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Everything posted by tmc

  1. tmc

    Issue 87 - Tony Lomas Interview

    ISSUE 87 (JULY - AUGUST, 2018) of Backtrack is out now and here's a flavour of what to expect . . . TONY LOMAS – Exclusive interview Third in the British Final, a maximum for England and just a point away from reaching the World Final, Tony Lomas held down a full-time job and started a new business while scaling the heights in a brilliant 1971 campaign that put him on the speedway map. Tony McDonald tracked him down in the Yorkshire Dales to find out why his career with home-town club Coventry ended acrimoniously and how a protracted move led to title-winning glory with Exeter. Tony Lomas quotes: "I was naive and overawed. I led in every race for a couple of races but then let people pass me because I didn't think I was good enough to be in front. It sounds silly but that was how I felt in the big meetings at that time. I wanted to do well but didn't think I was capable." "Being a local lad, I hadn't cost Coventry a penny in transfer fees, I never received any signing-on money or guarantees and my travelling expenses to Brandon were 25p per meeting." "It was an honour to ride in the same team as him but, at the same time, I was in awe of him because he was so good. Ivan was in his own bubble but, all credit to him, he was fantastic." "The Exeter promoters treated me well. They paid me £750 for signing-on at the start of the championship year but Wally came on the following winter and said they didn't want to pay as much as that in '75. I was disappointed – they'd just won the league and were getting tremendous crowds – but I told him that if he had to lose a rider (through Rider Control), I was prepared to consider going." Here come the . . . AMERICANS Martin Rogers, editor of Bruce Penhall's Stars and Bikes book in 1980, recalls the all-American heroes whose unique brand of showmanship brought colour and razzmatazz to the British League scene . . . plus how British fans remember the Californians. SCOTT AUTREY – Trailblazer Steve Luxton reports from California, where former team-mates and friends gathered to see Scott Autrey honoured by his peers. COLIN GOODDY – Exclusive interview An unlikely move to Poole revitalised the near veteran Colin Gooddy's career. Phil Chard catches up with one of the sport's great characters whose much-travelled career also included spells in the Backtrack era with Oxford, Cradley Heath and Crayford. BRETT'S BATTLE Martin Neal talks to the former Berwick, Edinburgh and Aussie favourite Brett Saunders who admits he's lucky to be alive after suffering a serious stoke last December. IAN MACDONALD – man who delivered the Mail In the first of a new series of interviews, we turn the tables on those who have written countless words on speedway. Tony McDonald has a long chat with the founding editor of Speedway Mail. THAT WAS THE YEAR: 1971 Andrew Skeels reflects on a season which heralded a world title for the speedway's first Great Dane, a British history-maker in Poland, domestic bliss for Belle Vue, Hackney, Eastbourne and Ipswich, the return of league racing to Birmingham and the end for Romford and Wembley. COLIN GEAR interview (part 3) In this third and final part, we bring you more behind-the-scenes revelations from former riders' union boss, including a riders' revolt against referee Frank Ebdon, the SRA's battle to keep foreign riders out of the second division, Colin's disgust when the Lee Richardson Memorial meeting was scrapped and more. ON TWO MINUTES WITH . . . LAWRIE BLOOMFIELD Martin Neal catches up with the former Ipswich, Newcastle, Peterborough, Canterbury and Arena-Essex rider now enjoying family life in Brisbane, Australia. MILTON KEYNES: 50 Memorable Moments It's 40 years since speedway came to the Buckinghamshire new town famous for its concrete cows and network of roundabouts. Rob Peasley looks back at the most happy and gloomy times for Knights whose star riders included Bob Humphreys, Andy Grahame, Bert Harkins, Nigel Sparshott, Keith White, Steve Payne, Trevor Banks, Troy Butler and Gordon Kennett. Brett Alderton and Craig Featherby, both killed in the early 80s, are also remembered. To order this single issue or to subscribe for the year for as little as £22 (UK), please visit www.retro-speedway.com
  2. tmc

    Issue 87 - Tony Lomas Interview

    Thanks, Steve. The former SRA secretary is Colin Gear.
  3. tmc


    The results of SMI's 1991 survey reflected the mood but the BSPA has done little or nothing to address these old problems.
  4. tmc


    At Speedway Mail, 27 years ago, we were echoing the fans' growing dissatisfaction and urging the BSPA to listen to them. All the grumbles expressed today were apparent back then - and beyond. The problems have only worsened over the ensuing years.
  5. Terry Russell, and he alone, got the BSPA the original TV deal that no-one else within the promoters' association was capable of. And in hindsight, he spent too much of his own money on a lost cause, or certainly British clubs that didn't deliver a return on that investment. It's ironic that fans, many of the same people who still slate Terry today, probably wouldn't have been able to watch league racing at their local track in the last 25 years if TR hadn't let his heart rule his head. Those who blame TR for any part of UK speedway's demise have got the wrong scapegoat.
  6. Does anyone have a copy of the 1992 World Pairs Final at Lonigo - the one where Hancock beat Havvy in a run-off - on DVD? We are very keen to get hold of a copy. We're aware of the Italian TV coverage on YouTube but, alas, this is of no use. Thanks. TMc
  7. In this age of rampant self-entitlement, fans of all team sports want success at every turn and defeat is treated like the end of the world, especially among football fans. Speedway promoters can learn a lot from listening to supporters but not always when it comes to how best to spend the money generated at the turnstiles and through TV and sponsors.
  8. It's rare that I attempt to in any way defend the BSPA for its many perceived failings, but as a fan of numerous other major sports it's fair to say that speedway is not alone in causing angst and bewilderment among its followers and, just perhaps, we are all guilty at times of being over-critical of officialdom and what is served up in the name of sport and entertainment. Take football. It continues to price itself out of the financial reach of the average man and woman on the street and attending Premier League games now costs an arm and leg. Then there's the overpriced kits (three versions at any one time) and other merchandise clubs pump out to further rip off their loyal followers. Premier League chairmen/owners are widely regarded as the greediest bunch of governing parasites in world sport. People question the integrity and nous of some running Premier, Championship and National tracks. But look at the disastrous club ownerships that The Football League has stood by and allowed to wreck and ruin - my own club, Leyton Orient, almost went to the wall a year ago at the hands of our then psychopathic Italian owner, who treated us like his personal play thing with almost fatal consequences until the O's were saved in the high court. County Cricket has just entered another desperate new phase of trying to reinvent itself, with the newly-proposed '100-ball' brainwave set to be introduced in 2020 in an effort to attract new, younger fans and mums. It's a franchised based scheme, with a select group of players (not including the best English Test and one-day cricketers) chosen to represent new teams representing cities rather than counties. This, though, will effectively kill the current T20 domestic competition brought in in 2003. The ECB and county bosses are being publicly hammered and ridiculed for dreaming up yet another new format for a game that already has 5-day Tests, 4-day County Championship matches and two one day tournaments. Cricket clubs and the ICC at world level have spent fortunes improving their pitches and outfields but they still can't control the weather and, like speedway, matches are often postponed or abandoned after just a few overs play. These two national sports are awash with billions of TV money yet still, it seems, they couldn't organise the proverbial p*** up in a brewery. How many different 'World Championships' does boxing have these days? In recent years cycling has been totally discredited for harbouring cheats who take drugs to enhance performance. Which race teams and riders can be trusted? Greyhound racing has literally gone to the dogs, with more and more tracks closing year on year. I don't know enough about other sports, such as rugby and ice hockey, to comment here about where they come up short but you can rest assured they too will have their critics and be hampered by decisions (and indecision) taken by their respective rulers. 'Who cares about other sports, speedway is all we're interested in', I hear you scream! I hear you, loud and clear! But remember, there is a lot wrong with many other sports, too, including those with huge financial resources and tens of thousands more followers, and speedway is by no means alone in struggling to satisfy its loyal supporters. Should we keep questioning and challenging the BSPA and FIM (I would add the SCB, too, but they are toothless and have virtually ceded control of the sport to the men and women who run the tracks)? Of course. No-one could argue that speedway couldn't be much better organised and administered, and badly needs to offer more variety in its formats and competitions. The ridiculously over-complicated rulebook needs to be torn up and re-written in the simplest terms. Doubling-up and guests must be eradicated ASAP. There has to be more emphasis on British youth development, with team places made available to the best prospects. But speedway is plagued by many problems (bad weather; lack of stadium ownership; ill effects of the GP and other domestic leagues) beyond its control. So all things considered, while it doesn't solve problems to acknowledge the fact, we're certainly not alone among sports fan calling for more sanity and things to be run better. Speedway? It ain't so bad after all!
  9. BACKTRACK Our sister publication specialising on speedway in the 70s & 80s pays in-depth tribute to IVAN MAUGER 48 full colour pages dedicated to the man we believe was The Greatest ISSUE 86 (MAY-JUNE, 2018) WHEN the sad news reached us that Ivan Mauger had died in a Gold Coast nursing home, aged 78, on April 16, 2018, we decided there and then that issue of Backtrack would be devoted entirely to the memory of the man we recognise as the greatest-ever speedway rider. The special commemorative collectors' edition is packed with tributes from many of his biggest friends and rivals, including Ronnie Moore, Barry Briggs, Ole Olsen, Peter Collins and Anders Michanek, plus Bruce Penhall, Hans Nielsen and many others. We hear from Guy Allott and Gordon Stobbs, two key members of Ivan's mechanical support team. Supporters from all over the globe also share their personal memories of the great man, who played a very influential role in winning league championships with Newcastle, Belle Vue (three) and Exeter before leading Hull to their best-ever top tier season. For the statistically minded, we have the Mauger Timeline, Ivan's British League season-by-season career record, from 1965 to 1984, as well as his 'British Track Tour', listing every UK venue at which he rode (excluding training schools). Drawing on his past interviews in the magazine, we reproduce some of Ivan's thoughts on key subjects that affected his time in the game. Martin Rogers and Tony Mac offer their personal take on the man who changed the face of speedway forever. Our coverage of Ivan's funeral includes comments of appreciation from Ivan's three children. ------------------------------------ To order this single edition for £4.00 (plus £2 P&P if ordering from overseas), or subscribe for a year for £22 (UK), £29 (Europe & Ireland) or £37 (Rest of World), visit www.retro-speedway.com or phone 01708 734 502.
  10. I think sensible people are too often wasting their breath on here, Rob. I'm with you. Too many clueless idiots who offer no cohesive arguments using the forum as their personal attention-seeking platform. If the cap fits, wear it.
  11. Yes, they're officially mad, mate. Nutters the lot of 'em. Although, you are probably right. Sullivan, Gold and Brady, those luvvable Eastenders ("cor blimey, don't we luv 'em") really are genuine nice guys and us mugs who have supported the team for 50 years have got them all wrong. They are charging the club silly amount of interest in personal loans, without investing any of their own money in the playing squad, and trading off the fans' blind loyalty for the sake of the TV money gravy train. In fact, as Brady eluded to in her Scum column, it's the fans' fault that West Ham have had such a poor season.
  12. I knew some sense would break out amid the madness.
  13. Of course, football clubs count season ticket sales even when the ST holders become so p***** off that they stop going, leaving empty seats.
  14. tmc

    ALAN WHALE rip

    Brilliant photographer.
  15. Figures often don't tell the full story, especially in this case. Thousands of Hammers fans have taken to social media all season to vent their disgust at how shabbily they are being treated by the owners, with many threatening not to renew their season tickets, claiming they have been "lied to". The owners are vilified and subjected to daily online abuse and, as of this week, a petition is running to have MD Karren Brady stripped of her newspaper column. The atmosphere at the Athletics Stadium has been toxic for much of this depressing season. The fact that there are new 'plastic' (and probably more gullible) fans/tourists ready to replace traditionalists like myself, and many thousands of others who are cheesed off about how money has morally corrupted the game, does NOT mean our club, or the game itself, is being run very well (which was my original point). It just means that there are many thousands more football fans with a sheep mentality, who are prepared to tolerate being mugged off, compared to speedway followers.
  16. If you think West Ham are worth watching at £50 a pop, think again! In a supposed 90-minute game of pro football, the ball is only actually in play for about half that time. The rest is taken up with time-wasting, goal-kicks, throw-ins, free-kicks, berating the officials, etc.
  17. Think some may have missed my point about football, or perhaps I didn't make it clearly enough. My point is that football is Britain's No.1 national sport, is awash with insane amount of cash (especially at the highest level) . . . but in many respects it's as poorly run and administered as speedway, and treats its loyal followers with utter contempt. Cricket is a much more relevant analogy. Constantly trying to reinvent itself for a new audience it think it needs to appeal to (many women are insulted by the notion that a new 100-ball format is what they crave) , while the bedrock of the game - County Championship and Test matches (outside England) - are teetering on the brink of self-destruction.
  18. Thank you, Steve and Ian.
  19. tmc

    Ivan Mauger on British tracks?

    Many thanks, Dave. Just need the Stoke (Loomer Rd) details now....
  20. Remember the 'British Track Records' feature that made for an interesting thread on here last year, and which formed the basis of features in Backtrack and Classic Speedway, with Jimmy Squibb out in front as the man who rode at the most number of UK speedway venues? Well, it would be interesting to present a list of every BRITISH track that Ivan Mauger has appeared on (excluding training schools) in pukka league, cup, challenge meetings, or at least a match-race or solo track demo watched by paying spectators. Anyone want to start putting together a definitive list....! It will be interesting, because there are his Southern Area League outings for Eastbourne to consider too. My fear with this is, however, is that he made so many one-off appearances, especially match races on BL2/NL tracks in the 70s and 80s, that it would be easy to overlook one. Anyway, food for thought. Thank you.
  21. tmc

    Ivan Mauger on British tracks?

    We now just need the dates and meeting titles for meetings at Peterborough and Stoke in the 70s that both featured Ivan in match-races. The one at Peterborough was against Peter Collins and we've been told on Facebook that it was "in the late 70s". Someone else posted to say it was "1976". Anyone got Peterborough progs from that season to verify, plse?
  22. tmc

    Ivan Mauger on British tracks?

    We now just need the dates and meeting titles for meetings at Peterborough and Stoke in the 70s that both featured Ivan in match-races. The one at Peterborough was against Peter Collins and we've been told on Facebook that it was "in the late 70s".
  23. tmc

    Ivan Mauger on British tracks?

    Bordernapolis 1975 or 1980?
  24. tmc

    Ivan Mauger on British tracks?

    We're not including Motherwell - classified as a longtrack meeting.

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