Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
12/07/2020
The Lokeren Disaster
The BLRC 1968
Your Feedback
 
05/07/2020
The BLRC 1965
The BLRC 1966
The BLRC 1967
Your Feedback
 
28/06/2020
Bill Andrew
Your Feedback
 
22/06/2020
Polish Programme Generator
 
21/06/2020
Humans of Speedway
Your Feedback
 
14/06/2020
All About You: Alan Pennington
A Frame Up
Your Feedback
 
07/06/2020
Drew Kemp Magazine
The Internationale 1981
Your Feedback
 
31/05/2020
The Tragic Story of Percy Dunn
The Internationale 1980
Your Feedback
 
24/05/2020
1961 Midland Riders
The Internationale 1979
 
17/05/2020
2019 Rankings - And Finally
The Internationale 1978
Your Feedback
 
10/05/2020
2019 Rankings - Rest of the World
The Internationale 1977
Your Feedback
 
03/05/2020
2019 Rankings - Great Britain
The Internationale 1976
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
26/04/2020
2019 Rankings - Under 21s
The Internationale 1975
Your Feedback
 
19/04/2020
2019 World Rankings
The Internationale 1974
Your Feedback
 
12/04/2020
Cordy Milne
The Internationale 1973
Your Feedback
 
31/03/2020
DVD Review: World Finals 90s
The Internationale 1972
Your Feedback
 
22/03/2020
Jean Landru
The Internationale 1971
 
08/03/2020
The Harringay Riots
The Internationale 1970
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
01/03/2020
Speedway Scroll Cuts
The Internationale 1969
Celebration 2020 Report
Your Feedback
 
23/02/2020
Len Read
The Internationale 1968
Your Feedback
 
16/02/2020
Celebration of Speedway
The Internationale 1967
Your Feedback
 
09/02/2020
Manuel Trujillo
The Internationale 1966
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
02/02/2020
My First Sporting Hero
The Internationale 1965
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
26/01/2020
Max Grosskreutz Controversy
The Internationale 1964
Your Feedback
 
19/01/2020
The Internationale 1961
The Internationale 1962
The Internationale 1963


Workington '81 - Bagley's Gamble

Bagley
Pusey
Hindle

Think of Workington nowadays and the perception is of a well run, professional and successful club. This reputation owes much to the investment of Tony Mole, the promotional skills of Ian Thomas and the one man sensation that is Carl Stonehewer. One man, Ron Bagley, once hoped that he could lead the club into such happy times.

Bagley took over the Workington promotion during the 1980-1981 winter. He had previously enjoyed success as team manager with Mildenhall and Ipswich and was keen to try his hand at promoting. He couldn't have picked a harder place to start. Workington had finished stone last in the league in 1980 and had only managed to win two matches. They had also suffered the humiliation of a 65-12 defeat away to Crayford. Unsurprisingly this pitiful record had badly affected the attendance figures.

Bagley was convinced that a respectable side was the key to tempting back the missing thousands. He made this his top priority and gradually pieced together a side that looked capable of holding its own.

His main capture was Nicky Allott. The experienced Buxton based rider was a capable performer who was expected to fill the number one racejacket. He looked the part at practice but stunned Bagley by quitting before the first meeting of the season. He moved on to Scunthorpe where he turned in the kind of solid scoring that Bagley had been looking for. It wasn't the best start for the new promoter.

Allott's main backup was intended to come from Chris Pusey. Pusey had missed the 1979 season after a fall out with Halifax and had spent 1980 with Weymouth. His average was below the six point mark but this was largely attributed to the travelling from his Manchester home and his lack of experience on National League circuits. Bagley was confident that a rider of Pusey's experience and talent couldn't fail to deliver.

Bagley's faith proved to be misplaced. Pusey's form was very disappointing and he struggled to score any points at all. He was a shadow of the rider he had once been and soon lost his place in the side.

Bagley's third heatleader, Ian Hindle, didn't fare much better. Hindle had held the side together in 1980 and deserved to have much more support this time around. Unfortunately he took a nasty tumble early in the season and broke his leg. This ended not only his season but also his career.

A similar injury and fate befell Mike Hiftle. Hiftle was tempted out of retirement to add some middle order strength to the side. He had last ridden for Berwick in 1979 where he was famous for his high home scores and miserable away performances. The same kind of pattern would have satisfied Bagley, performing well at Derwent Park was the first target for this side. Hiftle's season was over as early as the second match.

The new promoter found himself in the middle of a nightmare. One by one his top four had all fallen by the wayside and the season had barely started.

Bagley's Comets battled on gamely but the results were understandably poor. Terry Kelly and Wayne Jackson, signed as lower order riders, were thrust into the spotlight and responded well. Their scores prevented many heavy defeats from becoming total humiliations. The remainder of the side consisted of promising youngsters and riders discarded by other clubs.

The team managed to avoid the wooden spoon but the fans didn't respond in sufficient numbers. The BSPA refused to allow the club to continue unless all debts were cleared. Bagley's attempts to raise the cash fell short and the club closed down.

In truth the task of rebuilding the club was simply too big for one man. Bagley suffered from bad luck, bad judgement and the damaged reputation of the club he inherited. His gamble of reviving the club was a brave one, it deserved to succeed.

 

This article was first published on 30th April 2005

[ Use Mobile Version ]
 

 

Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

   Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole