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Mauger and Golden Helmet.
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Dream Team : Howard Eve

I have lived in Ipswich for four years and have watched the Ipswich Witches in that time. I grew up in Essex and supported the Hackney Hawks from 1973 until they closed in the early nineties. I still think the racing at Hackney is the best I have seen. The track was superb.

PenhallCollins

Bruce Penhall
I remember the first time I saw Bruce at White City in 1978 and he looked totally out of his depth but within two years he was a superstar at Cradley. His performance in winning the world title at Wembley in 1981 was simply awesome. His races against Olsen and Knudsen where he reeled both of them in were worth the admission money alone. A true speedway superstar.

Peter Collins
For me the greatest English rider of all time. PC was pure entertainment and he would have surely retained his world title in 1977 but for his bad accident prior to the final. To come second with his injuries in the rain was amazing. There are so many great memories of PC but the most memorable for me was PC chasing John Louis in the British Final at Coventry and taking him on the final bend, what a rider.

Zenon Plech
What a rider. Zenon would make Gollob look timid in comparison. Twice Zenon came close to winning the world title and with a bit of luck would have. We never saw the best of him often enough at Hackney because of his poor machinery but when he was on it you knew you were going to see fireworks. My best memory of Zenon was his paid maximum at Halifax in 1980 when Hackney came back from the dead and won 39-38 with only four riders scoring. Zenon beat Kenny Carter twice no less that night.

Barry Thomas
Mr Hackney. Barry couldn't gate and that's what made him the rider he was. The sight of Barry swooping around the boards at Hackney was worth the admission money every time. Had Barry been able to gate I think he would have been a top rider. Barry's last bend swoop around Mauger and Autrey at Hackney will always stay with me, what a ride.

Mark Loram
I remember when Mark started at Hackney in 1988 when Hackney swept all before them in the second division. You could see then what a racer he was and now I have the pleasure of seeing him every week at Ipswich and he is still as entertaining as he always has been. Mark winning the Grand Prix in 2000 was fantastic and he thoroughly deserved it, what a rider.

Tommy Jansson
What a class act Tommy was even though he was taken from us so soon. Tommy would have surely gone on to win the world title had he not been tragically killed. I remember Tommy coming to Hackney and looking so stylish and classy. I think they were right when they said Wimbledon was never the same again after Tommy died.

Jason Crump
Crumpie is a total winner. I thought Jason's dad Phil was good and hard but Jason is different class. I think Jason has the capability to win at least two more world crowns after this year's Grand Prix. I remember seeing Crumpie at Kings Lynn and he was awesome and virtually unbeatable at times. Like I said Crumpie is a total winner.

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This article was first published on 19th October 2006

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