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Issue 74 - Todd Wiltshire, Ipswich Moments, Vladimir Gordeev

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ISSUE 74 (May-June 2016) of our bi-monthly magazine is out now and includes:



Todd Wiltshire "the fastest alive over the first 25" was one of a bunch of exciting young Aussies to emerge onto the international scene in the last 80s. Rob Peasley caught up with the fast-starting former World No.3 who starred for Wimbledon, Reading and Oxford for a compelling, new exclusive . . .


Todd quotes:


“At that time, I understood Barry Briggs and I think I agreed with him. I remember seeing the circus that followed Per as World Champion, all the publicity, and I think the pressure did affect him to begin with. But over the following months and years, my opinion changed. I got to the last 16 on merit and was genuinely a top five rider in the world at that stage, and I do regret not winning it. I don’t think it would have been too early."


“I was a 19-year-old Australian coming over from the East Coast, where it was pretty sparse, and I was suddenly in the limelight of London. Wimbledon Stadium was magnificent, the pits were in a tunnel and it was a full surround stadium. With the Lanning family promoting all that, it just became something amazing. It turned it into a show, and the riders were all part of that."


“The Reading management gave Wimbledon a call but I think I was only the second option. They were chasing the American Gary Hicks. They’d all but signed him but something went wrong, and they opted for me instead."


“Although 'Lyonsy' was involved, I didn’t consider him solely responsible. It was 50/50, because I should have never given him that opportunity. We never fell out over it. Lots of people thought we did, but we didn’t. It was just racing.”


“All those riders . . . Hamill, Hancock, Gollob, even Tony Rickardsson, I was ahead of them when I got hurt. I remember racing Tony for the first time at Stockholm and, mentally, I was ahead of him at that point. From 1992 to 1997, I missed my prime years, the years in my mid-twenties. Would I have been World Champion? We’ll never know."


“The bikes were still red-hot when they took them out of the pits, across the centre green, out of the other side of the stadium and into a waiting van. It was embarrassing, a very sour ending to the year. I just took my Oxford racesuit off and left it on the floor in the pits."


"I had an ugly divorce and found myself in a very bad place in Australia. I was lost. Mentally, I was hurt, and needed help to stay on this earth. I had suicidal tendencies."



After a long and patient pursuit, Vitek Formanek finally got his man when he caught up with former Russian star Vladimir Gordeev whose best World Final performance was marred by controversy. For the first time, Gordeev talks about the nitro storm that led to a one-year ban from the FIM.



Rob Peasley traces the history of the Suffolk club who overcame a shaky early period to re-emerge, win all the major silverware going and produce three of the greatest double-winning teams ever to grace British speedway . . .



Martin Neal has the story behind why former Hackney and Canterbury prospect Richard Pettman made a television appearance on BBC1’s daytime house renovation series Homes Under The Hammer.


TOMMY JANSSON - Speedway's lost superstar

On the 40th anniversary of Tommy Jansson's death, David Rieuwerts recalls the huge impact the Wimbledon and Sweden star made in his all too brief career and wonders what might have been.



To mark the 40th anniversary of Tommy Jansson's death, there really could be only man to invite along as the special guest at a Wimbledon Speedway reunion. We've a report and pictures from the event for which Tommy's elder brother Bo Jansson flew in from Sweden to attend in south London on Saturday, May 20 – 40 years to the day since his younger brother lost his life.



Continuing our regular series, Andrew Skeels presents his in-depth review of a season that had just about everything . . . Oxford’s domination of the British League and a pulsating fight for the National League title, it was also 12 months which featured genuine tragedies, headline-grabbing disputes between some of the sport’s biggest names and clubs opening, closing and switching leagues, often in mid-season, amid frequent dire warnings about the financial sustainability of the sport as a whole. For Oxford supporters, however, it was a season to remember.



This time our intrepid scribe heads to the six most northern venues: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Berwick, Newcastle, Workington and Middlesbrough.


OPENING TIMES Rochdale 1970

Eric Broadbelt reflects with Andrew Skeels on Rochdale's brief Second Division stint at the start of the 70s. A crowd of around 6,000 braved the cold to see Hornets take on Crewe in the opening meeting on Sunday, March 29, 1970.


The German looks back on his brief late season stint with Reading in 1981.



"Auld Worthies" are respected members of your community and, while never having been leaders, are held in high regard to this day for their earlier service and exploits. Doug Nicolson looks at four of Glasgow's Worthies.


To order this single issue or subscribe, please visit www.retro-speedway.com or phone Susie on 01708 734 502.




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