Dream Team : Ian Graham
I attended my first speedway meeting as a five year old at the old Rayleigh Weir stadium back in 1969 - Young England vs Young Czechoslovakia featuring Milan Spinka etc. From then on Saturday nights meant only one thing - speedway at the Weir. From the mid 70's to the mid 90's it was on to Hackney and Rye House where I helped out with track duties and bought tyres for a young Aussie, Trevor O'Brien who rode for the Rockets in the early 90's. In 1994, We emigrated to New Zealand and speedway took a back seat for a while. I am now involved as team manager at Moore Park Speedway (named after Ronnie Moore, our club founder and Patron) just outside Christchurch, NZ. There are some good young riders coming up through the ranks in NZ now, and it was good to help one of them, Andrew Aldridge, to get fixed up with Bournemouth this year (2009). I also have the odd ride on my trusty 1986 SOHC Jawa897. Great fun..!!
Geoff Maloney (Rayleigh)
My first favourite rider at Rayleigh back in the early 70s. Known as "Captain Scarlet" he was a good number one who could team ride too, until the inevitable happened and he was 'promoted' up to Hackney (as happened with all the decent Rayleigh riders). Does anyone know if he is still with us, and if so what he's up to these days?
Zenon Plech (Hackney & Poland)
I first saw him ride in 1973 in the Daily Mirror International tournament, and subsequently when he rode for Hackney the following year. A full on rider who always gave 100%, sometimes more than that. Not the sort of rider who would stalk for three and a half laps before passing, more the kind who would pass on the inside, outside or straight over the top if he had to..!! I remember him riding straight between a pair of team riding visiting riders at Hackney one night, causing all three of them to crash....
Ronnie Moore (Wimbledon & NZ)
My biggest regret in speedway is I never got to see Ronnie ride. I have got to know him through my involvement at his track - Moore Park in Christchurch, NZ - and he has just so much knowledge and a great willingness to pass it on. Has played a leading part in trying to get NZ back on the speedway map, and the results are just starting to appear (see no6 and no7 in this dream team).
Bobby Garrad (Rye House)
My favourite rider through the late 70's / early 80's at Rye House, who had the ideal style for riding such small tracks. Virtually able to back the bike into the tight Hoddesdon turns at full throttle and if he gated would usually win races by the length of the straight.
Tomasz Gollob (Poland)
My favourite current rider. He does things on a speedway bike that no one else can do - watching him at Bydgosczscz around turns 1 and 2 is the finest sight in modern speedway in my book. One of the best present riders (along with Leigh Adams) never to have won a world title. I think he could still do it if he conquered his phobia of temporary tracks.
Andrew Aldridge (Bournemouth & NZ)
One of the first of the next generation of NZ youngsters to come off Ronnie Moore's production line at Moore Park. Was ready for a crack at racing in the UK around 3 years ago, but the rules virtually prevented it until 2008 when he got his chance with Rye House. That move didn't work out, but it was a real thrill for me to get Andrew a place at Bournemouth this year and now sit back watching him show his true ability. Very fast on the bike with good control, a bit more aggression and he could go far.
Grant Tregoning (Newport & NZ )
The second of the next generation to come through at Moore Park, and now in his first full season in the UK racing with Newport Hornets. Has come through the ranks the hard way and it's a measure of his ability that he is scoring as a heat leader for Newport both at home, and away on many tracks he's never seen before. Like Andrew Aldridge, he will go a long way in this sport.
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This article was first published on 19th November 2009
"Yes Geoff Maloney my Dad is still with us, just as entertaining with his grandchildren now as he was for his fans back in the good old days. Love the pages."
"Geoff Maloney was a great rider to watch when he raced at Middlesbrough's Cleveland Park back in 1969/1971 for the Rayleigh Rockets. One of my favourite away riders."
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