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Issue 102 - Scott Autrey, Cradley v Wolves, Reg Fearman, Zenon Plech, Ken Marshall, Golden Sovereign, etc

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Issue 102 of Backtrack is out now and here's a small taste of the feast of nostalgia inside . . .


SCOTT AUTREY – Life & Times
A trailblazer who led his country to its first World Team Cup triumph, Scott Autrey is still revered by Exeter fans and respected by many more as the articulate all-American hero. ROB PEASLEY chronicles the life and times of the popular, stylish former World No.3 who also had UK spells with Swindon and Poole.


ON THE BOSSES – Reg Fearman

Love them or hate them, the speedway promoters of the Backtrack era included some of the sport's all-time heavyweights as well as a new brigade of youthful innovators.  As a member of the BSPA in the 70s and 80s, a longtime management committee member and vice-chairman, MARTIN ROGERS rubbed shoulders – and crossed swords – with all of them.


Forever associated with the first two decades of the British League and, before that, the game-changing Provincial League, Reg Fearman was a powerhouse in promoting circles. Our columnist sat alongside him on the BSPA management committee for several of those years and gives his assessment of a Backtrack era colossus.


ZENON PLECH – golden days as a Hackney Hawk
Paying tribute to a boyhood hero, TONY McDONALD recalls the early career and impact of Poland’s first superstar whose fearless riding for Hackney earned him cult status.


TRACK RIVALRIES: Cradley Heath v Wolverhampton
With fresh insights from Alan Grahame and Ronnie Correy, ROB PEASLEY reflects on 14 meetings between Black Country neighbours, clashes invariably laced with controversy and sometimes police intervention. Let’s take you back to brutality on bikes!


BIG NIGHTS: Golden Sovereign
Reviewing British speedway's most prestigious individual meetings, PHIL CHARD heads to Ipswich for a close look at the nine stagings of the Golden Sovereign between 1973 and ‘83. Past winners include Witches legends John Louis and Billy Sanders, inaugural champ Ole Olsen, Peter Collins, Mel Taylor and Hans Nielsen.


THE NUMBERS GAME – race formula study
DOUG NICOLSON looks at the development of race formulae used for team meetings in domestic UK racing. From the popular 13-heat ‘Happiness is 40-38’ era through the various KO Cup formats, to the current 15-heat nominated riders’ finale, our in-house accountant has it all figured out.



MARTIN NEAL recognises the selfless key role Felton training track co-founder Ken Marshall played in the development of young riders at the North-East outpost.


KELVIN TATUM – book extracts

Following the successful December launch of KELVIN TATUM’s Tales From The Top Drawer, we present extracts from the autobiography of the former England star and World No.3 who rapidly rose from raw rookie to stardom with Wimbledon before winning back-to-back league titles with Coventry, plus spells with Berwick, Bradford, Arena-Essex (twice), London Lions and Peterborough.



Whatever became of them, all the ex-riders who had second-half races, junior matches or interval spins in the 70s at . . . BELLE VUE? In this memory-jogger, we list all those budding one-time Hyde Road hopefuls, including Eric Broadbelt, Alan Wilkinson, Peter Collins (whatever happened to him!), Dave Morton, Chris Morton (and him!), Ian Hindle, Les Collins, Tom Owen, Dave Trownson, Chris Turner, Keith Bloxsome, Bernie Collier, among the many who ‘had a go’ at this world famous venue.


On subscription only from www.retro-speedway.com


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Received my latest edition...superb as usual. Interesting analysis (although I couldn't grasp all the permutations) on the differing race formulas. Ordered (and since recieved) the Tatum book as featured in the latest edition. Nice article on the sadly recently deceased Zenon Plech...such an icon.

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Another cover to cover read. My guilty pleasure during lockdown (2/3 hours locked away in my front room with a couple of cans!)

Loved the piece on Zenon Plech - such a trailblazer in his day and a real entertainier.


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19 minutes ago, bruno said:

Enjoyed the Cradley Wolves bit

...Got a bit heated at times!

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