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Your All-time Hero..and Why

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Soren Sjosten was always a big favourite of mine. But I was spoiled as a kid watching the Belle Vue team with the likes of Ivan the great, Chris Pusey, Alan Wilkinson, Tommy Roper etc. Briggo was always great at Hyde Road (6 British League Riders Championships was an amazing feat) and I always liked the Boocock brothers and Jimmy McMillan. But there were so many great riders in those days. Heaven was Hyde Road on a Saturday night.

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As a pre-teen, despite watching the likes of Peter Collins, Chris Morton and Soren Sjosten in the Aces' side, it was second-string Paul Tyrer who became - and remains - my all-time favourite.

He was a classy, sleek rider who tragically failed to reach his expected potential after a 1974 injury. He was a 7.50-point rider then, but really went downhill after leaving Belle Vue for King's Lynn in '77, averaging less than a point a ride at Saddlebow Road.

I remember how disillusioned I was when he left Hyde Road to join the Stars, but kept a close eye on his career until his premature retirement in 1979, aged just 26.

I recall him being such a stylish rider, clad in his yellow and black chequered, ATS (Associated Tyre Specialist) sponsored leathers.

Supporting Tyrer was like supporting a football team - I’d be over the moon if he racked up a good score, or really depressed if he didn't.

On too many occasions I ended up coming home from speedway on a right downer... despite Belle Vue roasting the opposition!

Sad I know. But give us a break... I was only 12!

Edited by moxey63
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Thanks for your contributions, all very interesting, and I don't want to sound an ungrateful so and so...but can we please return to VSM's general time-frame and the thread sub-heading of PRE-70s!!!!

 

VSM = PRE-70s (apart from the little bits about the early 70s!)

BACKTRACK = 1970-1989 inclusive!

 

Sorry if this sounds patronising, but it's pre-70s heroes I'm really looking for here!!!! Anyone offering up post-70s name is obviously far too young to get involved!

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In my previous post I mentioned my particular hero but may I comment on speedway generally?

 

I am getting ready soon for my first visit to Swindon since my first and only other visit. It was 44 years ago when Southampton won the Knockout Cup. The weather was so bad that we could only see half the track for much of the meeting as the fog became progressively thicker. My father had quite a time trying to see the road across Salisbury Plain on the way home, but what a wonderful feeling we all had :)

 

Speedway then was so different to today. It was an occasion that all the family looked forward to every week - 7.30 pm on Tuesday evenings. The Stadium looked immaculate, unlike some of today's tracks. Excitement rose as the bikes were warmed up, the smell of Castrol R drifting across the Stadium. Then, at precisely 7.30 the music started up, the "Entry of the Gladiators" I believe it was called. The track staff marched out on to the centre green and took up their positions and racing was just a few moments away.

 

The start of a race was heralded by all the lights in the stands going out a second or two before the tapes rose. At that point, the excitement was almst too much to contain. Everyone's attention was focussed on the four riders at the tapes. The tapes rose and four brave men tore away from the line for four laps of all out racing.

 

The last meeting of the season was always something special. It was usually an invitational meeting but with added extras such as a donkey derby. The riders really entered into the spirit of the occasion and seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves :)

Then the Grand Finale of a magnificent firework display. Everyone went home feeling both elated and depressed - elated because of the fun that was had and depressed because the season had ended.

 

I remember the Qualifying rounds of the World Championship. A chance to see the best from all the riders attending, including many who rode exclusively in Europe. A trip to the World Final at Wembley was just amazing. We wore rosettes and badges of our favourite riders and my mother had an enormous wooden rattle to swing around.

 

Even the programme notes were very different. There was that wonderful politeness of the age with Charlie Knott starting his piece with the words, "Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen". There was a charity chosen each season when the profits of one meeting would be donated to a local charity.

 

Speedway then was local and everyone seemed part of an extended family. Of course crowds were so much greater than today. I am so grateful to my parents for getting me involved in speedway. Once the bug had bitten it stayed. Now I have been able to pass this on to my own son who, hopefully, will pass this on to his son.

 

Speedway has lost some of its magic but is still exciting. In fact, I think that may be the difference between speedway then and now - the magic.

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Paul Tyrer is my all-time fave. He was a classy, sleak rider who failed to reach his potential after a 1974 injury. He was a 7.50 point rider then. Really went downhill after leaving Belle Vue in '76 and had retired within three years.

 

I believe Paul still competes in grasstrack racing.

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Don't get vsm so maybe already done him,but what about Olle Nygren.Fantastic rider and there aren't many riders,even British that have done so much to help develope young talent.

 

Iris,

 

You don't realise what you are missing. I've been a subscriber to Vintage Speedway Magazine for quite some time, well before it became part of McDonalds empire!

 

Seriously, it's a really good journal reflecting the time when speedway racing was simply that and not the circus it is in danger of becoming now.

 

I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in the sport of speedway.

 

Joy to you,

 

Bert.

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Nicki Pedersen :P

Reason - rammajammy......:unsure::blink:

Surely, if it's your "all time favourite hero" then it shouldn't have to be pre 1970's.

Edited by Silver Cheetah

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Guest Jim Blanchard

Peter Craven rocked my boats. To ride like he did on deep tracks with big handlebars at being five foot nothing with his foot trailing from the middle of the bends and natural balance keeping him upright was indeed an awesome sight. He won all the sport can offer and rode against some of the truly greats of the sport.

 

Many riders can ride like that today but its all most a different sport now with easier bikes to ride on slicker tracks.

 

He was also a very nice person and family man. To me he will always be my all time hero..

 

As an after thought. One of Peter’s hobbies was taking cine movies at the tracks. I wonder if Peter’s widow Brenda still has these in her possession ? Would make interesting viewing if someone like Ken Burnett was to make them available on DVD.

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Jim, I agree that Peter Craven was a superb rider, arguably the best of all time. It is a shame that such a man had his life prematurely ended.

 

Speedway is a different sport now because life today is very different to then. At this point I think I should shut up before I sound like a "Grumpy Old Man"!

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Jim, I agree that Peter Craven was a superb rider, arguably the best of all time.  It is a shame that such a man had his life prematurely ended.

 

Speedway is a different sport now because life today is very different to then.  At this point I think I should shut up before I sound like a "Grumpy Old Man"!

 

SHUT UP YOU SILLY OLD SOD! :wink::lol:

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SHUT UP YOU SILLY OLD SOD! :wink:  :lol:

 

Looking at some of the threads in the other in the other forums, I suppose I should regard that comment as a declaration of war :)

 

However, I have a sense of humour and take it in the spirit in which it was intended LOL

 

I am constantly reminded of how old I am by my son and the kids I teach so I would find hard to disagree with you CHK :D

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My all time favourite was Ronnie Moore a true gentleman who could do things with a speedway bike I never seen since, and I only saw him on his second coming.

 

He was one of the very few riders I would go to other tracks just to see him ride and the only other pre 70's rider I did that for was Jimmy Gooch a real character with a real laid back style who would try right to the end.

 

 

My dad's hero was Cordy Milne of New Cross but thats well before my

time

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The Late Les Owen a Hero to many Coventry fans. A geniune never give up attitude with 100% loyalty to his club,which like Les is something sadly missed today.

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My all time favourite was  Ronnie Moore  a  true  gentleman  who could do things with a speedway  bike  I  never  seen  since,  and  I  only  saw  him  on  his  second  coming.

 

He  was  one  of  the  very  few  riders  I  would  go  to  other  tracks just to see him  ride  and  the  only  other  pre  70's  rider  I  did  that  for  was  Jimmy Gooch  a  real  character  with  a  real  laid back style  who  would  try right to the end.

My  dad's  hero  was  Cordy Milne  of  New  Cross  but  thats  well  before my

time

 

You may be interested to know, Spartan, that in his early days as a rider Jimmy Gooch wrote a weekly column entitled Diary of a Novice in the Speedway Gazette, the forerunner of the Star [and a far superior publication]. I found Jimmy's column very interesting.

 

I hesitate to apply the term 'hero' to any one speedway rider, and I cannot name an all-time favourite. I have been privileged to see so many great men that it would be very wrong, I feel, to single any one out for special mention.

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Having seen so many great riders between 1949 & 2005 I dont think that I had an out and out favourite,although I had a sneaking regard for HurriKen McKinley,if only for his longevity at competitive levels. Ask my wife though, and she has NO doubt. The GREAT Peter Craven,surely destined to be an all time great until the tragedy at Edinburgh extinguished his far too short a life :sad:

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