Dream Team : Tony Simmons
This is my all time Ipswich Witches 'Dream Team'. I started watching the Witches in
1983 and last went regularly in 1988/89.
Second in my all time list of greatest ever riders to wear the Witches race jacket,
he was and still is my favourite rider ever, and was only second because of one rider.....
This one! Just shades his fellow American as the best. Such a talented rider, and such a
shame his career ended because of injury to his ankle in 1984. Made a dramatic comeback to the
Witches in 1985, but I`ll never forget or forgive Jimmy Nilsen dumping him off his bike
in heat 13 in his first match back, and damaging his ankle again. Dennis never fully recovered
from that and never returned to England after that season.
Simply brilliant. I remember the 1983 World Final when Billy finished 2nd whilst an Ipswich
rider, he was very unlucky to meet Egon Muller on a well prepared German track in norden.
Surely the only reason why Billy came second and didn't win it. Tragically took his own life,
about a mile from where I live in ipswich way back in 1985, at a time when he was unbeatable.
He scored yet another fine maximum in his last ever meeting and then defeated Chris Morton to
win the golden helmet as well. I have a photo of Billy posing with that golden helmet after
that match. Much treasured.
A very important member of the team for a few seasons, and always very popular.
Exciting and dangerous as a raw youngster in his debut season 1982, but got steadily better
year after year.
A great team man, and scored a lot of vital points at vital times, now exiled in Australia I
think. He is fondly remembered by all Witches fans.
Kai Niemi / Mike Lanham / Carl Blackbird / Kevin Jolly
All played a part in the history of the Witches, and on their day, could beat anybody.
This article was first published on 7th February 2004
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