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John Berry.....hard Up For Money?

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How do you judge someone, is he nice warm and fuzzy-answer probably not, was he successful-answer in most peoples opinion yes.

DD has for some reason, taken a particular dislike to someone who tried promoting speedway at Doncaster some 30 years ago or more, found out he couldn't make it pay, and decided to cut his losses and stop. I notice that in the intervening 36 years no one else, not even Doncaster Dragons himself, have decided to have another go at trying to lose some money, promoting speedway to a public who don't seem to be clammering for the sport to reopen there.

I have had a long standing agreement to disagree with DD over weather or not the legend that is Tony Millard, is in fact a great speedway commentator or not. There have been people who have agreed with me, and probably even more who agree with DD that Tony isn't the best thing since sliced bread.

But this is an argument i can't lose !

For DD or anyone else to not particularly like John Berry is perfectly acceptable to any of us, to in any way suggest that Doncaster's failure as a venue was down to JB, is absolute horse manure. We are talking about the singularly most successful British promoter of his generation, who did in fact with Joe Thurley's help turn Ipswich from a place that had failed, into a successful one. In 1975 Ipswich and Birmingham won the first and second division championship's, led by Berry and Thurley.

DD i don't know where you are coming from,other than you just don't like the fella, and you'd rather he have continued to lose a lot more money, to prove that Doncaster wasn't a viable operation.

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Just to correct you 25 year fan it was a certain Joe Thurley's idea to open Ipswich in 1969. Thurley was a junior rider who had unsuccessfully tried his hand at the sport and  John Berry who was a friend and his dope and oil man went along with the Ipswich idea. Thurley was the main man at Ipswich in 1969 with Berry taking over the ropes in 1970 and Thurley moving and taking over the Doncaster licence the same year.

 

Sorry your wrong!

 

Berry and Thurley opened Ipswich as a partnership like they did at Doncaster in 1970.

 

They also opened Birmingham taking the Doncaster with them although eventually Thurley stayed with Birmingham on his own and Berry did likewise at Ipswich!

 

Sorry but forgot Joe Thurley yesterday!

 

How do know? - I was there!

Edited by 25yearfan

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John admitted in his first book, that he didn't always have man management skills, but he was a good administrator and organiser and that was his forte. I believe he was a good promoter, after all, he managed to make a living out it in fairly recent times. Not many promoters can say that.

 

I doubt whether he is hard up for money, I understand he works for a local newspaper in Australia.

 

Never met the man, but after reading his first book, yet to read the second, but will, I think he was one of the 'promoting greats'.

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How do you judge someone, is he nice warm and fuzzy-answer probably not, was he successful-answer in most peoples opinion yes.

DD has for some reason, taken a particular dislike to someone who tried promoting speedway at Doncaster some 30 years ago or more, found out he couldn't make it pay, and decided to cut his losses and stop. I notice that in the intervening 36 years no one else, not even Doncaster Dragons himself, have decided to have another go at trying to lose some money, promoting speedway to a public who don't seem to be clammering for the sport to reopen there.

I have had a long standing agreement to disagree with DD over weather or not the legend that is Tony Millard, is in fact a great speedway commentator or not. There have been people who have agreed with me, and probably even more who agree with DD that Tony isn't the best thing since sliced bread.

But this is an argument i can't lose !

For DD or anyone else to not particularly like John Berry is perfectly acceptable to any of us, to in any way suggest that Doncaster's failure as a venue was down to JB, is absolute horse manure. We are talking about the singularly most successful British promoter of his generation, who did in fact with Joe Thurley's help turn Ipswich from a place that had failed, into a successful one. In 1975 Ipswich and Birmingham won the first and second division championship's, led by Berry and Thurley.

DD i don't know where you are coming from,other than you just don't like the fella, and you'd rather he have continued to lose a lot more money, to prove that Doncaster wasn't a viable operation.

 

 

CS. Thank you for your comments. I can't recall you admitting that you had ever been to ONE Doncaster meeting during our short stint in the Second Division.

So for someone who wasn't there, you seem to be incredibly articulate.

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I have 3 friends who went to Doncaster during the period it operated, 1 of whom rid there, am i qualified to have an opinion.

Do you have any friends in Canada, if so let me know where they live and i'll give that area a wide berth !

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Sorry Mr 25 year old fan but I never said that it was not a partnership ! I said Berry went along with the idea as he did ! How do I know- that's for me to know and you to find out. Incidentally you got the details of the Birmingham a little wrong - didn't you, or perhaps you were not there !!

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John Berry and Joe Thurley were both excellent promoters, together and apart - both won a lot more than my local team which won nothing! No I'm not saying but you can probably guess...

 

In JB's book his son 's initials are AJ so if you look at what has been bought I doubt it is John himself selling them. Unless he is into console games in his dotage.

 

But even if he is then it is his business - after all the late Stuart Bamforth sold everything when Belle Vue's Hyde Road Stadium was demolished.

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Stuart Bamforth was truly an awful person.He never had an interest in Speedway except what he got out of it.From day one I think he was only interested in Hyde Road for what he could sell it for.

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Sorry Mr 25 year old fan but I never said that it was not a partnership ! I said Berry went along with the idea as he did !   How do I know- that's for me to know and you to find out.  Incidentally you got the details of the Birmingham a little wrong - didn't you, or perhaps you were not there !!

 

But you did give the impression that Joe Thurley reopened and ran Ipswich on his own in 1969 and Berry took over in 1970 which wasn't the case!

 

I recall Thurley being the hands on, practical side of the partnership and Berry being more the organiser, administrator and delegator.

 

I don't know whose idea it was to reopen Ipswich speedway. - Whether it was Berry or Thurleys idea is immaterial but it was a most inspired one as Ipswich has been a hotbed for the sport and still enjoys some of the biggest crowds in the country up to present times even though the team were poor in the last season 2007!

 

Joe Thurley played a significant role in John Berrys formative years in promoting and done a fine job promoting at Ipswich then Birmingham but John Berry lasted longer and I'd say was more successful than Joe Thurley. Their inability to make a success at Doncaster, just like the previous prmotion there was down to the lack of local interest amongst the Doncaster public however much the promotors tryed. The subsequent absense of speedway from that part of the world ever since indicate that it was indeed the location rather than inept promoting from messrs Berry and Thurley that was the prmiary reason behind Doncaster speedway failing.

 

Oh yes and Suffolk man Colin Barber later to be involved at Mildenhall and whos sons run successfull track shops around the Country also had some involvement in the 1971 revival of Birmingham! - And yes I would admit to knowing more about Ipswich speedway from this era than I would Birmingham speedway beings I often spectated at Foxhall being local to the track and have only been to Birmingham speedway a few times ever!

 

The Berry/Thurley link up was the reason why a few Ipswich juniors rode for the Brummies in their 2nd Divsion days of the early 70's!

 

Yes John Berry didn't always come across as the one of the worlds more pleasant persons but his record at promoting is an impressive one and his books have been greatly interesting fascinating reads and he has my respect cause he 'done it'!

 

'Mr 25 year old fan' - I wish I was!

 

Trust you being a 'Cornishfisherman' will support the forthcoming application to bring speedway back to the Duchy at Bodmin?

 

Fingers crossed we'll both 'BE THERE' if the application is successful and speedway once more roars into action down that way as I enjoyed the few times I went to watch speedway at the Clay Country parc St Austell!

 

Back to the main point - I don't know John Berrys financial situation but I'd hazard at a guess and say that he probably isn't on the breadline!

Edited by 25yearfan

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Is DD actually Joe Thurley in disguise? :D

 

Kevin

 

Why Joe Thurley in disguise? Ipswich was out on a limb - Birmingham's biggest mistake was to trust the BSPA after taking their money.

 

Very early injuries to Alan Grahame(thigh) and Richard Greer(arm) messed up the Brummies chances. Other than that they mainly got has beens.

 

Every time I see Paul Merton on TV I think of Joe, every time I see Victor Meldrum I think of JB.

 

But I'd swap either of them for Ted Nelson, Wally Mawdsley(yuck) or Richard Vowles(sad)!!!

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I have always felt that the biggest mistake with Birmingham was taking them into the BL. The only NL team in the area saw great support on a Monday evening from CH, Wolves and Coventry supporters who seemed to disappear into thin air as soon as they were promoted. I feel it was a step backwards.

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Oh, and I would agree with you Mr.25 year fan John Berry was certainly the most successful of the pair although Thurley always appeared the more sociable - but that could have been misleading.

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Oh, and I would agree with you Mr.25 year fan John Berry was certainly the most successful of the pair although Thurley always appeared the more sociable - but that could have been misleading.

 

At last we agree!

 

Trouble with Birmingham speedway in 1975 is that they had been so successful in the 2nd Division/National league dominating it winning it 2 years running in 74/75 that they had outgrown the league. The fans, home and away versions and the league as a whole were growing tired of the Brummies 'wiping' everyone out of sight so therefore had to move up to freshen things up - a new challenge. A very similar scanario we've seen recently with Scunthorpe moving up into the PL after outgrowing the CL. Though I'm not sure that Scunny can become a long term PL viable outfit but they would of gone backwards by staying CL.

 

Good luck with the Bodmin efforts!

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I'm happy for him to make money as a promoter, but to sell off the silver and reportedly slag people off in his books (to make a bit of money) may have conned some people, but not me.

He's portrayed as some sort of saviour for the BSPA as the man to direct and manage the British Speedway.

He's the last person the BSPA needs IMO.

 

So you've not actually read his books then? If you had you'd know that he doesn't really slag anyone off, he's make comment in there of his dislike for certain people within the sport - but the feeling is a mutual one so I think it's fair to mention it as it's relevent to his history as a speedway promoter (which is what the book is about after all!)

You'd also of known that he regrets a lot of things he has done - most of all is his falling out with Len Silver after something he he put in one of his pieces in the Ipswich programmes from yesteryear.

 

From what I can see he was/is a very forward thinking promoter who's blueprints for the sport in the country and solutions for it are all still very viable today, yes you may say I'm biased as a Ipswich resident (and fan) and there maybe some truth in that - but his two books are excellent, in my opinion, and he says from the outset that he doesn't pull any punches and so it transpires as you read through them.

I'd much read a "warts 'n all" account of things than a safe, watered down and non-offensive one!

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