Robert J. Rogers has been delving through his photo album and put together this
interesting collection of Wembley related speedway photographs. The collection includes pictures
of the Lions as well as from the famous Wembley world finals of yesteryear.
"Never really thought
about it as Havvy was not at his peak when I've seen him racing. However, from what I've read it's clear that he had the ability and motivation
to go out and do it when it really mattered. How many guys have we all seen who've been given the title of "best never to win the World Title"
(the list is endless) but here is a guy who went out and did it when they got the/their only chance - I doff my titfer to you Havvy, you did
it when others made reasons for certain riders NOT doing it!"
"Gary Havelock actually
started - as have so many in British Speedway - in junior grasstrack. British speedway should help sponsor grasstrack, kick down some Sky money
to the folks who have provided them with so much talent. "
with the sentiments. I saw Bjorn win the world title at Wembley, and have never since heard a crowd roar as it did that night. It appeared as
if everybody in the stadium was supporting him. One of the most stylish riders I have ever seen. Seeing him come out of a bend, leaning low
off the bike with his left leg tucked behind the front wheel was awesome."
"Split Waterman told me that he designed the Winged Wheel trophy. He made it in his sheet metal workshop at Harringay
Stadium. He would also like it returned to him. I wonder if Ivan Mauger would like to comment on this?"
"I would like to endorse the views of John Skinner. I believe that this is without doubt the
most comprehensive Speedway Site on the Net. I could, if I had time, spend hours on it. Seems to cover just about everything apart from
the prices of a Burger at my local Track (Redcar). I think that SpeedwayPlus is a GREAT credit to the people who compiled it
(how DO they get the time?). It is obviously a labour of love. I would just like to say - KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK - you REALLY ARE appreciated
- THANK YOU VERY MUCH."
Former Speedway Star editor John Hyam has been carrying out research into
the early days at Rye House. He thinks that speedway was first staged at Hoddesdon earlier
than accepted wisdom would have us believe.
Anthony has been a Wimbledon Dons supporter for almost fifty years and these are his favourite
seven riders of all-time. There's a real mix of riders here, Buzz Burrows and Ove Fundin both
make the cut.
Jeff Holmes is trying to track down former Paisley Lions for a 'where are they now?' type feature in the Paisley Daily Express. Many of
the Lions came from Oz or NZ, so we're hoping our friends in those parts of the world may be of particular help on this one.
If you can help then drop him an email at Jeff.Holmes@s-un.co.uk
Peter Broad is looking for clarification that Lloyd Diamond were once speedway tuners - Can You Help?
"Like Keith Burrows I'm a Cradley supporter, but my
Mom and Dad took me to Monmore on the 10th October 1969 as a "birthday treat" - (Cradley had finished their home fixtures the previous Saturday).
Naturally we shouted for Newport, in particular my favourite ex-Heathen Chris Julian, but the real hero of the night was Sandor who was the only
Wasp to win a race. The Flying Magyar contributed 12 from 5 rides out of a 23 point total. He also went on to win the 2nd half so I suspect
that could be the match to which Keith refers."
"Ken makes a very good
argument for the 'speed' in Speedway these days. However my observation would tend to say that bikes have a lot more power these days and
therefore the power has to go somewhere. If you look at old time footage of meetings - say 1950's or 60's World finals you will see riders
not necessarily fully skidding the bikes like they do today - it was more like a gentle slide and probably due to the deeper grippier tracks then.
They would keep the bike straighter thus maintaining their speed rather than 'stopping' like they do today with exagerated slidding.
So my comment would be that today's riders are far more 'spectacular' riding wise but probably are losing that extra horsepower through
the slicker tracks etc. Otherwise I'm convinced we would see a lot more crashes on grippy tracks - especially the young inexperienced riders
that seem to dominate teams today - again rather than yesteryear when it would take you 5 years just to learn to ride a bike - much less
race the thing !!"
"As I find your site very interesting
and looking at pictures of many old tracks that myself and members of my family have visited I see that you do not have photos of Wembley. My
late father supported Wembley Lions but Wembley only ever seems to be remebered for football. Many world champions were crowned at Wembley that
we will never see at Cardiff in the grand prix."
Anybody got any pictures of Wembley in 'speedway mode' that they'd like to share on the site?
All you'd ever need to know about Gary Havelock's 1992 World Final win.
Robert Griffin has a number of speedway books that he'd like to swap for programmes or DVDs. Email him
at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
"I own the Newcastle History Site and The Defunct Speedway site. I would just like to say I visit
your site often and take my hat off to you Speedway Plus is the best general speedway site on the net."
"I saw Keith Harvey in action pre-war and he was a
really exicting all action rider, especially with his style of leg-trailing around the boards. I remember reading of his retirement in one of my
regular speedway mags, it was either the "Speedway News" or dear old Basil Storey's "Speedway Gazette". It supplied the information that he was
"going back to South Africe to get married". I also seem to recall that they quoted his age as 54."
"Very interesting piece. I seem
to remember Barry Meeks being in the Guiness Book of Records back in the early 70s with an average speed at Crewe of around 54mph. Crewe was a
very long fast track with banking (around 440 yds when the record was set) so the riders didn't get into that much of a slide to rub off the
speed in the corners. I think Ivan Mauger got close with the track record at Exeter, a similar sort of fast banked track. (But there again,
I might be making it all up!!)"
Pictures of the Undera circuit in Victoria (Australia) this week. The pictures were taken by
Howard Williams. If you're visiting a track this summer and taking your camera
then we'd be delighted to receive the pictures.
talented John Cook was a legendary figure at Ipswich in the 1980s and his madcap antics are what spring to mind when reminising over this time
at Foxhall. His complete Witches career comprised of 3 full seasons and 2 part seasons. He messed the management about somewhat and many
still question if he really meant to take out team partner Jeremy Doncaster when they were riding to a cup final winning ride against Oxford
in 1985. The 7 riders in my Witches dream team achieved more for the club than what John Cook did in my opinion, thats why he isn't included
"I remember my dad taking
me to Wolverhampton one Friday night (a bit of an adventure, we were Cradley fans!) and Sandor rode for Newport. He was pretty much a one man
team and I think got 17 from 6 rider after a duck first time out. For me that night he was superb, and he made the Wolves riders look poor,
which was great for us, happy days! Anyone know the date? I think it would have been 1969 or 70?"
"I remember when Sandor Levai and Zeke Zoltan
arrived in the UK after the 1956 Budapest uprising against the Russians. They contacted me at 'Speedway Star' and, as they were then in the
Manchester area, I contacted Belle Vue and they had second-half rides in - I think - early 1957. Levai persevered and made the grade in the
UK but Zoltan seemed to vanish from the speedway scene. I never found out what happened to him."
Will remains a Cradley Heath supporter, even though he was just a young lad when the Heathens last took
to the track. He selects some of the greats from the last couple of decades of the sport's history.
Here's Aussie veteran Lindsay Mitchell astride Jack Young's 1951 World Final bike. Thanks for Neil
Burston for the picture.
David Hensby has been busy over in Canada. Not only has he revamped photographer
Chris Spires' website, he's also built
an online 'Track Shop' for Sheffield Tigers merchandise.
"A succinct and enjoyable
piece about a rider who obviously took many years in a new land to find his way. In many ways, this is why I love speedway and football. Guys
who die a death at one club can become heroes at another, and true class often rises slowly to the top."
first heard of Sandor in Belle Vue & Stoke teams in the 1960's. When he came to the Firs in 1964 he was earmarked to replace George Major, who
had been riding for the Stars instead of joining the blacked Provincials like numerous other riders. Sandor obviously gained from riding
extra bookings at Rye House as well. He soon settled in at the Firs and proved a popular bloke with the Supporters as well. As said he
only scored a few points but he had to "wrestle" his way through to get those. He soon became known as a rider "they didn't mess with" and
watching him became as important as watching the Ove way of winning.
Although we knew the end was nigh for the "Fabulous Firs" it was
still a blow to say goodbye to the Stars like Ove, Billy, Terry, Derek, Trevor, David, Reg and those riders we had come to love over the
years it was soon obvious Sandor would be missed just as much. His times with Newport, Belle Vue, Ipswich and Cradley in the next years
saw Sandor hit the bigtime as a rider of some repute.
I was informed he is now back home in Hungary. I think it was Brian "Mr Birmingham" Buck who put this info on the excellent Birmingham Website.
Bryan Tungate - Norwich Stars - 1930 - 1964, The Memories still linger. If the Lord invented anything better than Speedway, He kept it to Himself "