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Issue 93 - Troy & Colin Pratt, Arena-Essex Memories, Mildenhall/Rye House rivalry, Andy Campbell

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ISSUE 93 (JULY-AUGUST, 2019)

 

SON OF MY FATHER: TROY & COLIN PRATT

Next year, on July 14, 2020, it will be the 50th anniversary of speedway’s darkest hour. A minibus, carrying the members of the West Ham team home from a representative meeting in Amsterdam, crashed at Lokeren, Belgium, resulting in the deaths of four young riders, the team’s manager and the driver. Among the survivors was a seriously-injured Colin Pratt, who had top-scored in the Amsterdam meeting with a 15-point maximum. But he never raced again. RICHARD BOTT interviews the former England team manager and, firstly, his son, Troy, who spent most of his career with Arena-Essex and featured in the BBC soap Eastenders . . .

 

ARENA-ESSEX: 50 Memorable Moments

British speedway lost yet another long-established venue last year following the closure of Arena-Essex/Lakeside after 35 years in operation. ROB PEASLEY looks back at Hammers' highs and lows, featuring the likes of Bob Humphreys, Alan Sage, Martin Goodwin, Neil Middleditch, Andrew Silver, Bo Petersen, Brian Karger, Alan Miogridge, Troy Pratt, Paul Hurry, Mark Loram, Lee Richardson, etc.

 

ANDY CAMPBELL Exclusive interview

Born and raised near Surrey, Andy Campbell made his league debut for Glasgow but his nomadic career took him to Reading, Poole, Exeter, Belle Vue, King's Lynn and Wimbledon before he bowed out back in the far north at Berwick. ANDREW SKEELS caught up with a genuine nice guy.

 

BIG NIGHTS: Daily Express Spring Classic

In the first of a new series, PHIL CHARD reviews some of British speedway's most prestigious individual meetings. We start with the early season Wimbledon biggie that ran for nine seasons before ending in controversy, attracted the backing of a national newspaper and ITV coverage viewed by millions.

 

RIVALS: Mildenhall v Rye House
In the first of a regular new series revisiting club rivalries, ROB PEASLEY reflects on classic matches between two of the National League's fiercest opponents, including that epic 1979 title decider.

 

BUSMAN'S HOLIDAYS
DOUG NICOLSON recalls the times when riders and supporters booked a week’s summer holiday and set off to the other end of the country on a speedway tour. A time when clubs routinely embraced gruelling fixture schedules.

 

BACKCHAT
MARTIN RIOGERS answers more of your questions and picks his Dream Team from the riders who served under him at King's Lynn, Leicester and Peterborough.

 

ON TWO MINUTES . . . with MARK CARLSON

The Australian reflects on his UK career with Oxford and Milton Keynes and MARTIN NEAL finds out what he's been up to since he returned Down Under.

 

THE WRITE STUFF – Andrew Edwards

TONY McDONALD catches up with the man whose weekly speedway column for Motor Cycle News reached many thousands more readers than any other throughout speedway's last golden era.

 To subscribe (we no longer sell single issues), please visit www.retro-speedway.com

BT 93_edit page..jpg

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What was this ‘controversy’ that ended the Spring Classic ? Must have happened when I was taking a sabbatical mainly from the sport in the late 70s early 80s

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3 hours ago, iris123 said:

What was this ‘controversy’ that ended the Spring Classic ? Must have happened when I was taking a sabbatical mainly from the sport in the late 70s early 80s

It involved Ole Olsen and an alleged illegal tyre.

Edited by steve roberts
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MY decade as the Daily Express speedway correspondent included the Spring Classic when John Davis won. The then Sports Editor, Fleet Street legend Ken Lawrence, was there with me on a Thursday night and my report, and a later rewrite, were carried on the back page in every edition. Ken was always prepared to give speedway a good show. Also had the back page when Michael Lee won his WC in Gothenburg.

But in their infinite wisdom the BSPA scheduled the following year's SC on Maundy Thursday... the day before Good Friday. At that time national newspapers were not published on Good Friday. Ken and the DE were not amused. And their involvement in what was a star-studded event was doomed from there on in. Why sponsor an event you cannot report on?

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I guess you could fill a book with the amount of times Speedway has shot itself in the foot

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46 minutes ago, iris123 said:

I guess you could fill a book with the amount of times Speedway has shot itself in the foot

MORE than one ...

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On 9/6/2019 at 7:21 PM, steve roberts said:

It involved Ole Olsen and an alleged illegal tyre.

i put a clip of the controversy on youtube, i think it was under my afcwombledon account if you search

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