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Andy Downes

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    55

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  • Team
    Crayford/Hackney Kestrels

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  1. Andy Downes

    Three meetings in one day

    1985 or 1986 not sure which year but certainly a May bank holiday 11:00 Kings Lynn 15:00 Arena Essex 19:30 Hackney
  2. Andy Downes

    Warsaw 2019

    So by that logic Antonio Lindback isn't Swedish ?
  3. Andy Downes

    Your club's all-time top team

    Yes - he was coming to the end of his time at Crayford when I started going in 1980 but TBH I cannot really remember anything individual about him
  4. Andy Downes

    Your club's all-time top team

  5. Andy Downes

    10 favourite Irish riders

    Not sure but wasn't Mike Fitzpatrick, 1980's reserve/second halfer at Hackney and Rye among others Irish? may possibly have been second generation
  6. Andy Downes

    Kid Bodie?

    Is that the world's first Lay-Down engine?
  7. Andy Downes

    Riders Who Never Made It?

    I've briefly skimmed the back pages and only I name of this rider - a bit of a long story so please bear with me ... Late in the 1982 season, Crayford had suddenly transformed from a struggling side to one that at home looked like the league contenders they would become the following year. They thrashed an Ellesmere Port side 68-28 and that team ended up third in the league (yes I know there was a slight difference in track sizes but it was still impressive) the following league match was against Exeter, a team from a similar sized track but one without a Heat-leader trio as fearsome as Jackson, Finch and Maxfield; in fact I believe all their heat leaders were injured. it was a flimsy side - two league debut's (including I believe one certain Alun Rossiter) and a couple of teenage 4 point average riders who were not going to trouble the scorers. It was a wet night with the track looking somewhat slippery. A big win here I thought 3 hours later I'm back at home thinking who the hell was that?!? - one of these no hope 4 pointers has scored 20 points from 7 rides and If memory serves, he was unlucky in the race he finished second in. The Kid's name - Keith Millard. Mr Millard proved it was no fluke the following year scoring double figures in that year's league match and just to prove the Kent Air suited him, the U21 championship at Canterbury Moving up with Exeter in 1984 should have been a natural progression but something went badly wrong somewhere and he got dropped by the Falcons - despite appearing for a number of other NL sides, he always seemed a shadow of his old self and for some reason never appeared for the Falcons NL sides in the late '80's A less than reliable person once told me he'd got in trouble off track but didn't say (or know) what had supposed to have happened and he just looked too good to not be bothered Any old Exeter fans know why he faded so quickly - he still remains the best debut from an unknown rider I've ever seen
  8. Andy Downes

    British League Division Two

    Melvin ******* Stewkesbury I personally hold him 50% responsible for Hackney's demise after he convinced/conned 3 other teams to dump the old National League so his precious team wouldn't step up a league single handed - took what was then a great league and ruined it - it has been been the same since. Not only did the league loose Poole Wimbledon Berwick and Ipswich but Eastbourne closed both Hackney and Milton Keynes were gone within 18 months
  9. Andy Downes

    Blair Scott on Jeremy Kyle

    Having watched the programme today, the one thing they didn't mention was how he started on drugs - was he injured at the end of his career and it was to initially take the pain away? Addiction is a strange thing - it creeps up on you and slowly takes over your life bit by bit. I was a betting show manager for a number of years and I often saw people collecting pennies off of the floor they were that desperate to get the gambling rush of potentially backing a winner. i saw people waste fortunes in a few months and it's a lot worse now with companies making out that internet betting is cool and trendy and no worse than playing bingo with your friends, For some that may be so but for many others it's an addiction that often leads to theft to fund the spending. - just like a drug addict Whilst part of me congratulates Daniel Smith and his vigilante approach to drug pushers, not sure how you stop multinational bookmakers (or alcohol producers come to think of it) from pushing addictive product Anyway, good luck to Blair Scott - he may have done terrible things to his family but if he can get himself sorted out he just might be able to pay for the hurt he has caused his family
  10. Andy Downes

    Doug Ellis RIP

    As an Aston Villa fan since the late 60's I had a love/hate relationship with the man. Since he sold out to Randy Lerner 10 years ago, my attitude slightly softened towards him - he always had the team at heart but seemed he wouldn't go the final hurdle to make them compete at the absolute top level (our European Cup victory was during his period not on the board) There have been many comments about him on the Villa Fan Web Site and a surprising number show how down to earth he was, fans writing to him would get personal replies within days and he was very generous with his time. he also had a wonderfully wicked sense of humour which he showed in the following exchange with the then birmingham city director Karren Brady Karren Brady) Hello Mr Ellis. Doug) (reading her name badge) Good evening Miss Brady. Why are you at this function? Karren Brady) I am with The City. Doug) (knowing full well who she was) Ah. The Council. Oh and to Mr Sholvar, Swindon Town admitted to 36 counts of illegal payments and the chairman Brian Hillier went to prison for six months, was Doug really to blame for penalising your club?
  11. Adonis - I don't know how old you are but if like me, you have been a fan of the sport for 30 years or more, I think you tend to remember riders from earlier periods more fondly and rate them higher than current day riders. It's not Woffy's fault that bikes are now set up like rocket ships, competing on slick tracks and the argument that modern riders couldn't deal with the amount of shale or different bikes will always be a hypothetical one. You can only race and beat what is around you at the time and I would argue that the successful riding styles are almost unrecognisable to those of say the 70's or 80's which in turn are totally different to those in the 30's and 40's (if the action in Once a Jolly Swagman is anything to go by) . You would like to think a top rider of one period though could adapt to the style of another era. At the end of the day though it's all about opinions, I respect yours but I don't agree with it.
  12. Andy Downes

    Simmo how is he remembered?

    His 70's glory years were before my time I remember being disappointed when he joined hackney in the 80's - mainly because his huge average meant we had to lose 2 decent riders and promote a junior - the result meant hackney 1986 was perhaps the most forgettable of the hackney Kestrel Teams A beautiful stylist who dropped down a league too early (IIRC he was the only rider to beat Neil Evitts in the British Championship Final that year) but his final years seemed to be surrounded with controversy (I doubt Arena Essex fans have fond memories of him) with non arrivals, questionable injuries and other rumoured happenings that may or not be true but cannot be repeated as they could be construed as libellous
  13. Andy Downes

    Other Museums

    There are a few bits and pieces of Bristol Speedway memorabilia in the M Shed museum in Bristol - no real thought or narrative behind it though
  14. Andy Downes

    A top 10 to be proud of.

    Depends on what you want from your top ten - personally, I prefer entertainers to trophy winners and as I watched more NL speedway in the 80's than any other period, my list would probably not agree with anyone else's Anyway, in my opinion 1) Barry Thomas - the rest in no particular order Alan Mogridge, Mark Loram, Andy Galvin, Martin Goodwin, Kelvin Mullarkey, Kelly Moran, Chris Morton, Tomasz Gollob, Joe Screen
  15. Andy Downes

    Poole v Leicester. Prem B. Thursday 9/8/18

    If that's as bad as it was, that is a disgrace. When I was young and Crayford were running, they used to put sawdust down to soak up the excess water - and I mean real lakes of water, not a trickle as in that photo - don't tracks do that nowadays?
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