Dream Team : Ray Allen
I am glad to add my all time Bradford Dream Team to the mix.....Enjoy
At the Shay Kenny WAS Halifax Speedway with a struggling side we delighted when our "local hero" went up against the big guns...and beat em at there own game. Promoter Eric Boothroyd said "Kenny was a light that burned bright for a short time in our lives and quickly burnt out". On his motor home was emblazoned Kenny Carter - Remember My Name....as if we could ever forget..........
He was for many..myself included their first true "Shale Hero" and those of us still hooked on this great sport today are testimony to Gary Peterson. One of the first discoveries of Div 2 racing he was widely tipped as a future World Champion. When Gary left Odsal for Div 1 Wolves there were many heavy hearts but he had found his rightful place amongst the elite. His scoring record at Bradford was simply phenomenal and was only challenged by 80's/90's Odsal stars Havelock and Screen.
Sadly Gary's potential would never be realised as injury and domestic difficulties dogged his career. Ultimately Speedway asked of Gary the highest price...his life. He was killed racing for Wolves in 1975. Only weeks earlier he had returned to Bradford to contest a match race series against the Odsal top three. His 2-1 victory was a reminder and poignant goodbye from a genuinely nice guy. Theres no doubt Gary Peterson lines up with the best of our Odsal hero's and if theres a Big O in the sky then Gary's gonna Glitter!.....
Now accepted as one of the Elite racers of his generation Gary was also Captain of the England Lions and enjoying great times with Bradford a club now recognised as one of the best in the world !. However serious back injuries forced Gary out of the sport for a good while in 96. He returned to lead the Dukes to the Elite League title as the curtain fell down on racing in Bradford in 97. Without doubt Havvy has left his mark in the annals of Speedway History in Bradford. By the way its great to see him back for England ( team GB ), enjoying his racing at Poole and proving himself a great reader of the sport in his analysis for Sky.
Its terrible that Wiggy is no longer with us...its something you can hardly take in now. As you look at Speedway today and the renaissance is happening....look again because whatever's happening Simon Wigg probably had something to do with it.....God bless.
As back up I would like to be able to call on
Alan Knapkin - The Golden Wonder
Tony went on to have some success at Div 1 level but mainly plyed his trade in the late 70's early 80's in Div 2 at Wolves, Stoke , Boston & Scunthorpe. But injury and disagreements hindered his progress and the potential he had was somewhat unfulfilled. After his time in Britain Tony returned home to Oz and built a second racing career in midget car racing. Sadly Tony's life was taken in a midget car track crash in his homeland in the early 90's. With Odsal looking for a new star at the time Tony came along and showed he had what it took. If he could have continued at Bradford...in my opinion he would have been up there with the great and good.
So there ya go my Dream Team, casting my eye down the line up I am taken by the names that are sadly no longer with us Kenny Carter, Gary Peterson, Simon Wigg and Tony Boyle, these are 4 Odsal favourites who left their indelible mark in my era.....and with Speedway seemingly lost to the City of Bradford we're running short of heroes.
Stay safe and keep the faith.
This article was first published prior to October 2002
"So interesting reading your comments particularly those about KC & Gary Peterson.
I was a great follower of Harringay & your comments concerning those who should have
been world champion & never quite made it reminded me of Jack Biggs who only had to
finish 3rd in his final ride to collect the title & came 4th. Another great rider of
that era not to become WC was Brian Crutcher.
Does anybody do a "where are they now" on the top riders of the 50's,60's, 70's
particularly some of the overseas riders like Sverre Harfeldt, Bengt Jannson etc "
I was a great follower of Harringay & your comments concerning those who should have been world champion & never quite made it reminded me of Jack Biggs who only had to finish 3rd in his final ride to collect the title & came 4th. Another great rider of that era not to become WC was Brian Crutcher.
Does anybody do a "where are they now" on the top riders of the 50's,60's, 70's particularly some of the overseas riders like Sverre Harfeldt, Bengt Jannson etc "
"I just found your site (I'm in Southern California) and am looking forward to reading everything. So far, I've only read your "Dream Team" page, and I agree totally with your comments about Kenny Carter. I was in the L.A. Coliseum for the World Final in 1982, and I thought then that Carter's exclusion from the heat where he clashed with Penhall was wrong. I've recently watched the video of the race over and over. It looks like the two of them were both at each other from the pits bend all the way to the crash, but I don't think Penhall was innocent, and there was certainly enough doubt that Carter should have been in the rerun. Watching the video of him pleading with the referee afterwards is pitiful. I think he was being truthful, and I really feel sorry for him. Even though I'm American, I feel Carter was treated unfairly, and I would have been happy to have seen him win the title that night. His tragic end a few years later was a shock. I had no idea he was so tortured inside. If only someone had been able to intervene and talk to him."
"Bradford. My dream team would have included Ron Clarke, Eddie Rigg, Oliver Hart, Ernie Price, Alec Statham, Max Grosskreutz and Joe Abbott. They were my Odsal heroes and the riders I went to watch when the Boomerangs and 'the man who started it all' (???) their boss Johnnie Hoksins visited London in the late 1940s."
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