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steve roberts

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steve roberts last won the day on January 13

steve roberts had the most liked content!

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    York (once of Oxford)
  • Interests
    Too many to list
  • Team
    Oxford & City 'Rebels' and 'Cheetahs'

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  1. Mike Sampson Interview

    ...as usual makes for interesting reading. An interview with Mick Handley who rode for my team, Oxford, for many years and a more than interesting interview with SRA Secretary Colin Gear who talks about Kenny Carter at length and the so called 'Sunday People' scandal as well as the drugs issue when Hans Nielsen was very supportive in an attempt to introduce drug testing to the sport. A great read!
  2. Mike Sampson Interview

    Great to read an interview with one of my favourite riders, Mike Sampson, in the latest edition of 'Backtrack' A very under-rated rider in my opinion but in my view was very instrumental in helping 'The Rebels' to league success in 1977. Won numerous team honours not only with White City but for Eastbourne and his home town team Exeter of which he had a love/hate relationship. He comes across as a very modest man but without riders like Mike speedway would have been the the poorer.
  3. Rule Changes for 2018

    ...strewth having not clapped eyes on a rule book for donkey's years the wording and definition of same is just as confusing!
  4. Vaclav Verner

    Sad news indeed if it's true. Never saw Vaclav around the County Ground where he was apparently a sight to behold but saw him ride at many other venues.
  5. No TV deal?

    ...I personally used to dislike having Frank Ebdon in charge of a meeting as the race having just finished he immediately used to engage the 'two minute warning' for the next heat. It never gave one the chance to digest and discuss the race but I guess that there is a fine line between moving things along and blatant time wasting.
  6. No TV deal?

    ...I was the same when during the last three years or so of attending before re-locating. It was meeting up with friends to have a good chat but unfortunately those friends started to diminish as they lost interest in the sport or other commitments took up their time.
  7. Kim Nilsson owed a few bob

    ...yes I seem to remember that both Jimmy Nilsen and Richard Knight were owed money as well.
  8. Henryk Zyto - 1960 Coventry - R.I.P.

    ...I'm sure that it was in Eric Boocock's book? Garry was helping Eric whilst in Aussie and Eric exclaimed surprise when Garry produced a gun from his jacket saying "...if you have any problems with Airey tonight I'll blow him away!" Apparently Middleton didn't generally get along with his compatriots but had a real disliking of Jim Airey!
  9. Henryk Zyto - 1960 Coventry - R.I.P.

    Hi Sid! I now wish that I had hung on to my programmes but sold them off (at a greatly reduced 'going rate') before relocating! Remember the meeting well and Cowley was packed to the rafters! Jan Mucha was the 'star turn' for Poland that afternoon I remember despite more illustrious team mates. Zenon Plech's famous 'high siding' crash (caught dramatically by Mike Patrick) and at least I got to see the future World Champion (albeit only as far as the first bend!) Unfortunately 'Cassius' Middleton was replaced although programmed to ride...perhaps he didn't relish a return to Cowley so soon after his departure in a complicated deal just prior to the commencement of the 1973 season...or more likely more than not he was participating in a meeting abroad that guaranteed a better financial return? Apparerently Garry disliked Jim Airey for reasons I don't know.
  10. Kim Nilsson owed a few bob

    I remember Terry Lindon (Promoter at Berwick) doing a runner owing Kelvin Tatum thousands.
  11. No TV deal?

    ...but what to play is the dilemma faced with today's generation in mind. I have a very wide musical taste and I do recall when watching Ice Hockey that the music was very upbeat. I remember when Nigel Wagstaff was the promoter at Cowley each rider had a themed piece of music played as they were introduced...never really caught on and much of it was instantly forgettable. During the period when Laurence Rogers was the announcer at Cowley (groan!), as well as at Cradley, the heat result was announced with a particular piece of music depending on the outcome...it got very repetitive. When Simon Wigg staged his farewell meeting at Cowley his selection of music was very loud and heavy...unfortunately that caused problems with the local residents and the promoters were warned of the consequences and if it was to reoccur that action would be taken by the local authorities...in fact I seem to remember Sunday meetings at Cowley were put in jeopardy because of the loud music. Sure that it was Reading during their time at Tilehurst who were unable to play music because there was an old people's home nearby and Poole having issues with the local hospital? What was quite effective, in my view, during the early days of 'The Rebels' at Wood Lane was that the winner of the race had a spot light focused upon him as he returned to the pits with appropriate commentary. I seem to remember Dave Lanning doing a live commentary during his spell at Plough Lane whilst the race was in progress and Peter York used to pass comment during the last few yards at Cowley...if that's your thing.
  12. No TV deal?

    ...call me an old fuddy duddy (and plenty do!) and having no understanding of what appeals to youngsters but when I went to speedway the music played was often the latest chart music or do the younger generation today no longer listen to that type of music or do the majority of staging tracks play music from the past?
  13. Henryk Zyto - 1960 Coventry - R.I.P.

    Sad news. Saw him ride at Cowley in 1973. RIP
  14. No TV deal?

    I agree with much of what you say however you did use the term "Too much like the seventies" which was somewhat different to the gradual decline of the sport during the eighties (which is the era you cite some specific examples) which has continued to this day. During the height of the seventies the sport was in a relatively healthy state (certainly compared to today) where the national press (Mirror, People, Express) sponsored, as well as covered, not only meetings but test matches and/or tournaments and there was generally an abundance of national sponsorships which, again, backed leagues (Gulf Oil for example) specific meetings/test matches/tournaments and obviously riders. The sport was featured regularly on national/local TV (World of Sport in particular...the end of that franchise during the middle eighties certainly had an effect on the sport) and even the BBC showed highlighted meetings occasionally so the sport must have been deemed attractive and/or doing something right to warrant such coverage. Plus the fact that the national team drew plaudits and created interest which the advent of the old British League Division Two helped to fuel before an abundance of foreigners and other factors changed things in subsequent decades. Okay those who were around during the seventies saw the advent of the four valve engine and the gradual parting of the ways of the two leagues which the effects of both became apparent as the sport moved into the eighties and beyond. Yes there were issues during the seventies as there was during the sixties and fifties (when the sport was struggling towards the back end of that particular decade) but personally I feel that the seventies offered much and I'm thankful that I was able to experience both the highs and lows of that particular decade. Whether the actual quality of the racing was any better is always going to cause debate. My dad went during the late forties and early fifties and always said that the racing was better then but the subject is always subjective and often based on personal preferences and bias and fans will always cite that the racing was better during any particular period in which they attended. As regards attracting younger fans? That's the biggest challenge that faces the sport and I have no answers to that particular question although I have some rather contentious views on the subject which I'll keep to myself! As regards the sport having to "re-invent" itself is open to debate and conjecture as fundamentally it's about four riders (with slight variations on occasions) circumnavigating an oval track and how far should the sport deviate from that in an attempt to attract a new audience will always divide opinion.Tweaking rules here and there is not the answer in my view but beyond that what are the possibilities?
  15. No TV deal?

    ...did you attend speedway during the seventies?