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TonyMac

'They Retired Too Soon'

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In issue 105 of Backtrack we'll be looking back at riders from the 70s and 80s who quit early at a relatively young age, for reasons not directly related to serious injury, in 'They Retired Too Soon'.
 
Which riders would YOU include in this bracket?

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For me Bruce Penhall. Speedway was a big loser when he retired. We could do with a few more like him these days.

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Posted (edited)

Dag Lovaas was only 25 during his final British season (1976), having reached the world final in 1974 and won the league with a 10pt+ average in 1973 riding for Reading. He also averaged over 10 for Hackney (74) and Oxford (75).

I believe his retirement was complete and he did not ride domestically after leaving British speedway.

Edited by arnieg
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49 minutes ago, arnieg said:

Dag Lovaas was only 25 during his final British season (1976), having reached the world final in 1974 and won the league with a 10pt+ average in 1973 riding for Reading. He also averaged over 10 for Hackney (74) and Oxford (75).

I believe his retirement was complete and he did not ride domestically after leaving British speedway.

As Dag told Backtrack many years ago, he lost his nerve after a series of nasty crashes.

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Penhall the obvious one as is the aforementioned Dag. In terms of his English career what about Ulf Lovaas? 

Others to consider....Jim Airey (again in terms of his British career), Dave Shields, Wayne Brown, David Biles, Dave Tyler.

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Scott Autrey

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Posted (edited)

Bjorn Knutsson of Sweden who became World Champion in 1965 and retired in 1966 I believe?

Brian Crutcher another candidate who retired while still in his twenties.

Edited by steve roberts

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11 hours ago, salty said:

Penhall the obvious one as is the aforementioned Dag. In terms of his English career what about Ulf Lovaas? 

Others to consider....Jim Airey (again in terms of his British career), Dave Shields, Wayne Brown, David Biles, Dave Tyler.

All these salty are spot on       Airey said he retired from British speedway because he knew after 1971 that he he would never become world champion.Dag I believe was like the great Shawn Moran just lost his nerve tried everything to get it back but nature took over.Shields and Brown (RIP ) we’re both terrific talents such a shame we couldn’t get to see how far they could of got in the sport.A great disappointment of mine was Scott Autrey wanted him to comeback so much in 1984 for the falcons to redeem himself. At Poole he still showed he had real class and what a rider he was at the County ground awesome.

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2 hours ago, steve roberts said:

Bjorn Knutsson of Sweden who became World Champion in 1965 and retired in 1966 I believe?

Brian Crutcher another candidate who retired while still in his twenties.

Just realised that my two examples are outside the remit! ;)

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Two more who left British Speedway too early?

Kristian Praestbro and Phil Collins.

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Jan Simensen, think if he had stayed at Cradley would have gone further in British Speedway.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, secondbend said:

What about Andrew Silver, Neil Evitts, Andy Campbell, Ian Cartwright

I've spoken to Ian Cartwright on a number of occasions when visiing "Mouseman" at Kilburn and the intention was always that he would eventually take over the family business after he achieved what he hoped for in speedway. His father was also a keen motorcyclist and of course Ian's son rode before also entering the family business.

"Mad" Malcolm Ballard? Attained a high average on his initial season at Arlington and bettered it on his second. Achieved a decent average at Oxford in 1973 when moving up a league but after asking for a transfer he moved to Poole and then quickly on to Leicester in 1974 and retired well before the season ended.

Edited by steve roberts
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