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Bloxsome Hits Back

Keith - 1979 Style

My name is Keith Bloxsome, star of Andrew Taylor's Boston Nightmare team.

To clarify - Andrew makes his judgement based on 4 months?

I had my first team ride for Boston in March 1978 and I had my first speedway race at Belle Vue in August 1977. Against people on like machinery I won that and a few more in the next 3 months remaining in the season.

At Boston I crashed out of my first race, first meeting, and to be fair to Andrew, only had brief spells of any real performance during those four months, as a 17 year old, with the club. During that brief spell Andrew should be aware, as he is such a knowledgeable supporter, I saved Boston from the embarrassment of losing every race 5 - 1 at Edinburgh. In the 11th or 12th race, of the old 13 race format, I beat Bert Harkins to save the humiliation!

I think I was top scorer or second top (not really important to me now) away at Glasgow a week or two later, a performance (still as a 17 year old) that convinced Glasgow to want me in their team.

During my 4 month stay with Boston, my Dad, who was my mechanic and constant partner, died. Team racing for the first time, racing against guys with expensive highly tuned bikes and track knowledge makes the induction class quite difficult.

During my career I had some great days and some awful days, par for the course for most riders. I had some inspiring memories riding for Newcastle and then Kings Lynn, my first season in Div 1, I beat several of the top riders of the day and achieved a modest 5+ average. For one brief period Trevor Hedge loaned me one of his tuned GM engines, I scored very well, top scoring for Lynn against Ipswich in the Semi-final of the Knockout Cup.

I was never a speedway star, although I wanted to be, more an enthusiast, I made an average living, there were very few stars, P.C., Ivan, Ole, Hans, Mike Lee, Chris Morton,etc., the rest to some greater or lesser degree made the sport a challenge, some times 12 points some times 1, always trying to win.

If you don't have money or real raw talent that encourages sponsorship the likelihood is you are destined to be Mr Average. In the one brief spell I had some real machinery (borrowed off Trevor Hedge) I competed on a higher platform.

Before I set up my own business in Southampton I worked in Jersey (Channel Islands). They have a motorcycle club there, You may remember Marcus Bisson who rode at Poole, he's still going, sand racing. I could not resist and some 12 years after retirement had to have another go, so I went sand racing in Jersey. That was great fun riding with motorcycle enthusiasts, it did prompt me to wonder why I gave up at 25.

I watch the sport from a distance now, via Sky Sports and it's great to see some investment in to the sport. I personally lost guidance when I lost my Dad and raced on sub standard equipment. Nobody wants to finish second, I retired after I broke my left arm in 10 places at Peterborough in 1985. I started in the motor trade during that winter, competing with intellect and commitment, tools from within, I now have my own motor retailing business, ah success at last. I guess Andrew is still driving his tractor!

Visit my web site at http://www.euromotodirect.com/.

Best wishes to all in the sport and long may it prosper.

Keith's comments prompted the following feedback

Andy Taylor wrote:
Well not meant to offend Keith, there were so many good riders in the past that rode for Boston that it is difficult to remember many bad ones. However Keith I'm afraid I can't drive a tractor as I'm a townie. I too have had success in business successfully running my own catering business for many years before selling it for a handsome profit. I still watch the sport and in the past have provided some sponsorship to riders and hope to do so this coming season. It will be a young rider that will benefit though as I believe that too many young riders are lost to the sport due to a lack of funding. It really is a shame though after writing an interesting piece on life after speedway, that the article is finished with a sad stereotypical comment that people from Lincolnshire could find offensive.


John Boynton wrote:
Great reply Keith. As one of my boyhood heroes I'm pleased you've stood up for yourself. I had a quick look back through some programmes and books at how you did for the Diamonds during the 'great days' and you played a full part in our brilliant years of 1980-82.

For the record your average went from 3.5 - 4.00 at Boston to 5.0 at Glasgow up to 7.5 at Newcastle ( better than Tom Owen that year!!); to me the same learning curve that any good rider would follow. I can only conclude that any criticism from Boston supporters is harsh and premature.

Thanks for all you did for Newcastle and all the best for the future.


Amanda Booth wrote:
Hi I would like to add to the debate about Keith Bloxsome.

Whatever Andy Taylor or anyone else has said, one thing is for sure, they have got people talking about a rider many had forgotten. So perhaps Keith himself is having a little chuckle.

My memories of Keith's is similar to Andy's, a rider who could have been so much better. I appreciate that he got injured during the 1985 season, but a rider who turns up for meetings with dirty equipment week after week really does reflect the unprofessional attitude that perhaps let him down and prevented him from ever reaching a good level in the sport.


Tony McDonald wrote:
Good on you, Keith. I got to know Keith very well when he joined King's Lynn and everything he says is spot on. As he said, so much depends on top class machinery and when he had a decent motor under him, Keith could mix it with the best of them. He had the bottle and the ability to go a lot further, but he just needed more financial backing and a bit of luck. What's more he's a bloody good bloke who deserved more from the sport he still loves. Great to hear that he's doing so well in his own business.
Rod Hunter (Keith's Newcastle team mate) wrote:
Keith Blokie did have a lot more go in him than most people knew. We saw it often. Robbie Blackadder, Tom Owen and myself often helped Keith in the pits with his equipment and encouraged him. He never reached 25% of his riding potential, but he was always a good team mate and an entertainer for me.

 

This article was first published on 10/05/2003


 

  • Dave Torley:

    "As a Diamonds fan I can remember Keith having a superb spell for us including an 18 point maximum from reserve. He certainly entertained me and at the end of the day that is what I pay my money for. In 7 man teams, not everyone can be a star but KB tried which is more than can be said for some of the foreigners currently clogging up the middle order of many a Premier League team (no names, no pack drill)"

  • Bryan Tungate:

    "I remember Keith Bloxsome as a rider who I thought might have been better with backing and decent gear. He was always a real trier whilst at Kings Lynn. Who could ask for more?"

  • David Ridley:

    "I have been a huge Diamonds fan since my sister took me to my first meeting in 1977. I can't comment on the 1976 team but the 1978 team which finished runners up to Canterbury were superb and the 1980 team in which Keith was involved in was superb, they seemed to win everywhere, a suprise home defeat of 38-40 to Nottingham Outlaws costing us the title but his partnership with Nigel Crabtree at reserve was a pleasure to watch."

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