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It seems like only yesterday, but next week sees the 30th Anniversary of the death of Kevin Holden. I remember it still so vividly as I was standing on the first bend at Poole on that fateful night.

 

As a 10 year old I couldn't understand how such an innocuous crash could have led to such a tragic outcome and it wasn't until later on that a post mortem revealed Kevin had suffered a ruptured aorta.

 

Kevin - you will always be in all Poole, and indeed all speedway fans thoughts and I hope that a fitting tribute will be made during the Poole v Coventry clash on Monday .

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Has there ever been a memorial trophy raced for in Kevin's memory?

 

I don't live locally but I do remember reading about the accident subsequently, and every time I visit Wimborne Road I am mindful of Kevin and the night of 27 April 1977. I never saw him ride but by most accounts Kevin was a talented racer who was well respected by his peers. He had only just joined Poole from Exeter and could well have led the Pirates into the 1980s.

 

A sad loss for Southern speedway and indeed the sport as a whole.

 

Graham.

Edited by Graham

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Here here.

 

Was the first time I had heard about a death of a former (just) Exeter rider as a kid also aged 10 as wasn't able to attend at that time-but remember hearing about it vividly at school as the news came through.

 

Had watched him in earlier seasons with my older sister.

 

This tribute to his riding days for Exeter is posted on Chris Byles (sp?) excellent site.

 

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/speedwayyears/

 

I think its fair to say that Kevin has never been forgotten by the Exeter fans of the era.

 

With regards to a memorial trophy Exeter wise I am sure that Tony lethbridge will be able to answer that question-will make enquiries.

 

HOLDEN, KEVIN - 1970/71/72/73/74/75/76

Born July 30th, 1950 in Hampshire, Kevin became an Exeter asset in 1970 and was to be loaned out to Romford. Appeared three times for Exeter in 1971 averaging 3.0, whilst he was to double that in 1972 with 6.06 from 23 meetings. Was ever present in 1973 when he averaged 6.00, but it was Exeter's B.L Title year of 1974 that saw Kevin rise to earn an average of 7.26. Left Exeter at the end of 1976 to join Poole, when on the 27th April, Kevin was tragically killed during the fifth Heat of Poole's Speedway Star KO Cup match against Reading.

Edited by Nevs

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Here here.

 

Was the first time I had heard about a death of a former (just) Exeter rider as a kid also aged 10 as wasn't able to attend at that time-but remember hearing about it vividly at school as the news came through.

 

Had watched him in earlier seasons with my older sister.

 

This tribute to his riding days for Exeter is posted on Chris Byles (sp?)  excellent site.

 

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/speedwayyears/

 

I think its fair to say that Kevin has never been forgotten by the Exeter fans of the era.

 

With regards to a memorial trophy Exeter wise I am sure that Tony lethbridge will be able to answer that question-will make enquiries.

 

HOLDEN, KEVIN - 1970/71/72/73/74/75/76

Born July 30th, 1950 in Hampshire, Kevin became an Exeter asset in 1970 and was to be loaned out to Romford. Appeared three times for Exeter in 1971 averaging 3.0, whilst he was to double that in 1972 with 6.06 from 23 meetings. Was ever present in 1973 when he averaged 6.00, but it was Exeter's B.L Title year of 1974 that saw Kevin rise to earn an average of 7.26. Left Exeter at the end of 1976 to join Poole, when on the 27th April, Kevin was tragically killed during the fifth Heat of Poole's Speedway Star KO Cup match against Reading.

:( great guy from a wonderfull family,his father as a lot of riders would agree was also a top fellow,sadley george has also passed away.there was many a rider who would agree a top son and father :( god bless

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That was the first meeting I ever attended at Poole, and I cant remember any thing about it. Think I probably blocked out every thing, due to the circumstances.

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Sadly,I can remember this like yesterday.

 

Four things stand out in my memory

 

1.The crash.So unbeleiveably simple.It was impossible for him to be injured,let alone anything else.As we found out later,it wasnt anything to do with the crash.

 

2.After the inevitable delay,seeing Middlo walk onto the centre green,and falling to his knees in tears.Only then did I realise the enormity of what had happened.

 

3.After the abandonedment,some idiot was trying to take some photos of Kevins bike,which was on a trailer.Tony Lewis stormed up and smashed the camera to the floor.I dont think Id ever seen him so angry.

 

4.The following week,naturally everyone wanted to be there,yet not be there at the same time.Belle Vue were the visitors.The meeting went ahead in a very sombre atmoshpere.Then PC,the World Champion and Malcolm Simmons met in ht5 or 6.Side by side for few laps,as you would expect,either giving an inch.Then it happened.Going into turn 3,PC fell.The very audible gasp of shock went round the ground.Thankfully,he got up straight away,and Simmo gave him a ride back to the pits.I swear there were almost as many tears as the week before.Only this time,it was of pure relief.Bizzarely,this was exactly what we needed at the time.

 

RIP Kevin.Gone,but definitely not forgotten

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I saw Kevin in all his rides at Romford and many more on away tracks. I watched him go from struggling reserve to heat leader in just one season. I was 12 at the time and Kevin was always very friendly and available for a chat before and after meetings.

 

He was a real trier and always listened to the older riders giving him advice. Romford speedway was a real family outing for us and I remember my auntie and a couple of my cousins very quickly became big fans of Kevin.

 

The guy was a real racer and a great team rider. When he was out in front I seem to remember him as always looking around to see where his team mate was.

 

Kevin was a star on and off the track. I don't mind admitting I shed a lot of tears the day I heard we'd lost him. Thanks for some great memories Kevin.

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The thing that always stood out for me, and I can feel it now, was the awful silence and disbelief and shock as the crowd filed out of the stadium. They say silence can be deafening and thats exactly how it felt.

 

Always remembered by many Kevin Holden, continue to rest in peace.

 

Sue

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The thing that always stood out for me, and I can feel it now, was the awful silence and disbelief and shock as the crowd filed out of the stadium. They say silence can be deafening and thats exactly how it felt.

 

Always remembered by many Kevin Holden, continue to rest in peace.

 

Sue

 

I can remember walking out of the gates in tears, and the awful silence with everybody lost in their own thoughts.

R.I.P Kevin, gone but not forgotten

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So many memories are sadly brought back to me again of that night! I can honestly say that every year since 1977 I have thought of that incident on the 27th April.

 

As Bob said in an earlier post, the most vivid memory I have is that of Middlo and the pain he felt that night. I walked home from the stadium that night in tears and my parents found it so hard to console me, their little girl heartbroken at seeing such a tragic accident.

 

Sleep well Kevin.

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So many memories are sadly brought back to me again of that night! I can honestly say that every year since 1977 I have thought of that incident on the 27th April.

 

As Bob said in an earlier post, the most vivid memory I have is that of Middlo and the pain he felt that night.  I walked home from the stadium that night in tears and my parents found it so hard to console me, their little girl heartbroken at seeing such a tragic accident.

 

Sleep well Kevin.

 

As well,as Kevin, im sure every poole fan will spare a thought

for Neil tomorrow night, eventhough he knows he still has a job to do!.

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The thing that always stood out for me, and I can feel it now, was the awful silence and disbelief and shock as the crowd filed out of the stadium. They say silence can be deafening and thats exactly how it felt.

 

Always remembered by many Kevin Holden, continue to rest in peace.

 

Sue

 

 

Thats how it was for my son and i Sue , we were standing where he crashed and somehow with everyone around us we just new.

 

You will never be forgotten Kevin.

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The thing that always stood out for me, and I can feel it now, was the awful silence and disbelief and shock as the crowd filed out of the stadium. They say silence can be deafening and thats exactly how it felt.

 

Always remembered by many Kevin Holden, continue to rest in peace.

 

Sue

I was standing on the 4th bend and saw Kevin going down the straight who then seemed to lay his bike down going into the 1st bend, so minor that I followed the rest of the race before the red lights came on.

Had a quick look to see Kevin still down, but then didn’t look over again until a few minutes later when we then all realised it was serious as you could see them carrying out artificial respiration.. But still couldn’t believe it when it was announce that Kevin had died.

 

And again the one thing that I will never forget was then thousand’s of fans leaving the stadium in total silence, very unreal.

 

Clive

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Kevin Holden was one of my first real speedway hero’s at my beloved Romford Speedway. When Romford was forced to close in 1971 by the wonderful Mr Stretch who lived in Willow Street -my god that man will never ever be forgotten by me and many other Romford fans- I thought I had seen the last of Kevin, but he along with most of the Bombers moved to West Ham in 1972, all be it for only a few weeks. He was fantastic in 72. The last ever rider to win a race at the famous Custom House track beating the hated Tony Childs, from the back of course, was Kevin Holden. I kept a close eye on Kevin’s progress after West Ham shut. Having left Pettit’s Lane school in 1974, having got a job and having a few quid in my pocket I would try to see Kevin as often as I could when he rode for Exeter & Poole at Wimbledon, White City and of course Hackney.

I was like so many others, utterly devastated when he was killed, he was my hero, how could this happen?

Unfortunately all our ends will come someday, Kevin’s was far too soon. As with many people, especially speedway riders, they are never forgotten but it is a shame there names are not remembered perhaps a little bit more today by their former clubs. I guess life goes on and all that, but they have paid the ultimate sacrifice. RIP Kevin

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I remember hearing the news on Radio 2 as my dad drove me home at night.

 

At the time, we rented a TV set from Redifusion who sponsored Kevin. He had their name all down his leg on top of his yellow and white leathers. Whenever my dad went down to pay the money, I went with him, thinking I might bump into him.

 

. . . . I was a kid at the time !

 

In the space of 18 months, two of my favourite riders had been killed in Gary Peterson and Kevin Holden

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