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Your All-time Hero..and Why

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All before my time unfortunately but I do take an interest in the history of the great riders.

 

I'd love to read more about some of the top stars from the years before official world finals and those who missed out because of the war years.

 

Frank Arthur, Tom Farndon and Vic Huxley look pretty special purely from the stats!

 

It's hard to believe Jack Parker, Eric Langton, Cordy Milne, Wilbur Lamoreaux, Eric Chitty, Bill Kitchen and Vic Duggan never won a world final between them for various reasons! If finals had started before 1936 and not stopped for 10 years a couple of these names would surely be on the roll of honour!

 

Of course Jack Milne also who has finished 1st and 2nd in the years before the way, dropping just one point in two finals - pretty impressive stuff!!!

 

I would love to read more about some of these truly great riders who it's such a shame many speedway fans today have never heard of. Surely riders such as Huxley, Parker and Jack Milne would be ranked in the top 20 or 30 all time riders and it's a shame more is not generally known about them.

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If it's pre-70s that's tough, but I do remember Nigel Boocock giving a lot of time to fans even when he'd had a bad day.  He was always a gentleman, to the extent that Alan Wilkinson once grabbed the centre green mike at Belle Vue to pay tribute to Booey after the Bees skipper had just taken him on the last bend to win a race.  Not too many of his type left, sad to say.

 

G/Day AndyM

You're 100% right there mate, he was also the same with his team mates. He was not only one of the best "team men" in the Uk he also performed to capacity crowds here in Australia induring his captaincy of the England V Australia tests and later on his World All Stars tours downunder. He was not only a house hold name in the UK/European speedway world, he was also as big as Ben Hur in Australia.

In my book he's an unsung hero of team riding. I've only really come across one other person with that sort of pleasant attitude/personality towards the sport, which is Wiggy. They are two of the few (in top flight) that are true gentleme in my book.

Regards.

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G/Day AndyM

You're 100% right there mate, he was also the same with his team mates. He was not only one of the best "team men" in the Uk he also performed to capacity crowds here in Australia induring his captaincy of the England V Australia tests and later on his World All Stars tours downunder. He was not only a house hold name in the UK/European speedway world, he was also as big as Ben Hur in Australia.

In my book he's an unsung hero of team riding. I've only really come across one other person with that sort of pleasant attitude/personality towards the sport, which is Wiggy. They are two of the few (in top flight) that are true gentleme in my book.

Regards.

 

Look no further than Ken Mckinlay!

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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.

 

No comments on Jimmy Gooch. Quite a good loyal rider. My favourite was probably Oliver Hart at Wimbledon in 1946. The most spectacular rider ever? Certainly in the psot-war years from 1946.

 

But the Speedway Gazette better than the Speedway Star. Not IMO. The Gazette was good in its early days with the restrictions on newsprint etc, but not when the editor started to run amok with 'fairytales' about Zena Lamb, 'boys own style' serials, cartoons, kids quizes etc in the early 1950s.

 

The Gazette rapidly went down just as the Star came on the scene in 1952. The Star survived the sport's mid-1950s speedway crisis when from around 1954 we saw the Gazette, News and Speedway World eventually fold. That says much for how good they were!

 

It was the Gazette's later editorial policy that speeded its demise and gradually, as the Star and its staff gained more experience, it developed into an excellent publication from the latter part of the 1960s.

 

Doubtless some will sound out on how good the Speedway News was. Yes, maybe as collectors items but just look at what they used to print (pre and post-war) compared to the modern Speedway Star. Nowadays we have a quality publication - probably a better production work than the sport deserves!

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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

 

Jimmy Gooch was my first favourite rider because in the first match I ever saw he was the only New Cross rider to beat Norwich's Aub Lawson, who scored paid 17 from 6 rides. He performed better that night than Split Waterman or Eric Williams.

 

Do you mean Jack Milne, spartan? Cordy Milne never rode for New Cross.

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Look no further than Ken Mckinlay!

 

 

 

Fair go CHK ;) Booey put the Bee in Coventry, all who follow him have big shoes to fill....most have (;O))))

He as always is a great ambassador for speedway......... I have lost count of how many riders Booey has helped out over the years.....

As I said in AUS he was a big on track star for 20+ years in the 60's/70's/80's. When Booey and his troop came to town, it was packed and the gates locked a 1/2hr before the start. B)

Regards.

PS.

I was lucky enough to have Ken as my team manager..... that was fun. B)

Edited by Trackman

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As I didn't see my first meeting until 18/07/70, it's difficult for me to pick anyone. So my pre 1970 hero has to be Derek Timms, because I've known him for 30 years and he's such a bloody great bloke.

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Got some old photo's of Ken up in the loft - think he was mates with my grandad who rode pre and post war.

 

I was lucky enough to have Ken as my team manager..... that was fun.  B) 

Regards.

PS.

Fair go CHK  ;)  Booey put the Bee in Coventry, all who follow him have big shoes to fill....most have (;O))))

He as always is a great ambassador for speedway.........  I have lost count of how many riders Booey has helped out over the years.....

As I said in AUS he was a big on track star for 20+ years in the 60's/70's/80's. When Booey and his troop came to town, it was packed and the gates locked a 1/2hr before the start.  B)

Regards.

PS.

I was lucky enough to have Ken as my team manager..... that was fun.  B)

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My all time fave has to be the late Tommy Leadbitter you will go a bloody long way to meet a more sincere and bloody nice bloke than Tom. Allways had time to chat to anyone and just enjoyed racing to the limit, and i count myself very lucky to have classed him as a friend

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My favourites were Jimmy Squibb the only decent rider New Cross had when they closed in '63, Bjorn Knutssen at West Ham, and Barry Briggs at Swindon with Martin Ashby .Fundin and Mauger were 2 class riders but not faves as they were too good at beating the above !

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Could not let this thread go without mentioning the late great Arnie Haley.

 

This was a guy who loved life, was a great entertainer both on and off the track and worth the admission alone

 

His attitude to speedway was turn up sit in the bike and race then off to the pub

 

Had he been more professional with his preparation and his bikes he could have been a world champ

 

But then he would have been an Ivan and not an Arnie

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John Jackson - I grew up watching him ride at number 1 for Ellesmere Port.

 

Around Thornton Road he was untouchable. Normally from the gate but could do it from the back if he needed to.

 

My memory seems to recall him being well respected by other teams fans ( except the Potters ) but thats was because they wanted him to sign for many seasons. When they got him when the Gunners closed down for the first time he had really past his peak and his heart was always a 'Gunner'. His form had gone and so had his enthusiasm.

 

I can still recall the Silver Helmet races against Tom Owen ( Newcastle ) which were some of the best one on one races you could ever see.

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The Late Great Ivor Brown, maybe it was the white jumper but i used to love him as a kid and most other tracks hated him cos he was sooooo good. :rolleyes:

Got my Dad into a fight at Coventry when i was about 3 cos some bloke swore at The Great Man so i punched him in the kneecap and he swore at me!! Sorry Dad!! :wink::lol:

Always remember that teams had their team socks rolled over their boots back then and i always thought that was a great idea-wouldn't work now but is something i remember.

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Jimmy Gooch was my first favourite rider because in the first match I ever saw he was the only New Cross rider to beat Norwich's Aub Lawson, who scored paid 17 from 6 rides. He performed better that night than Split Waterman or Eric Williams.

 

Do you mean Jack Milne, spartan? Cordy Milne never rode for New Cross.

 

Just seen this havent checked back in a whilte. It was definitely Cordy Milne

but New Cross was his local team. I probably just assumed he rode for them.

 

Dads long gone unfortunately so cant check.

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