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Garry1603

Kelly Moran - 'A Hell of a Life'

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Just read Brian Burford's excellent biography of one of the most naturally talented riders I've ever seen, Kelly Moran.

His character shines through the book, both the happy go lucky friendly guy and the demons that were released by his addictions.

He led his relatively short life the way he wanted to, and I'm sure that he could have been world champion based on ability, but he just couldn't commit to it sufficiently, compared to Erik Gundersen or Hans Nielsen for example.

It's terribly sad to hear that the speedway world virtually shunned him after his retirement and the final chapters were very hard to read.

Highly recommended speedway book however, even with it's terribly poignant ending

Edited by Garry1603

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11 minutes ago, Garry1603 said:

Just read Brian Burford's excellent biography of one of the most naturally talented riders I've ever seen, Kelly Moran.

His character shines through the book, both the happy go lucky friendly guy and the demons that were released by his addictions.

He led his relatively short life the way he wanted to, and I'm sure that he could have been world champion based on ability, but he just couldn't commit to it sufficiently, compared to Erik Gundersen or Hans Nielsen for example.

It's terribly sad to hear that the speedway world virtually shunned him after his retirement and the final chapters were very sad to read.

Highly recommended speedway book however, even with it's terribly poignant ending

One book I must get my hands on!

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3 hours ago, steve roberts said:

One book I must get my hands on!

Available on kindle if you can'tfind a hard copy. Thoroughly recommend it. 

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Just ordered a copy!

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7 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

Just ordered a copy!

It's well worth it!

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A few people on here hung out with Kelly in his final years.  I got to know him in New York, where he rode his last meetings.  He was very engaging but you could see that he'd lived a life.  Here he is with Boogaloo in 2003 - Kelly was only 43 when this was taken....

 

 

schmor.jpg

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Just received my copy...looking forward to reading it!

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A great read, one heck of a talented rider Kelly certainly lived life to the full....

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Posted (edited)

Just finished the book...a fascinaing read if somewhat sad. I saw quite a bit of Kelly during his Eastbourne days. A very talented individual but I have to admit away from the track he would have both irritated and annoyed me with his many antics but I guess I would have been in the minority?

Edited by steve roberts
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17 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

Just finished the book...a fascinaing read if somewhat sad. I saw quite a bit of Kelly during his Eastbourne days. A very talented individual but I have to admit away from the track he would have both irritated and annoyed me with his many antics but I guess I would have been in the minority?

Back in either 1988 or 89 I was at the Czech Golden Helmet at Pardubice where we stayed at the Grande Hotel. The night before the main meeting we were all in the bar (beer was the equivalent of 2p per pint, a Coca Cola was 4p) when in walked Kelly Moran, he'd flown in late after riding for Belle Vue(?) earlier. He proceeded to catch up with everyone else and by 2am was totally pissed, ignoring all attempts to get him to go to bed. I guess around 3am he called it a night - around 12 hours before the meeting - and promptly fell over in the lift and damaged a hand which swelled up like a balloon.

Next day we were on the bus ready to go to the meeting but no Kelly, who was getting a lift with us. The tour organiser eventually got him up and out and he was clearly hungover. The parade for the meeting back then involved all the riders walking a lap of the track which they did, waving at the noisy crowd but trudging along on his own about 20 yards behind the rest came Kelly, wearing still dirty leathers. He ran two very distant lasts and that was his meeting done. The meeting organisers must have felt extremely angry and let down. As has been said, a super talented rider who didn't achieve anywhere near what he could have.

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As a 16 year old I was waiting to go out for my first ever laps of a Speedway track on a grass bike at Eastbourne following a meeting when Kelly came over and very politely asked if I would mind him either going out before or with me. There was no need for him to ask, as the big star at the time he could have just gone out or even had my ride cancelled so he could get some laps in. Genuinely nice guy who always seemed to chat to everybody and was helpful to youngsters riding, although if I'd been a fan of his team he would have driven me mad at times when he turned up totally unprepared to go racing.

Incidentally about 25 years later it was Greg Hancock did exactly the same with my son at Oxford. Very different to some riders of the time who forced the cancellation of a whole set of after meeting races for youngsters so they could test engines (although to be fair that may have been the Promoter saying it was the riders as at least one of the riders was horrified when he found out afterwards)

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On 3/3/2021 at 7:05 PM, steve roberts said:

Just finished the book...a fascinaing read if somewhat sad. I saw quite a bit of Kelly during his Eastbourne days. A very talented individual but I have to admit away from the track he would have both irritated and annoyed me with his many antics but I guess I would have been in the minority?

I think that might of made him the rider he was Steve ? , like Lee he had flaws but god he was a talent.For me up there with Lee, Gollob, Ward as the most talented riders ive seen anyway.Also like yourself see loads of Hans he ended up being a great team rider ( like Hans)  Kelly was the same awesome with Shawn and a really good team guy great style great rider for me.

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