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Hammer Time....By Gordon Parkins

This article appeared in the West Ham speedway programme on 21st July 1970

We at West Ham are shocked and stunned by the vicious and tragic turn of fate that overtook the members of the West Ham team and other members of the touring party in the ghastly accident which occurred in Belgium last week. We cannot ever hope, by words, to express the horror, the very deep sorrow that we feel at the passing of so many fine sportsmen...out friends, comrades, the people who were an integral part of our organisation, the life-blood of West Ham itself. On behalf of our Directors, out staff, our riders, our supporters, and everyone at Custom House, I send our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the wives, parents and relatives of our unfortunate comrades. We shall not forget them, the passing of time may dull the ache in our hearts but the memory of these fine people, man of them in the bloom of youth, will live with us forever.

We shall remember the cheery smile and curly hair of Martyn Piddock, the impish grin and dark good looks of Peter Bradshaw, the energy and youthful looks of Gary Everett, the zest and determination of Malcom Carmichael, the sincerity and devotion of Phil Bishop to the sport that was and always had been his whole life. Gentlemen of speedway, our sport has been richer and warmer by your presence.

We are pleased to report that at the time of going to press, news of the survivors is encouraging. Most seriously injured, Colin Pratt, is reported to be improving steadily. We sincerely hope and trust he will continue to do so. Stan Stevens with a broken leg and facial injuries is off the danger list, as is mechanic Ray Sullivan, whilst Garry Hay, with head and facial injuries is expected to be released from hospital well before you read these notes. Every praise is due to Ron Dyer who escaped with severe bruising and shock, and who took command of the tragedy and mounted a twenty four hour telephone vigil at the hospital.

 

This article was first published on 22nd October 2004

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