love can be so cruel in a blink of the
So the next time there is a collection for an injured rider please give
generously as this is indeed a hard way to earn a living however much fun it
is to do."
"Hmmm nice idea but only marginal, I fear, in maintaining spectators. I used to
love going to a meeting - still do love watching on SKY - but the cost has now
got too much. Better spedway takes a leaf from the Marks & Spencer survival
handbook and reduces entrance charges. Me and alot of my friends might just
then consider a return. Soccer may be able to get away with continually hiking
up prices but speedway will never attract the numbers or the corporate spend
that top flight soccer enjoys today."
"Great article on the possible return of the Brummies to Perry Barr.
What we need is every speedway fan in the country behind Tony Mole right now
and also we need as many letters and e-mails to Birmingham City Council to show
how much the Brummies mean not just locally but countrywide."
"Not a bad idea.
Have to say that the first stage of your article is not done by most clubs here
in the south.
A good way would to give a heavy student discount particularly in University
towns like Reading, promoting it to students as a night out would definitely
work short and long term, but I have never seen it done, there are so many
people in Reading who 'used to go' but don't even realise it still goes on
It's madness not to promote the sport which will ultimately end up with one
league, the elite and who wants to watch first out the gate wins? Lots of
people but I'm not one of them.
I often wonder, speedway is so cliquey, maybe certain people want to keep it