Apologies for the dropsheets, paint tins and scattered detrius. More information...
This Page turns the clock back thirty years to 1969 and looks at the main stories and results from the month that was....
Your copy of the Speedway Star would have cost you one shilling and sixpence (7.5 New pence) - as would the sister magazine, the Soccer Star...........
Front Cover shows the main News item of the month - the 1969 World Final .... Full report follows .....
On With The News .........
Mauger Wins By A Mile
IF public reaction is the yardstick then Ivan Mauger has joined the ranks of the great riders. For it seemed at Wembley last Saturday evening that if you didn't come from Manchester or you didn't appreciate that Mauger was the only rider who even looked like a World Champion, you paid him speedway's greatest mark of respect. In other words, you booed!
Barry Briggs and Ove Fundin, those two most recent track giants, have both received similar public "acclaim" in their moments of triumph. Not that I suspect it worried Ivan one jot as he waved that £1,000 cheque in the air after so conclusively retaining his world title.
Popular world champions are few and far between, it seems. And Mauger once again didn't improve his popularity outside Manchester, for his fifth ride follow-my-leader efforts which enabled Belle Vue team-mate Soren Sjosten to line-up in a run-off for second place with Briggs. And I shudder to think what reception Mauger will receive next time he rides at Coventry where Bees' supporters will not easily forget that their own Nigel Boocock was robbed of a third place run-off chance because Sjosten won the Manchester scratch race. The arguments about this race will go on, no doubt.
(Left): A jubilant Ivan Mauger, with trophy and famous winged wheel, is joined by Soren Sjosten, the Swede who finished third, and runner up Barry Briggs.
Perhaps Heat 20 did remove a little of the gloss from Ivan's win. But the fact remains that here was a World Champion who had sewn everything up before his fifth ride. He was that much better than anyone else. On a night when tapes were continually bent or broken, Mauger made five supremely fair gates and in fact seldom showed in front over the first ten yards. It was tremendous acceleration over the next 20 yards or so into the first turn that won Ivan his races. For that, skill had to be allied to perfect equipment and it was a nice touch from the champion to bring mechanical maestro Guy Allott round on the victory lap of honour.
It was a one-horse race and at no time did there ever seem any doubt that Mauger would win the crown. So his name joins Jack Young, Briggs and Fundin as riders who have won the world title in consecutive years . . . and that's a pretty illustrious quartet. At the end of it all it seemed incredible that Briggs had done enough to finish second. By his own impeccable standards he had a bad night. A defeat from Russian Valeri Klementiev and a third place behind Sjosten and Mucha in his fourth ride, once again showed Briggo's remarkable ability to lose the most surprising points on these big Wembley occasions.
(Right): Ken McKinlay on the way to winning Heat 5. He leads unlucky Torbjorn Harrysson and Soren Sjosten.
Having looked more impressive than anyone in Thursday's practice, Briggs might have been unsettled by a late arrival at the stadium. He had been to Swindon to try out his equipment and was not satisfied that everything was right. Briggs normally gives himself six or seven hours at Wembley before such a meeting. This time he gave himself just 50 minutes. Having had a death or glory ride in his first race when he came from third to first to pip the obviously injured Ronnie Moore and a sprightly Ken McKinlay in the last lap, the signs looked good for Briggs. Then followed the defeat at the wheels of Klementiev and in his third ride his worst bit of luck. Mauger and Poland's Edward Jancarz tangled on the first bend and Briggs swooped through into the lead but Jancarz and the following Torbjorn Harrysson spilled alarmingly and poor Harrysson was stretchered off with a broken right leg. The race, with Briggs ahead, was stopped and Mauger made no mistakes in the re-run.
The red-leathered Sjosten was the surprise packet of the night. His thrilling style, reminding us at times of the inimitable Peter Craven, saw him take 11 points from four completed rides. In his second outing Sjosten fell as he tried to take Hasse Holmkvist and so escape last position in that race. For me, the unluckiest rider of the night, Harrysson apart, was Nigel Boocock. At last Booey looked as if he had shaken off those World Final gremlins that have wrecked his chances on previous occasions. With eight points from three rides, Boocock looked Mauger's biggest rival but in that third outing Nigel and Klementiev clashed and while the Russian was rightly excluded, the bump obviously had done the Boocock steed no good at all.
So Nigel picked up just two points more and finished on ten points. At least that looked good enough for a run-off with a most impressive Holmkvist and Sjosten until, that is, Soren's Heat 20 win over Mauger. Boocock, and Holmkvist, for that matter, deserved a better chance than that.
(Left): Soren Sjosten, the man who finished third, leading Poland's Edward Jancarz, already being tipped as the man to win the title in 1970.
The only other rider who looked as if he could get amongst the prize money was, inevitably, Ove Fundin. Not that Ove looked anything other than a shadow of the man who had taken the top money at Wembley two years ago. At least he had been consistent enough to take nine points from his first four rides, but in the vital "runners-up" clash against Briggs, Boocock and Holmkvist in Heat 18, Fundin trailed in last . . . and perhaps someone with a long memory can The enigmatic Poles never got in the hunt for honours. It was probably a mixture of nerves and total dread of Wembley that cost them their chance. Jancarz, for example, looked decidedly edgy early on and twice broke the tapes. He was involved in that spill with Harrysson and at the time one could have been excused for thinking that he had got the worst of the crash. Then out came Edward, now without a chance, to chalk up two most impressive victories.
Much the same can be said of World Final debutante Henryk Glucklich. He looked set for a blank scorecard after three rides and then snapped five points and was instrumental in putting both Nigel Boocock and the previously well-placed Ken McKinlay out of the honours hunt. Jan Mucha, looking most steady in his first appearance in England and Andrzei Pogorzelski both picked up useful points with big Pogo another one to help nail the chances of Boocock. Klementiev, who had arrived too late for Thursday's practice, was given a trial chance on Saturday afternoon but it didn't really seem to have helped in his first ride. Having trapped on terms with Mauger, Valeri almost forgot to turn and looked all at sea. That ride gave the plucky Howard Cole his only point of the night. Then Klementiev proceeded to beat Briggs, and everyone wondered whether he could still get up there among the top scorers. It wasn't to be. His exclusion in Heat 10 was followed by another fall in Heat 13 and not very impressive third in his final race. But I, in common with the other 75,000 at Wembley, would like to have another look at Klementiev in action, for anyone who can come to Wembley and beat Briggs can't be bad.Final Placings. IVAN MAUGER (New Zealand) ............... 3 3 3 3 2 ....14 Barry Briggs (New Zealand) .............. 3 2 2 1 3 ....11 Soren Sjosten (Sweden) .................. 3 F 2 3 3 ....11 Nigel Boocock (England) .............. 3 2 3 1 1 ....10 Hasse Holmkvist (Sweden) ................ 2 1 3 2 2 ....10 Edward Jancarz (Poland) ............... 1 1 1 3 3 .... 9 Ove Fundin (Sweden) ..................... 2 2 2 3 0 .... 9 Ken McKinlay (Scotland) ... ............. 1 3 3 0 0 .... 7 Andrzei Pogorzelski (Poland) ........ 0 3 1 2 1 .... 7 Jan Mucha (Poland) ...................... 1 0 2 2 2 .... 7 Ronnie Moore (New Zealand) .............. 2 1 1 1 1 .... 6 Henryk Glucklich (Poland) ............ 0 0 0 2 3 .... 5 Valeri Klementiev (USSR) ................ 0 3 f ef 1 .... 4 Torbjorn Harrysson (Sweden) . ......... 2 2 f - - .... 4 Zbigniew Podlecki (Poland) reserve ... 1 2 - - - .... 3 Andrzei Wyglenda (Ponand) ............ 1 1 0 0 - .... 2 Howard Cole (England) ................... 1 0 0 0 0 .... 1 Arnold Haley (England) reserve, did not ride.
Squibb For Czech Helmet.
LOOKING forward to a Czechoslovakian trip in October is Falcons' skipper Jimmy Squibb.
Team-mate Jan Holub is endeavouring to fix Jimmy up with a ride in this year's Golden Helmet of Czechoslovakia at Pardubice over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, October 4th and 5th, but it all really depends on the transport situation back to England, for the Falcons have a British League match on the Monday night against Hackney.
"I'd love to go to Czecha " says Squibby, "but then I couldn't possibly miss a league match-especially when it's against my old mate Len Silver's mob."
Jimmy and Len were once team-mates at Ipswich and several years back Jim took over the Falcons captaincy from Len when he transferred up to Hackney when he first entered into the promoting field.
Peter Arnold Remembered
THERE can't be a single section of speedway's great family following who won't mourn the passing of Peter Arnold, who died in the early hours of Sunday August 31, following a road accident whilst returning home from the last England v. Czechoslovakia match at Reading on August 25.
Peter had been a keen follower of speedway from his childhood days in his home town of Sheffield and entered speedway full time as deputy editor of the old "Speedway World". Before joining the "World", Peter had been very active in the world of entertainment and it was whilst working in Weymouth one summer season that he took his first job in speedway-that of announcer to the then Weymouth speedway team.
In recent years, Peter's voice became part of the regular pattern of speedway-going at so many tracks throughout the country. He supplied countless commentaries to televised speedway meetings and was a regular contributor to many radio programmes, both national and local on the sport. Peter left the "Speedway World' to freelance and over a period of time he built up many contacts for himself which at the same time did considerable good for the sport.
(Left): The late Peter Arnold pictured with Tommy Price, Bjorn Knouttson and Reg Luckhurst.
By continual hard work Peter finally persuaded many editors to take regular speedway news from him whilst at the same time he continued with his other motor-cycle writing and commentaries and his work within the stock car field. He died, probably the most successful man in his field.
But Peter's work wasn't all for personal gain. He worked for several years as secretary of the Speedway Riders' Association until pressure of business forced him to resign and in recent years his work for the Veteran Dirt Track Riders' Association, which he formed from just a gathering of a few of the old boys to the 200-plus membership the association now has, comprising just about everyone who was ever connected with the sport in its early days, was beyond reproach.
Each February at their annual dinner the veterans raise their glasses "To those no longer with us." Next year, glasses will be raised very high indeed. Cremation took place at Kettering last Monday. An inquest revealed that Peter had suffered a heart attack just before the crash and had another heart attack on August 31.
More News in Brief ......
CARS AND RIDERS: ... Belle Vue Colts' hard-riding Welshman Taffy Owen is selling his white Vauxhall Viva de Luxe. Registered in 1967, Taff is asking a mere £495 for it. But he adds "All offers are to be written on a £5 note, and weighted down with a full bottle of orange juice." For it seems that Taffy quaffs orange juice with great gusto in between races.
MICK HANDLEY .... Wolverhampton's much improved young man, is another rider who has been involved with cars of late. Only Mick has been buying. His new model is quite a sight, it's a Volvo saloon, and the boyoh from Dudley reckons it is really happy motoring. His Wolves team-mates reckon he must be making a bomb to be able to afford such a luxury motor.
BRAVE SECRET ... ... out of the bag at Canterbury involves tearaway second-halfer Jake Rennison. Jake's antics have greatly enlivened Kingsmead second halves and now it has been revealed that two years ago, Jake was a victim of polio which left his left leg so stiff that he has to use a stand-up-straight style of cornering. Now he's hoping to get a special speedway frame constructed and make good-and he certainly deserves success for his courage alone.
QUITE LTKE OLD TIMES ... at Coventry, when they inquired of the Czech tourists about the availability of flying youngster Jiri Stancl. The lad would have liked to stay, but he's in the Army, and they wouldn't approve of an extension of his leave! I seem to recall Coventry boss Charles Ochiltree having running battles with the military authorities with young Bee's Johnnie Reason and Rick France same years back, in the bad old days of National Service in Britain.
SANDOR LEVAI ... who has emerged as Newport's No.1 this season, has put his name forward as a nominee for the British Lions touring party for Australia and New Zealand. Although born a Hungarian, Sandor has been a British citizen for seven years now and is perfectly entitled to line up for Britain. Although his determination and toughness would surely be a hit Down Under, I predict that the selectors would prefer a younger man.
MORE AND MORE SPEEDWAY RIDERS ... seem to be filling in their time playing and singing with pop groups. Two of the latest to reveal musical talent are Coventry junior Cliff Emms, a 19-year-ald Midlander who plays with a Midland pop group during the week, and Ipswich tailender Dennis Wasden. Young Den is dynamite on the guitar, and can also double up on organ, and East Anglian spies report that he has been approached to play with a group in Sheffield.
BRIAN CURTIS ... new boy tailender at Brooklands, Romford, must be about the only rider in either league currently mounted on one of the old Matchless speedway engines. Kent grass tracker Brian, a second-halfer at West Ham two or three years ago, won a place with the Bombers on the recommendation of King's Lynn's Malcolm Simmons, the guy who took him along to West Ham in the first place. We haven't seen a Matchless motor in years, but Brian looks well up with the boys at Brooklands on one.
GOTE NORDIN, ... HARRY BASTABLE, for so long one of the great track characters around the Midlands, is back in the bike-building business. Only with a difference. With the assistance of Midland brethren Harold and Bob Homer, he has constructed a 50cc. Suzuki-powered Basmer Boy Star, specially for schoolboy grass-tracking and one of the first stars of this newish sport might well be Harry's son, Steve, for whom the Boy Star was originally constructed. Understand the model can be manufactured at around £60-£70 in kit form, less power unit and wheels.
SVERRE HARRFELDT ... the man whom West Ham have missed so desperately this year, at last returned to London-for the World Final at Wembley, and to have a few weeks holiday over here prior to the end of the season. "I am still not ready to resume racing," said Sverre. "But I want to help out at West Ham in any way I can, maybe as mechanic or tea boy?" Certainly the very presence of Harrfeldt should buck the injury-hit East Enders-and what price a few crafty practice laps behind locked doors from the blond Norwegian idol before he goes home to Oslo?
REPORTED TO BE HEADING ....for Perth again this season is five times world champion Ove Fundin-to compete in the City of Perth Championships at Claremont after the British Lions have departed for other parts of Australia. Fundin made a lightning trip to Western Australia last winter, and invariably bases himself at Perth, where promoter Aub Lawson is an ex-Norwich colleague.
CHRIS PUSEY ...Belle Vue's flying young prospect, should be back in track action by now, as he planned to make a comeback in time for the National Grass-Track Championships at Odcombe, near Yeovil, the day after the World Final. The 19-year-old Liverpool-based rider had been practicing at Belle Vue and reported that he was "100 per cent fit". Other speedway characters involved in the grass-track championships were Chris Baybutt (Nelson) and Brian Maxted (Sheffield).
Teams of "1969"
A Monthly Look at the Teams of 1969.
Coventry "Bees" LEFT TO RIGHT: Tony Lomas, Antonin Kasper, Gote Nordin, Les Owen Col Cottrell, Dave Callington, On Machine: Nigel Boocock (Capt)
Wimbledon "Dons" LEFT TO RIGHT: Cyril Maidment, Trevor Hedge, Bobby Dugard, Reg Luckhurst Gary Everett, Jim Tebby, On Machine: Ronnie Moore (Captain)
Wolverhampton "Wolves" LEFT TO RIGHT:(Standing) Peter Jackson, Bengt Andersson, Norman Hunter, James Bond (Kneeling) Mick Handley, Tommy Sweetman, On Machine: Peter Vandenberg (Captain)
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