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Golden Helmet Memories

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Think that was the 1973 K.O. Cup Final race-off decider........

 

 

Ah yes.... great shout.

 

The match-race format confusing me there.

 

 

:)

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Think that was the 1973 K.O. Cup Final race-off decider........

 

 

Ah yes.... great shout.

 

The match-race format confusing me there.

 

 

:)

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I didn't know that and a very good call. Incredible, really, that Tommy should put such faith in a junior's bike. Wonder if his more senior Wimbledon team-mates offered to lend theirs?

 

Tony, I couldn't inform whether any other Dons riders offered their bikes for Tommy to use or not. It was something I overheard, at the time, most likely when I went to get riders autographs, in the pits during the meeting interval, and I always remembered this. I also remember reading that this happened somewhere, over the course of time.

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It was indicative of how seriously most riders took the Helmet ...

and fans...

 

When Phil Crump and Anders Michanek both won their home legs in 1975 the deciding leg was scheduled for Poole. A coachload of Racers fans travelled down to cheer on Mighty Mich.

 

But in the opening race both riders fell with Crump excluded. Anders couldn't take his place in the remaining races so Crump won the next two races by default and Racers fans had barely glimpsed their hero. I hope the following match was good.

 

My highlight was in 1971 when Richard May scored a maximum against Oxford at Tilehurst-and won a coin toss over Anders Michanek to meet the holder Ken Mckinlay whom he beat from the back(12th July).3 days later he had to defend in at Wimbledon Against Ronnie Moore although only a 2nd string Dickie outgated Moore re-passed him before Moore overtook for a 2nd time to win.

Details taken from Arnie Gibbons excellent book "Tears and Glory"

This was my original choice - the photo of Richard with wearing the Golden Helmet is the one photo from the book that I had printed and framed

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the photo of Richard with wearing the Golden Helmet is the one photo from the book that I had printed and framed

 

Arnie - any chance, please, of receiving a high-res copy (via email) of this pic to use with our feature. Think Richard deserves a special mench. Our email is editorial@retro-speedway.com

 

Will, of course, give you a credit and mention your book too, if you like?

 

Many thanks in anticipation.

 

Amazing that a coachload of Reading fans went down to Poole with the idea of seeing Mich in just 3 races.

 

Cheers,

TMc

Edited by tmc

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Carl Blackbird actually beat Hans THREE times that night

 

I seem to recall Carl Blackbird having a bit of a hoodoo over Hans Nielsen for a while, for some bizarre reason. :unsure:

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I seem to recall Carl Blackbird having a bit of a hoodoo over Hans Nielsen for a while, for some bizarre reason. :unsure:

 

Humph, I don't really recall it extending beyond that one night. Paul Thorp seemed to have more of a hoodoo over Hans - he beat Hans several times in several different meeting during 1987.

 

All the best

Rob

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Tony, it was completely fair and square. Carl Blackbird actually beat Hans THREE times that night - in Heat 12 of the league match, in the ill-concevied Gold Sash (remember that) and the Golden Helmet. Hans just had no answer.

 

Probably the only time that someone beat Hans Nielsen three times in the same meeting anywhere in 1986.

 

My main memory of the Golden Helmet comes from later in the same season. Hans had missed a home meeting against Ipswich, thus allowing Marvyn Cox to take the Golden Helmet off Jeremy Doncaster. Cocker defended it a few times (including beating Chris Morton from behind at Belle Vue), and then Cradley came to Oxford.

 

Erik Gundersen, the defending World Champion, duly topped scored for the Heathens and thus became the challenger.

 

Cocker lost the toss for gate positions and started off the outside, and when he missed the gate, it looked all over. But Cocker wasn’t beaten, climbed all over the back of Erik, before driving under Erik on the third lap and then holding onto a famous victory. I was in the crowd on the fourth bend, going barmy along with the rest of the Oxford faithful!

 

Just before the race, my uncle's registration was called out and he was asked to immediately move his car. He did move it - but only after the race!

 

Cocker held onto the Golden Helmet longer than anyone else in 1986, not bad for a third heat leader. Ironically he also lost the helmet to Carl Blackbird!

 

All the best

Rob

 

P.S. Now back to transcribing my article for the next issue of Backtrack.

 

My only real memory of the Golden Helmet was perhaps related to the above post by Rob. I remember Jeremy Doncaster beating Erik around Dudley Wood to win the Helmet, which may well have been how he came to have it when visiting Oxford and losing out to Cox? Not sure, if it was 86 I was only 5 and to be honest Erik losing it upset me quite a lot :) It seemed to be a really big deal, match races as such were pretty special and didn't come around too often.

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Didn't the actual Golden Helmet get lost? So, there actually wasn't one to win in the end? My memory is hazy on this one. But if so, who lost it? If not, where is it now?

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Didn't the actual Golden Helmet get lost? So, there actually wasn't one to win in the end? My memory is hazy on this one. But if so, who lost it? If not, where is it now?

 

Shawn Moran brought it down to a rained off at Oxford at the end of 1986 and it was lost. The competition was held early on in 1987, even though there was no helmet any more, but then curtailed part way through the season.

 

All the best

Rob

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Shawn Moran brought it down to a rained off at Oxford at the end of 1986 and it was lost. The competition was held early on in 1987, even though there was no helmet any more, but then curtailed part way through the season.

 

All the best

Rob

Funny, but I did have Shawn Moran's name in my head. Like I say, my memory is hazy. But I reckon his recollections could be even hazier :drink::wink:

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Funny, but I did have Shawn Moran's name in my head. Like I say, my memory is hazy. But I reckon his recollections could be even hazier :drink::wink:

 

As Shawn will be joining us on the Retro Speedway stand at Cardiff on Saturday, it will be a good opportunity to ask him if he can shed any light on the 'lost' Helmet.

 

Maybe we could start a 'Find The Golden Helmet Campaign'?

 

We know that in 1987 there was no GH to present to Wiggy after he beat Shawn at Sheffield . . . so Speedway Mail snapper Ken Carpenter lent Simon HIS hat to wear for the presentation photo (with a Speedway Mail sticker plastered across the front of it). I'll publish this actual pic in the next issue of Backtrack so that others can see how much the prestige of this once great competition had been seriously eroded by the end.

Edited by tmc

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Maybe we could start a 'Find The Golden Helmet Campaign'?

I wonder if there is a "Pickles" out there who can help? :)

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Alway enjoyed the Golden Helmet Match Races, specially the monthly version,

circa 74 onwards.

One of my everlasting memories is of John Louis, taking on Dave Jessup

at Foxhall in 1975. JL had swapped his infamous Tiger leathers for a

mustard coloured pair, with Ipswich & Witches written on a white panel

on the inside of the legs.

Anyway, back to the Jessup challenge, I was sitting on the first bend,

facing directly down the home straight, JL gated and did four laps

absolutely flat out, setting a new track record of 59 seconds dead,

the first time ever that a sub minute race had been done at Ipswich.

One of the most perfect four laps I have ever seen in over 40 years

of watching speedway.

 

I'n not sure if it was 1975, but JL held the Golden Helmet for a long

time. I can vividly remember his tussles with Ole Olsen and Phil Crump

in particular.

 

Its a shame that the competition isn't run anymore. I hated the one off

races and that daft Golden Gauntlet attempt to replace the helmet...some

cruddy glove that had a quick coat of gold spray paint.

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My only real memory of the Golden Helmet was perhaps related to the above post by Rob. I remember Jeremy Doncaster beating Erik around Dudley Wood to win the Helmet, which may well have been how he came to have it when visiting Oxford and losing out to Cox? Not sure, if it was 86 I was only 5 and to be honest Erik losing it upset me quite a lot :) It seemed to be a really big deal, match races as such were pretty special and didn't come around too often.

[/quote

 

I remember Donc taking helmet of Gundersen that night.......I was responsible, I was standing next to Erik just prior to the race, I farted and Erik got and proper lungful......he was still trying to get his breath back as they went to the line!!!

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