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moxey63

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moxey63 last won the day on July 6 2018

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  1. You can have the most attractive girlfriend in the world, but if you believe she's not entirely faithful, what fun is there. Speedway in the old days may or may not have been as exciting, but there was a belief that it was real, with real characters and an attachment between fans and teams. Nowadays, even the best races may be between two opponents racing later that evening for the same team. That is the problem. No loyalty.
  2. I read pieces of this article. The worry is that for decades we have run a sport where men in charge boast of losing thousands upon thousands of pounds just to keep the club running. And they seem proud of it. I call this stupid. Have we had the wrong people running the sport? Another piece I read is how the idea of allowing people in for free has been tried - and they didn't come back the next week. I assume the problem here, was that the new people were just plonked on the terraces, without any idea of what the sport was about - just four riders racing, which is exciting at first but can become tedious. Keeping score is the most - or one of - important things a perspective speedway fan should learn. I introduced my younger brother to the sport - but only after I showed him at home the basics of filling in a programme. He knew what to do when he got there and had been a fan ever since. The racing and keeping score are like egg and chips. Yum!
  3. moxey63

    Most unfortunate team

    The result would have been different with Ermolenko. Just my opinion, but I felt he would have brought extra from the lesser light in Wolves' team. I had seen him, his determination, a week or so earlier at Belle Vue when he fell, was a distance behind the rest, but got up and still managed to claw back second place. He was in a class of his own at the time. He would have got a maximum against BV. This, added to Wolves' other misfortune, would have deservedly seen them crowned Champions. And we'd never have had that last night if things had gone to plan for the Midlanders. It was a cracking occasion. But Wolves had so much bad luck.
  4. moxey63

    Most unfortunate team

    Just race-points separated Reading and Peterborough that season, it was that close in the table. Peterborough gained nine points over the two legs through the double points rule, whereas Reading had opened up a lead to enable Panthers to do this. It made good speedway on SKY, but the Racers played a foolish game by actually trying to open up leads in the two legs. And it backfired, as Peterborough and their nine double-bubble points won by a point on aggregate. If you base your argument on Peterborough topping the table and being the best team, then why do we have the Play-Offs? And the second leg was at Peterborough.
  5. moxey63

    Most unfortunate team

    I think Wolves are the unluckiest because they got as far as the last race before being denied, and after all that s**t they'd endured. Of the top of my head, I'd plump for Reading in 2006 as next because they lost to Peterborough in the Play-Off Final and didn't fall into a position to use double points, whereas Peterborough won the Final and benefitted enormously from the Golden Double.
  6. moxey63

    Most unfortunate team

    Schofield and Smith were brought in mid-season at a time Belle Vue hadn't won on its travels - 12 matches, 12 straight defeats. Usually, any side that has come that far without winning on the road would surely have been also-rans - based on a normal league system and not the Play-Offs, in which just a top-four spot sufficient to begin with. In 1993, Belle Vue had won all 12 home matches and it wasn't until Ipswich on August 12 they picked up anything on the road. Usually such a dormant start - in round-robin matches and excluding the Play-Offs, which Matt Ford's club manipulates within an inch of preciseness - that's form of a mid-table side. At the end of August, Belle Vue were 13 points adrift of Wolves. When you remember, also, the third place point that Wolves’ reserve Stephen Morris thought he had picked up after crossing the line against the Aces, and then taken away as he had fallen earlier and gained outside assistance from a member of the track staff, would have given Wolves a draw - and the title!
  7. moxey63

    Most unfortunate team

    Belle Vue started the year with two real juniors - Peter Scully and Jon Armstrong - before they were dumped and Shawn Venables and Mike Lewthwaite came in during April. Schofield came in for Lewthwaite at the end of May, and Smith for Venables in June after the Canadian was injured. The tinkering with the reserves finally turned Belle Vue into a decent side and they started finding form on the road. I doubt they'd have been top three without the changes.
  8. moxey63

    Most unfortunate team

    I overlooked the bonus against Bradford when Ermolenko was injured, and the home loss vs Ipswich. Ermolenko was some rider that season, breaking the league points record held by Hans Nielsen. Also found it a bit ludicrous that Belle Vue used two "juniors" at reserve that were seasoned riders - Paul Smith and Max Schofield. Stretched it a little.
  9. moxey63

    Most unfortunate team

    While I state Belle Vue were "lucky" in 1982 and '93, it was Alan Wilkinson's 1978 injury that stopped us winning the title that year.
  10. moxey63

    Most unfortunate team

    I'd have titled that "Most Tragic Team."
  11. I didn't realise how unfortunate Wolverhampton were at the time. I just wanted my team, Belle Vue, to win the match - and in doing so, the title. I'm talking about the 1993 season. Remember, that final showdown between Wolves and Belle Vue that decided the league winners, long before the hyped-up and often manipulated Play-offs. Although I was a keen Aces' fan at the time and got caught up in winning the title, I still felt sorry for the Wolves. But, just going through some mags from the season, I didn't quite realise the extent of Wolves' misfortune. They had been odds on favourites to win the title, all season, having a double-figure points lead much of the time. However, at the same time Belle Vue began registering their first league points on their travels - it was as late as August - Wolves had a terrible dousing of misfortunate sprinkled over them. Within two weeks of late August-early September, they suffered three injuries that would have finished most other teams. Middle-order rider Graham Jones was injured on August 21. That was six points a match gone. Then, 10 days later Charlie Ermolenko picked up arm injuries at Poole that also wrote off his season. Another six points were gone. But worse was to come. Twenty-four hours after the younger Ermolenko was crocked, Ronnie Correy, the number two, broke his back while riding in Sweden for Bysarna. His year was over - indeed, the injury meant he didn't race in 1994 either. That was almost another 10 points a match gone. Wolves should have been on the canvas and counted out. But they battled on. Obviously, the loss of over 20 points from three riders took its toll. Wolves lost five in a row and their title chase hit quicksand. Young Mikael Karlsson, for his first taste of British racing, and veteran Gordon Kennett, out in the cold after starting the year at Exeter, were introduced. Wolves battled on as the Aces clawed back the gap on the Midland side in an interesting end to the season that, in all reality, would have been all but over had the Monmore side remained untouched. Personally, I feel history would have been different and Wolves would have managed to hold on - but in their penultimate fixture, the final, cruellest blow came when Sam Ermolenko was injured and his year was through. It was the first race of Wolves home match with Bradford. Ermolenko, of course, was the best rider in the world and in domestic racing. It was his finest season. They had lost their kingpin, the World Champion, and did well just to hang on for a 56-52 win over the Dukes. Wolves went into the decider with Belle Vue four riders missing from the side that had brought them to within touching distance of their second title in three years. They borrowed Gustafsson from King's Lynn, and his paid 16 from six starts just wasn't enough to claim the draw (they lost by just a point, 53-54 ) which would have won the title for Wolves and denied Aces the dramatic last heat clincher. History would have been changed. Ermolenko, I'd have bet, would have roared to a maximum. He had scored the full 21 at Bradford before his injury. His presence in the team alone would have encouraged lesser men to cajole an extra point or two, maybe. But he was out with a broken thigh. Not only had Wolves lost three integral members of their side - numbers two, for and five, which otherwise they'd have coasted to the league, I believe they would have dragged out a win versus the Aces - and therefore been league kings - with Sam against the Aces. As it was, they won just thrice from their final 10 matches without their full side, and for the first time since 1979, the title had gone down to the wire. As a fan of Belle Vue, I recall the jubilation on the terraces that night. But, at the same time, I also felt like we'd won through an own goal. The annals of history should have been written differently. Luck swings two ways - good and bad. Indeed, it reminds me of the previous Belle Vue title win of '82, again fortuitous after Cradley lost Penhall. Wolves 1993 have to be the most unfortunate team... least in my memory.
  12. moxey63

    Thank you to the BSPA

    You worry about the future when such clubs as Reading, Belle Vue (Hyde Road), Oxford, Cradley and Coventry lost to the sport. They all won titles in the 1980s. The sport isn't too big to lose. Bradford shut, months after winning the title in 1997. The sport now hangs by a thread. Lesser clubs are pulling down shutters one last time. The sport is being run under the BSPA umbrella but each member goes off in their own direction to run their respective club. They have no real power, as each venue is owned by someone else who may take a stash of cash for redevelopment. The sport lost its chance to own each and every stadium, it lots the chance to cement the sport by at least owning the tracks they race on. That is the problem. When the future rests in the hands of others and is not controlled by the sport, the future looks cloudy.
  13. I understand your point. But I no longer attend because I saw the gradual demise of team speedway and of riders putting clubs second behind what was actually the best night for them to ride. The few fans remaining now only reiterates that not all are bothered about who rides for their team. It is about winning. Poole last year proved that. It is more important to win now than anything, and faces are introduced to a club just to appease fans who have lost a few matches. These riders have no attachment to the club, fans are happy so long as it's successful. You use the argument of me not attending as me not having a grasp of current day speedway. But I stopped attending because I didn't like how speedway was going. I have enough nouse of the sport now to realise it's a case of riders' names thrown in the air at the start of each season, where they land is where they ride. You defend speedway because you still attend. You'd be silly not to, and layout £20 for something you no longer believe in. You mention Workington. Didn't they close because they weren't getting the fans to warrant them continuing? More terrace spaces, fewer fans, no speedway. You are neutral, which highlights my point. You would watch any speedway and switch clubs when your track ceases. You weren't really supporting a team (Halifax) but just liking the racing. The testimonial argument is flawed. Twenty riders in 10 years is a decent amount. You don't mention how many riders did six or seven years at clubs. As for Craig Cook riding for Belle Vue for six years - but how many of those did he spend doubling down and riding for another club? Instead of trying to prove me wrong, just look at speedway as a product. Take me out of the equation, and I bet there are so many others who lost the love of speedway because there was no real team ethic in the sport anymore. When riders can ride in the same team one night and be dicing in opposition the other (for another team), don't you find that silly? If not, try explaining it to someone you're trying to introduce to the sport. If you think this is how team sport should model itself, then it is no wonder teams, clubs, tracks are fighting to keep afloat. I didn't attach myself to an individual sport when I fell in love with speedway, but that's what it's become. I don't think speedway in 1975 was a perfect model, but you expect things to be improved over the years. But they haven't. If you really feel I don't have a point, then I just expect it to reach your way of thinking when your local track folds, which it no doubt will. But, as you didn't when the Shay closed, you'll travel elsewhere to watch the racing. And that, in a sentence, shows why you are more the follower of speedway than any one team. And, sadly, there aren't enough of you left. Team speedway is speedway's lifeblood.
  14. Don't just take me, look at other examples - like why speedway is in such a state. Deny it all you want. Pointing the finger at me and having to pay to get in just hides the fact that there are hundreds, thousands of others who stopped attending, and the money they paid, unlike me, has gone from the sport. Whether I paid or not is not important. You can be childish and sneer at my posts. But what is important, is the folk who have vanished and the cash they no longer cough up at the turnstiles. My viewpoint now: I would not pay to watch a sport that is so cocked up. And I am not alone.
  15. But, although as you say the racing wasn't always tapes-to-flag in the past, it was more interesting. For starters, we are missing characters. Then we are missing the importance of supporters cheering on someone they have become accustomed to wearing their team colours. I remember in the past how my heart was in my mouth when my favourites came to the line to race for my side. I may as well have been riding the blinking bike, I was that apprehensive. You need the pull of wanting to attend matches to support riders within your team. The riders and the team become part of you. You then don't want to miss it everytime it races. The love of your team then transfers over to when members of it race in individual meetings, like the GPs for example. But when you lose the love of your team, you also lose interest in what are merely then only individuals racing for themselves in the likes of GPs. The racing is probably better now than in the past. But if you, as a fan, haven't got anybody you can associate with through teams not being teams anymore, you lose part of the thing that attracted you in the first place. A good race is a good race. But when you aren't really bothered who wins it, that is the problem. You need to be tribalistic. Otherwise, why bother? In my opinion, fans have become unattached from the importance of team speedway. Teams in speedway nowadays are just like tribute acts for a pop band. They are a novel way of entertainment but only pretend to be the real thing. I used to think it impossible to miss a Belle Vue home match. But then riders began being signed who I knew weren't really Bele Vue. Slowly, as other riders appear who you think the same about, you gradually lose that connection. Hence that is why I can't be attracted to it anymore. The sport could be so great. Me, as a former supporter just clinging on, would love to be able to identify a team as my own, something that makes you look forward to leaving the house to watch, to feel part of every individual in it. I want to see visiting teams with an identity. I want to see two sides who want to win, every rider in them. It isn't the racing.
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