Dream Team : Dudley Jones
I have been a supporter since late 1962. My first love will always be Norwich Stars, but I have supported Ipswich for the past 30 years. On the way I have been a West Ham, Rayleigh and Kings Lynn
supporter, with a soft spot for Belle Vue, Poole, Somerset, Cradley and Berwick. I also supported Hackney and Long Eaton occasionally, but live near Newport now.
They didn't always like him in his riding days, but he was awesome. Probably the greatest of his age and since his retirement a really great guy. The match races with Peter Craven were a treat. I remember little Peter and Soren Sjosten gating to win in the last heat, Norwich needed a 5-1 to win. Olle Nygren took a sweep around the pair on the first lap and on the final lap Ove was still last. On the back straight Ove just rode between Peter and Soren where no gap existed - and we got our 5-1!
As this team is a fantasy and probably so strong as to never lose I will place Olle at number 2. Great team rider, his commitment to Norwich during what now seems to be a short period meant that Norwich were a real force in their last year. Riding on with Wimbledon he was so good as a guest rider that one year was referred to as Olle's benefit season!
What a style, what match races. Peter is sorely missed, even after all these years. Pete was a really nice guy, the most exciting of riders to watch.
I never saw Aub ride and it's only in the last couple of years, thanks to Tempus publishing, that I realise what a real great he was. Third in the World when in his forties, a great captain, an exciting rider and prolific scorer. Have you ever seen a photo of Aub when he wasn't smiling? Here was a true great.
The Mirac. Again a great stylist, a brilliant rider. I remember him in the 1960s. He was such a tactician, other riders often thought he was on the inside, when he was on the outside, or vice versa. A superstar in this team of greats (is there any points limit?).
Number 6 and I still have 20 riders to fit in. I will go for Igor Plechanov (if only to dilute the Norwich flavour). Brilliant rider, nice guy, greatest Russian ever. When Norwich were told that they couldn't actually hold a Norwich v. Russia test, Igor and three comrades took on Norwich in 18 heats, riding 9 apiece. For me one of the greatest never to have been champion.
Candidates are Ken McKinlay, Mike Lanham, Tiger Louis, Tom Farndon, Cowboy Jon Cook, Terry Betts of course, Peter Moore (in his Rayleigh days, when he came from the back), but I will go for Sandor Levai. Who else, when he couldn't get in to the Stoke Provincial league team, would try top division Norwich. The ultimate tryer, never gave up, at a time when others were thinking of retiring Sandor was trying to stay on the bike. Stay he did and got better, often his hard one points made Norwich winners (did I say Norwich again?). Sandor became an accomplished star and number 1 for Belle Vue and later Newport. In his 50's he came out of retirment to help Cradley and still averaged over 6 points. A worthy and trustworthy number 7. Then theres Briggo..., and who can forget Erik Gundersen, I need a second team. What about Billy Sanders...........
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This article was first published on 22nd June 2006
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