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TonyMac last won the day on January 14 2019

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About TonyMac

  • Birthday 04/09/1960

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  1. Issue 99 of Backtrack is out now and here's a small taste of the feast of nostalgia inside. To subscribe (remember, it's subscription only, no single copy sales), please go to www.retro-speedway.com LOKEREN 50 years on On the 50th anniversary of speedway's darkest day, we remember members of the West Ham group that lost their lives in the minibus crash near Lokeren, Belgium on July 14, 1970 – Manager PHIL BISHOP, Hammers' PETER BRADSHAW and MARTYN PIDDOCK, Wimbledon's GARY EVERETT and Aussie youngster MALCOLM CARMICHAEL all perished in tragic circumstances, along with the Dutch driver. Also interviews with three of the survivors – COLIN PRATT, who suffered severe career-ending injuries, plus STAN STEVENS and GARRY HAY. Read how Garry escaped Lokeren with minor cuts and grazes . . . only to be paralysed for life in a track crash in Australia less than six months later. Cradley Heath star ROY TRIGG recalls sharing his bedroom with his protege Carmichael, while TONY BISHOP relives the day he lost his pioneering father. IVAN'S YEAR - 1979 (part 1) JOHN DAVIDSON looks back at the year Ivan Mauger defied age and his critics to achieve two of his greatest feats on the world stage. Part one covers the Hull No.1's path to the finals of the individual and team World Championships. ERIC MONAGHAN – exclusive interview In a new four-page interview, ANDREW SKEELS up with a former National League favourite who was set on a grasstrack career before a chance call changed his life. 'Bootsy' is perhaps best known for his spells in the colours of Ellesmere Port, Mildenhall and Stoke. He also turned out for Sheffield, Leicester, King's Lynn, Halifax, Peterborough and Long Eaton. WORLD FINALS by NUMBERS DOUG NICOLSON takes another studious look at the figures. This time he examines the comparative values of the four gate positions at all the different World Final venues. Also, birthdays and star signs . . . which days, months and horoscopes have produced the most and least world champions, including the GP era? TRACK RIVALRIES: Belle Vue v Sheffield With new observations from Aces' Chris Morton and Tigers' Doug Wyer, ROB PEASLEY recalls classic 'War of the Roses' derbies between two long-time northern rivals. Featuring 14 Hyde Road or Owlerton matches from 1970 to 1985. BIG NIGHTS: Brandonapolis PHIL CHARD continues to review British speedway's most prestigious individual meetings. This time he returns to the midlands for the Coventry classic and the stagings from 1970 until 1985. Winners included: Ole Olsen, Nigel Boocock, Anders Michanek, Ivan Mauger, Phil Crump, Dave Jessup, Mitch Shirra, Bruce Penhall, Tommy Knudsen, Kenny Carter and Hans Nielsen. THAT NAME RINGS A BELL: Oxford Whatever became of them, all the ex-riders who had second-half races, junior matches or interval spins in the 70s and 80s at . . . OXFORD? In this memory-jogger, ROB PEASLEY lists all those budding one-time Sandy Lane hopefuls, including young Simon and Julian Wigg, who can at least look back and proclaim: "I had a go!" SPONSORSHIP From motorhomes, vans and brand new bikes, to potatoes, carrots, fresh fish and lawnmowers, sponsorship came in a great many guises back in the day. We asked ex-riders to recall their best deals, as well as the quirkiest sponsorship they ever received. Charismatic, media-savvy former England star John Davis certainly became a shining example to fellow Brits when it came to attracting and projecting commercial backers, large and small . . . As well as JD, other respondents include: Colin Richardson, Rudy Muts, Gary Guglielmi, Andrew Silver, Jan Staechmann, Karl Fiala, Bert Harkins, Martin McKinna, Roger Lambert, Mick Sheldrick, Ray Griffiths, Lee Coleman, Max Schofield, Paul Evitts and Vic Cross. Plus . . . full-page West Ham stadium pic, plus obits on Maurice Morley, Wayne Jackson and Steve Millard.
  2. TonyMac


    You read it in Backtrack issue 98.
  3. Issue 98 of Backtrack is out now and here's a small taste of the feast of nostalgia inside. To subscribe (remember, it's subscription only, no single copy sales), please go to www.retro-speedway.com TERRY BETTS: Life & Times In our opening seven-page special, ROB PEASLEY recalls the many highs and occasional lows in the illustrious career of the universally popular 'Mr King's Lynn Speedway', who outshone every Star that ever graced Saddlebow Road and won World Team Cup and World Pairs gold medals. STEVE McDERMOTT – exclusive interview In a new four-page interview, ANDREW SKEELS catches up with the long-serving former Berwick star and NLRC winner who pays tribute to Jack Millen, the man who laid the foundations for his racing career. BACKCHAT MARTIN ROGERS answers readers' questions on . . . his best and worst moments as a promoter, the defunct track he most wishes he could visit, and could National League promoters have done more to block the 'foreign invasion' that began in 1988? WORLD FINALS by NUMBERS DOUG NICOLSON gets his calculator out again to look back at what factors, if any, contributed to victory beyond pure rider skill and the odd slice of good fortune. His in-depth analysis of all 46 individual World Finals from 1949 to 1994 reveals, among other things, the most and least successful riding numbers on the big night (one number failed to provide any winners) TRACK RIVALRIES: Oxford v Swindon ROB PEASLEY recalls classic derbies between southern rivals. SWINDON and Oxford had been local rivals right from the very first meeting at Blunsdon in 1949, when Cheetahs had won 45-39. Most of the 13 matches featured here were contested in the late 80s, when the rivalry between the clubs arguably reached new heights. A time when Robins savoured every victory over their all-conquering neighbours. BIG NIGHTS: Superama PHIL CHARD continues to review British speedway's most prestigious individual meetings. This time he's in east London for the Hackney classic that no home star ever had the chance to contest. Past winners (1967-81): Barry Briggs, Anders Michanek, Ronnie Moore, Ray Wilson, Ivan Mauger, John Louis, Martin Ashby, Dave Jessup, Malcolm Simmons, Peter Collins, Ole Olsen and Phil Crump. SHUTDOWN! DOUG NICOLSON gets all misty-eyed looking at how supporters had to try and cope with the loss of their local track during the 1970-89 Backtrack era. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO . . . Warren Hawkins? The Australian newcomer finished his debut British season for Crewe with an impressive 6.1 average from 23 official second division and KO Cup appearances. But, as MARTIN NEAL explains in this new interview with the Sydneysider, Hawkins never raced in Britain again. THAT NAME RINGS A BELL: Wolverhampton Whatever became of them, all the ex-riders who had second-half races, junior matches or interval spins in the 70s and 80s at . . . WOLVERHAMPTON? In this memory-jogger, MARK SAWBRIDGE lists all those budding one-time Monmore Green hopefuls, who can at least look back and proclaim: "I had a go!" LOST IN TIME How our social media followers on Facebook and Twitter voted when asked to name the one defunct track, above all others, they most wished they had visited but never did. IN THE ZONE A recent Facebook post by former American No.1 Scott Autrey raised the rarely aired subject of pre-race preparations and, specifically, what goes through a rider's head in those private moments from the time he leaves the pit gate to reaching the starting gate. We invited other ex-racers to share their thoughts on their mindset, habits and possible superstitions, and how they treated track staff on the way to tapes. Respondents include: John Davis, Phil Collins, Graham Tattersall, Karl Fiala, Mike Fullerton, Dave Johnson, Vic Cross, Roger Lambert, Colin Mckee, Mike Caroline, Dag Lovaas, Doug Wyer, Bobby Duncan, Peter Prinsloo. Plus . . . full-page Belle Vue Hyde Road stadium pic, Notebook, readers' letters, plus obits on George Graham, Eric Linden, Steve Brennan and Gordon Day.
  4. 2020 SUMMER EDITION Welcome to issue 49 of our quarterly magazine . . . PAWEL WALOSZEK: Unlucky Nearly Man ROMAN CHYLA examines the illustrious career of former Polish star Pawel Waloszek and the 1970 World Final runner-up's elusive quest for gold. And especially for Leicester fans, GRAHAM BRODIE reviews Waloszek's one and only British league season with the Hunters in 1961, with the Pole's full meeting scores. MIND THE GAP With Coronavirus decimating the 2020 season, DOUG NICOLSON looks at other times when racing was curtailed. From petrol rationing and bus strikes to smallpox scares, Covid-19 is by no means the first to stop the bikes in their tracks. CHANGING WORLD – launch of the World Team Cup Almost 60 years on from the launch of the World Team Cup, PHIL CHARD reflects on Sweden's home track victory at Gothenburg and the men who shaped history. Top names featured include Ove Fundin, Olle Nygren, Rune Sormander and Gote Nordin plus, from runners-up Great Britain, Peter Craven, Ron How, Ken McKinlaty, George White and Nigel Boocock. NEWCASTLE: 50 Memorable Moments ROB PEASLEY looks back at Diamonds' highs and lows at the Tyneside club where legends Ivan Mauger and Ole Olsen first shone. Others to feature include George Pepper, Jeff Lloyd, Norman Evans, Wilf Jay, Derek Close, Mike Parker (promoter), Brian Craven, Brian Brett, Peter Kelly and Anders Michanek. BIG NIGHTS: Pride of the East British speedway's premier individual events, this time PHIL CHARD recalls pre-70s stagings of the Pride of the East. Launched in Norwich (1957-63) and continued at King's Lynn (1966-69), past winners of this annual Norfolk classic include World Champions Ove Fundin, Peter Craven and Bjorn Knutson, plus Colin Pratt, Bengt Larsson, Terry Betts and Howard Cole. SECOND CHANCE Name-checking all non-regular team members and others who never made the grade but rode in second-halves, junior matches and trials at four top flight tracks in the first five years of the British League, from 1965 until the end of '69 inclusive. This time Tony Mac revisits Belle Vue, Cradley Heath, Glasgow and Hackney. See how many of them you remember having a skid at the end of the swinging 60s. YOUNG COLONIAL BOYS DOUG NICOLSON remembers a couple of Kiwis, Bruce Ovenden and Joe Hicks, who travelled to Scotland in the winter of 1963-64 in search of fame and fortune with Glasgow Tigers. YESTERDAY'S NEWS & VIEWS Delving into Retro Speedway's library to find what various publications were writing about. This time we reveal the time editor Basil Storey was at loggerheads with London promoters, how burglars cracked open the Old Meadowbank safe, Bradford's battle to stay afloat, the return of racing to New Cross in 1959, why National League chiefs were branded "selfish" for excluding Ipswich from the Test match schedule, and the emergence of Bengt Jansson as the biggest threat to the Fundin-Briggs dominance of the World Championship. Plus . . . Len Read and Eric Linden obits, your letters, crossword and a 1963 Wimbledon team photo. Remember, we no longer sell individual copies, so please subscribe at www.retro-speedway.com
  5. TonyMac


    Our timeless retro interview in this week's (w/e May 16 issue) Speedway Star is with former Polish No.1 Zenon Plech. He twice challenged very strongly for the world title but, regardless of those efforts, he won thousands of friends and admirers for his fearless throttle-bashing antics. And also for being a really nice, humble bloke - as anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Zenon will testify. To subscribe to Speedway Star, go to www.speedwaystar.net
  6. TonyMac


    Our timeless interview with Ipswich legend Tony Davey, a key member of those first great Ipswich teams of the 70s, features in this week's (w/e May 1) Speedway Star. You couldn't wish to meet a more humble former star rider than the ever-popular 'Shrimp', who happily lived in the shadow of Louis and Sanders at Foxhall. Who knows what he could have achieved but for three serious injuries that cut short his promising career.
  7. TonyMac


    Don't miss this week's Speedway Star for our latest 2-page Backtracking interview. This time we look back with 'Mr King's Lynn' - the one and only Terry Betts, who reveals that he used to receive a cut of turnstile receipts at Lynn as part of his deal with promoters Maurice Littlechild and Cyril Crane. To subscribe, go to www.speedwaystar.net Or phone Dave on 020 8 335 1113
  8. Although Wilkie undoubtedly had a lot of wisdom to offer Kelly, the evidence suggests he wouldn't have listened much to anyone. Ivan (at Hukk) and Briggo both tried but Kelly was very much his own man and a free spirit.
  9. Yes, you can start from the current issue 97, or the previous one (96). Thank you for your interest.
  10. TonyMac


    Different versions and extracts from the timeless originals published years ago . . . but thousands of Star readers obviously won't have read them previously,
  11. Issue 97 is out now and here's a small taste of the feast of nostalgia inside . . . KELLY MORAN: Life & Times It’s 10 years since the brilliant natural talent of Kelly Moran said “C’ya” for the final time. ROB PEASLEY looks back at the high and lows of the extraordinary career of The Jelly Man, a hero at all his British tracks – Hull, Birmingham, Eastbourne, Sheffield and Belle Vue (not forgetting Swindon) – due to his spectacular all-action style and engaging personality. PAUL WOODS – exclusive interview One of the National League's biggest stars in the early 80s with Crayford and later a top flight No.1 with Eastbourne, Paul Woods looks back on his career, which also included spells with Canterbury and King's Lynn, with ANDREW SKEELS in this new four-page interview. BACKCHAT MARTIN ROGERS answers readers' questions on . . . Leicester's Golden Gauntlets and the private deal he did with three times winner Scott Autrey; the mental effects pressure can have on speedway riders (we list 12 ex-riders from the Backtrack era who took their own lives); and decisions taken by the powers that be which he now has reason to regret. BERT HARKINS – book extract In this edited excerpt from his book, My Crazy Speedway World, globetrotting former Wembley No.1 and Scottish international BERT HARKINS recalls his experience as one of only three foreign imports to compete in the USA's one and only season of league racing in 1976, when he rode for champions Bakersfield Bandits, Mike Bast dominated the US scene and Bruce Penhall was still two years away from amassing European fans. MAREK CIESLAK – book extract ROMAN CHYLA has translated into English the section from Marek Cieślak's book – Pół Wieku Na Czarno – in which the former Polish star rider and now World Cup-winning national team manager takes a critical look back at his two seasons with British League champions White City. TRACK RIVALRIES: Middlesbrough/Teesside v Newcastle ROB PEASLEY recalls classic derbies between these former National League champions between 1975 and 1986, with input from Bernie Collier who rode for both North-East powerhouses. BIG NIGHTS: Scottish Open Championship PHIL CHARD continues to review British speedway's most prestigious individual meetings. This time he heads north of the border to review SOC stagings between 1970 and 1989 at Glasgow (Hampden Park and Blantyre 1), Coatbridge and Edinburgh's Powderhall Stadium. Ivan Mauger won the first four SOCs of the 70s, followed by successes for Brian Collins, Peter Collins, Bert Harkins, Wayne Brown, Phil Collins, Mitch Shirra, Jamie Luckhurst, Les Collins, Neville Tatum, Steve Lawson and Todd Wiltshire. IT'S RAINING AGAIN Following up on his in-depth track-by-track analysis of rained-off meetings in issue 96, DOUG NICOLSON puts on his anorak again to view the 70s and 80s findings in a much broader context. Are there more rain-offs in the modern era? THAT NAME RINGS A BELL: Wimbledon Whatever became of them, all the ex-riders who had second-half races, junior matches or interval spins in the 70s and 80s at . . . WIMBLEDON? In this memory-jogger, we list all those budding one-time Plough Lane hopefuls, who can at least look back and proclaim: "I had a go!" Subscribe at www.retro-speedway.com
  12. Issue 96 is out now and here's a small taste of the feast of nostalgia inside . . . JEREMY DONCASTER: Life & Times Continuing our new series of in-depth timeline profiles, ROB PEASLEY chronicles the career of the former England, Ipswich and Reading No.1 who successfully made the leap from grasstrack to top flight British League racing in the early 80s. RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY Is there another summertime spectator sport in Britain more susceptible to the weather than speedway? In this comprehensive and revealing study, DOUG NICOLSON examines the costly issue of rain-offs during the Backtrack era, from 1970 to 1989. Which clubs had the most/least postponements? What were the wettest/driest months and seasons? Which unlucky club endured 12 meetings in one summer? And which lucky venue went four consecutive years without a single wash-out? All these questions and many more are answered in this fascinating, in-depth analysis. BIG NIGHTS: Golden Gauntlets PHIL CHARD continues to review some of British speedway's most prestigious individual meetings. This time he is back in Leicester to re-visit the annual Blackbird Road classic. Past winners of the 11 Golden Gauntlets, introduced in 1972, include hat-trick hero Scott Autrey, plus Ole Olsen, Anders Michanek, John Boulger, John Louis, Peter Collins, Phil Crump, Tommy Knudsen and Kenny Carter. TRACK RIVALRIES: Hackney v Wimbledon Reviewing club rivalries, ROB PEASLEY recalls classic matches between London's last two teams. With quotes from Dons' Terry Mussett and Kestrels' Paul Whittaker, match winners and other key men included Ronnie Moore, Jim Tebby, Gary Everett, Garry Middleton, Trevor Hedge, Tommy Jansson, Bo Petersen, Zenon Plech. And from the National Leaghue era, Trevor Banks, Paul Bosley, Mike Ferreira, Jamie Luckhurst, Andy Galvin, Todd Wiltshire, Kevin Jolly, Garry Rolls. BACKCHAT MARTIN ROGERS answers readers' questions on . . . riders' averages and whether any of his team members gave their personal figures undue attention; merits of the Anglia and Central Junior League; his England and Rest of the World 'Dream Teams' of the 70s; and the three speedway people (living or deceased) he would invite to dinner. ALAN SAGE: Exclusive interview By a very fortunate twist of fate, Alan Sage turned down an invite to join West Ham's tour that left six people dead. In this new interview with ANDREW SKEELS, the former Hammer and Crayford star reveals the full story behind his lucky Lokeren escape. THAT NAME RINGS A BELL: King's Lynn Whatever became of them, all the ex-riders who had second-half races, junior matches or interval spins in the 70s and 80s at . . . KING'S LYNN? In this memory-jogger, we list all those budding one-time Saddlebow Road hopefuls, who ranged from a future World Champion to obscure novices, who can at least look back and proclaim: "I had a go!" Plus . . . brief obits on Roman Matousek, Doug Templeton, Mike Raymond, Darrell Mason and Ken Archer. Although we no longer sell single issues, if you wish to take out a new subscription now at www.retro-speedway.com, then just ask Susie to commence it with this issue 96 (97 has just been published).
  13. TonyMac


    It's nice to be contributing a weekly retro interview for our friends at Speedway Star. This week's Q&A is with former Denmark, Halifax and Belle Vue star Mike Lohmann. We urge you all to subscribe to the Star at www.speedwaystar.net
  14. TonyMac


    As someone with a lot of publishing experience, aware of what is involved when putting magazines through distributors and retailers such as WHS, I would strongly urge all readers who currently buy their weekly copy of Speedway Star from shops to switch to subscription ASAP. I appreciate that for many it is a cash-flow issue and no-one can argue against that. But if you CAN afford to pay upfront for a sub, then you would be very much helping Speedway Star and its staff by doing so. What most readers don't appreciate (and Phil would be able to confirm exact per-centage figures in Pinegen's case) is that every publisher who makes its mag(s) available through the retail trade effectively concede around HALF of the cover price to the distributor/retailer. WHS now demand an upfront, non-refundable payment just to stock your title. That's 'dead money' the Star will never see. It is for this reason that we (Retro Speedway) do not make either of our two magazines, Backtrack and Classic Speedway, available via high street retail outlets. The 'speculate to accumulate' mantra of a significantly increased print run wouldn't work and would very likely cause us to go bust due to the high volume of unsold returns the likes of WHS, Asda and Sainsbury's would chuck back at us.. While the publisher does, of course, incur postage costs in processing subscriptions, both the reader (customer) and the Star would still be better off. And in such hugely challenging times for all small, niche publishers, isn't their survival the most important factor. If - heaven forbid - the Star had to fold, there would be no worthwhile publication of equal stature to replace it.

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