Jump to content
British Speedway Forum
steve roberts

Interviews

Recommended Posts

Would find it fascinating to read interviews (in a perfect world!) with the following riders:

 

Conny Samuelsson - Rode for Oxford during 1969 but struggled around Cowley although put in some superlative performances at some away venues (claiming a track record at one track?) He left Britain and never returned and I would enjoy reading his reasons as he seemed to have it to make a success of it in Britain?

 

Malcolm Ballard - A volatile character who appeared to have it all but retired after joining Leicester in 1974.

 

Mike Sampson - Suddenly hit stardom in 1977 and was one of the main reasons for White City's success in 1977. His weekly rips to Barrow must have been horrendous!

 

Steve Gresham Another volatile character hated by riders and fans alike!

 

Hasse Holmqvist - Very popular rider at both Cowley and Monmore Green but whose time in Britain was very spasmodic.

 

Ulf Lovaas - A favourite of mine but Bob Radford has often gone into print questioning him. Would like to read Ulf's side of the story.

 

Per Sorensen - One of the main reasons why Oxford became a great side in 1986 after years spent at Swindon.

 

Just a few but I'm sure I could think of some others!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not quite what you sought, but a little bit of info on what happened to 2 of those Oxford Swedes, Samuelsson and Holmqvist: both found success in different ways in Ice Racing

I'd been a family pen-pal for a few years when Njudingarna's Conny Samuelsson became a 18-year old success at home by double-scoring in his international debut against Russia in 1967. For a reward, at Christmas that year as his present he got a brand new ice-racing Jawa, so he was racing on shale and ice. (See photo, foot of page.)
In '68 he again double-scored, against Czechoslovakia in his one test appearance, and was reckoned to have the fastest motors in Sweden. He joined Oxford in '69 and raced 13 matches, plus just one reserve appearance in the Test Series, at Cradley Heath, (where we finally met up,) but he pulled up no trees, and didn't appear in the UK again. He rode tests for Sweden against USSR in '71 & '72, scoring just a few points.
But on Ice he was improving, so that by 1976 he was 3rd in the World Ice Championship, and went one better in '77 when he took the Silver Medal as World No.2, and capped the year with the Swedish Championship.
Today Conny Samuelsson is a respected Ice referee at international level and an FIM official.

Hasse Holmqvist spent his first 2 UK season with Wolves, sharing a house with Heathen's Tommy Berqvist in Cradley Heath, and the two would often spend free time around Dudley Wood chatting to youngsters like ourselves. In 1970 he was the 'foreign rider' replacement for Samuelsson at Cowley, topping their season's averages at 9.1 and again when he returned in '73.
Since those times Hasse has become a much respected engine turner, notably for the most successful of Swedish Ice Racers, Posa Serenius, who's taken the national ice title 22 times, and 2 world championships, mostly on Holmqvist motors, which he reckons would blow if tweaked one more fraction. You can see present-day Hasse in this

of Serenius, (at 3m.30s)

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not quite what you sought, but a little bit of info on what happened to 2 of those Oxford Swedes, Samuelsson and Holmqvist: both found success in different ways in Ice Racing

 

I'd been a family pen-pal for a few years when Njudingarna's Conny Samuelsson became a 18-year old success at home by double-scoring in his international debut against Russia in 1967. For a reward, at Christmas that year as his present he got a brand new ice-racing Jawa, so he was racing on shale and ice. (See photo, foot of page.)

In '68 he again double-scored, against Czechoslovakia in his one test appearance, and was reckoned to have the fastest motors in Sweden. He joined Oxford in '69 and raced 13 matches, plus just one reserve appearance in the Test Series, at Cradley Heath, (where we finally met up,) but he pulled up no trees, and didn't appear in the UK again. He rode tests for Sweden against USSR in '71 & '72, scoring just a few points.

But on Ice he was improving, so that by 1976 he was 3rd in the World Ice Championship, and went one better in '77 when he took the Silver Medal as World No.2, and capped the year with the Swedish Championship.

Today Conny Samuelsson is a respected Ice referee at international level and an FIM official.

 

Hasse Holmqvist spent his first 2 UK season with Wolves, sharing a house with Heathen's Tommy Berqvist in Cradley Heath, and the two would often spend free time around Dudley Wood chatting to youngsters like ourselves. In 1970 he was the 'foreign rider' replacement for Samuelsson at Cowley, topping their season's averages at 9.1 and again when he returned in '73.

Since those times Hasse has become a much respected engine turner, notably for the most successful of Swedish Ice Racers, Posa Serenius, who's taken the national ice title 22 times, and 2 world championships, mostly on Holmqvist motors, which he reckons would blow if tweaked one more fraction. You can see present-day Hasse in this

of Serenius, (at 3m.30s)

 

 

Many thanks for this! makes fascinating reading. I recall my brother seeing Conny at the local fun fair held at Blackbird Leys during his short stay in Oxford. Apparently he was proving very successful on the gun range...he hadn't long finished his National Service!

 

Hasse was a favourite of mine. Remember the day he pulled up outside my house with a long trailer/caravan hooked up to his car! Last rode for 'The Rebels' in 1975 but it was very short stay. He was late coming over (June) due to commitments back home. He rode one match at Cowley (paid eight points) against Hull and, if I recall, rode at Reading and that was it. I last saw him ride at Crayford in 1983 representing his Swedish club side.

 

Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks for this! makes fascinating reading. I recall my brother seeing Conny at the local fun fair held at Blackbird Leys during his short stay in Oxford. Apparently he was proving very successful on the gun range...he hadn't long finished his National Service!

 

Hasse was a favourite of mine. Remember the day he pulled up outside my house with a long trailer/caravan hooked up to his car! Last rode for 'The Rebels' in 1975 but it was very short stay. He was late coming over (June) due to commitments back home. He rode one match at Cowley (paid eight points) against Hull and, if I recall, rode at Reading and that was it. I last saw him ride at Crayford in 1983 representing his Swedish club side.

 

Thanks again!

Just caught up with the video!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve, Remember you from the Oxford forum back in the Purchase days.

Some interesting names there. Ulf Lovaas had a short lived stay at Dudley Wood and I remember being disappointed when he didn't return in 1974.

I could vaguely remember Bob Radford doing an article on Reider Eide and other Norwegians in an old issue. After a rummage in the attic I was able to put my hands on Issue 32 which indeed does give a brief overview of all the Norwegians who tried their luck in British Speedway during the 70's and 80's. A couple of paragraphs about Ulf where indeed Bob does say "Many, myself included, found Ulf to be the total opposite of his affable brother". As you say it be interesting to find out more.

Same with Malcolm Ballard. I can remember him being involved in a nasty smash at Cradley with Bruce Cribb and Dave Perks, but wasn't actually aware he'd retired from the sport so early.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve, Remember you from the Oxford forum back in the Purchase days.

Some interesting names there. Ulf Lovaas had a short lived stay at Dudley Wood and I remember being disappointed when he didn't return in 1974.

I could vaguely remember Bob Radford doing an article on Reider Eide and other Norwegians in an old issue. After a rummage in the attic I was able to put my hands on Issue 32 which indeed does give a brief overview of all the Norwegians who tried their luck in British Speedway during the 70's and 80's. A couple of paragraphs about Ulf where indeed Bob does say "Many, myself included, found Ulf to be the total opposite of his affable brother". As you say it be interesting to find out more.

Same with Malcolm Ballard. I can remember him being involved in a nasty smash at Cradley with Bruce Cribb and Dave Perks, but wasn't actually aware he'd retired from the sport so early.

Hi Salty!

 

Yes can't really comment with authority on modern day speedway as I haven't been for 11-12 years but I do enjoy reading and commenting about the past!

 

I recall Bob Radford's comments in said article and he has on a number of occasions criticised Ulf Lovaas regarding dealings with him. I would dearly love to read Ulf's versions of events to balance the discussion! 'Mad' Malc Ballard was indeed involved in a bad coming together with Cribby (I think that Bruce ended up breaking his leg?) and Malc had his car severely damaged when leaving Dudley Wood as I recall a collection took place at Cowley to help towards the repairs. He requested a move from Cowley and moved to Poole for the 1974 season but quickly transferred to Leicester when he decided to retire. I remember a 4TT down at Eastbourne in 1974 (when he representing the Pirates) when he got up to all sorts of mischief picking fights with, if I recall, Dave Kennett and Laurie Etheridge. Last I read he was a mechanic in the Lewis Bridger camp (?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was at the meeting at Cradley in 1973 where Cribby broke his thigh. If I recall correctly he went over the fence and landed against the fence for the dog track. Out for the rest of the season.

Just checked the programme and there was no exclusions, but after the re-run Malcolm didn't ride again. Can't remember any nastiness, but I was only 11! Wouldn't surprise me though! Didn't know about the Bridger connection, would be interesting to hear his story.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about an interview with Tommy Knudsen? Would enjoy reading his comments especially over the clash with Hans Nielsen at Katowice in 1986.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Talking of Norwegians, I would like to hear how Rolf Gramstad is doing these days..

 

He has always been one of my favourite riders and I am still saddened at the misfortune that befell him..

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Talking of Norwegians, I would like to hear how Rolf Gramstad is doing these days..

 

He has always been one of my favourite riders and I am still saddened at the misfortune that befell him..

I was watching a DVD only last night between King's Lynn and Leicester (1980) in which Rolf was featured! Remember seeing him make his debut for Swindon in 1978 (?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Met him once, before his accident outside of what used to be 'Paperback Parade' opposite the current Swindon Central Library..

 

Was courageous enough to make the effort to speak to him, (they say you should never meet your hero's), however, Rolf took the time and effort to spend some few minutes of his time with me...

 

Just something I have never forgotten..

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Met him once, before his accident outside of what used to be 'Paperback Parade' opposite the current Swindon Central Library..

 

Was courageous enough to make the effort to speak to him, (they say you should never meet your hero's), however, Rolf took the time and effort to spend some few minutes of his time with me...

 

Just something I have never forgotten..

Good old Rolf. Seem to remember him doing ok for the Robins but then moving on to Leicester where he really upped his game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good old Rolf. Seem to remember him doing ok for the Robins but then moving on to Leicester where he really upped his game.

Decent rider improved greatly at Leicester i remember Rolf beating Mauger at the Abbey when Hull visited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be interesting to see interviews with ex Belle Vue riders:-

 

Eric Broadbelt

Ken Eyre

Chris Turner

Jim Brett

Pekka Hautamaki

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×