Exeter Speedway History

Exeter Falcons Riders - B


Name.......BAILEY, GORDON.
Seasons....1962.
Others .... Poole

When Dennis Day suffered an injury, Gordon was brought into the side and immediately looked very promising after scoring 19+3 bonus from his five meetings. Then, to quote manager Wally Mawdsley, "We never saw the going of him. He just vanished." Before moving to Exeter, it appears Gordon also had a spell with neighbours Poole.



Name.......BANGMA, HENK.
Seasons....1994.
Others.....Swindon.

Henk's career at the County Ground was a short one after the Dutch Grass tracker had shown early promise in his pre-season practice session. Sadly Henk couldn't get to grips with the Exeter circuit and by mid season was on the way to Swindon. But in a race at Peterborough he lasted less than a lap before a bad spill fractured his thigh in six places and after a five hour operation he was told his riding days were over.


Name.......BARCLAY, GEORGE.
Seasons....1970.
Others.....West Ham, Crayford.

London born George, a grocer by trade, had also been an accomplished amateur footballer.Had been at West Ham prior to Exeter where in 67 he averaged 4.76 and in 68 his average dropped to 3.33.In the early '80'2 he took on the role of manager at Crayford.


Name.......BARKER, JOHN.
Seasons....1980/81/82.
Others.....Milton keynes,Hackney,Eastbourne,Oxford,Swindon

John made his debut at Eastbourne back in 1977 following some good second half meetings there and had second half rides at the County Ground in 1978. Came to Exeter from Eastbourne in a deal worth £4,000, after having been loaned out from Swindon during 1980 to finally become a full time Falcon in 1981.He was to later request a transfer midway through the 81 season and got his wish with a move to the Milton Keynes outfit. Things obviously didn't go the way he planned there and was to return to the County Ground at his own request for the start of the 1982 season.John was to hold the track record (N/L) with a very fast 67.6 seconds and became the first ever Exeter rider to top the National averages in the National League. On leaving Exeter it appears that John retired from Speedway. In 1980 John averaged 8.5, whilst in 1981 it dropped to 7.85 before reaching 9.07 in 1982.


Name.......BARKER, MITCHELL.
Seasons....1982.
Others.....Leicester.

Very little is known of Mitchell except that he was taken on by the Exeter team in 1982 from Leicester because of an injury crisis to the usual team and was to make only a handful of appearances.



Name.......BARNETT, MORRIS
Seasons....1951/52/53.

It is not known what other teams Morris rode for but during his three seasons at Exeter he appears to have turned out only 37 times for the club scoring 122 points during that period of time.


Name.......BARNEY, IAN.
Seasons....1990.

Ian made twenty one appearances in the "Green & White" of Exeter during the 1990 campaign and ended the season on an average of 3.86pts.


Name.......BARRETT, RON
Seasons....1952/53 1955.
Others.....Plymouth,Weymouth,Birmingham.

Ron appears to have moved around a fair bit with indifferent results. Had first come to Exeter from Weymouth in 1952 and then joined the Birmingham outfit in 1954 for a reported fee of 1,250 pounds but was soon to have a difference of opinion with the promoter, Les Marshall and was to move back to his former club Weymouth for the 55 season. In a final twist the Weymouth track was to close down that same year and Ron was to try his hand once more around the County Ground. But things were not to go well and after some bad scores it seems that he was to finally call it a day and retired.


Name.......BASS, CHRIS.
Seasons....1968.
Others.....Plymouth,Cradley.

Another junior who's great efforts were to be rewarded with first team rides during a spell of regular riders injuries.The young New Zealander was racing with Plymouth at the same time and was constantly to be found double figure scoring. Riding with Chris at Plymouth was Mike Cake, another high scoring junior "Falcon", and at the time it led to howls of protests from certain promoters who had doubted the validity of the Plymouth team which had the appearance of an Exeter 'B' side.


Name.......BEDKOBER, MALCOM.
Seasons....1977
Others.....Newport,Barrow.

Australian born Malcom was the son of another former "Falcon" Jack, who was to be seen at Exeter during the early fifties. Following some reserve spots with the "Falcons" he was to be loaned out to the Newport outfit but was to soon leave stating that he would rather ride second half outings at Exeter than ride for the then National League side Newport. It seems that he was then to return home, though he returned in 1978 to ride with Barrow. Later Malcom was to return and live in Exeter and he turned out for second half rides, only to actually get into the team for one meeting in 83 for 2pts.


Name.......BEDKOBER, JACK.
Seasons....1951/52.
Others.....

Father of the above mentioned Malcom,Jack was to appear in 61matches for the Falcons in the early fifties from which he was to score a total of 286 points. The whereabouts of Jack before or after that period is unknown.


Name.......BERGKVIST, TOMMY.
Seasons....1971.
Others.....Cradley Heath.

Tommy had been riding at Cradley back in 68 and is believed to have moved to Exeter from there. He was to appear in 13 matches for the "Falcons" in 1971 ending on an average of 5.10.


Name.......BISHOP, STEVE.
Seasons....1982/83/84/85/86/89/90.
Others.....Swindon,Canterbury,Poole,L.Eaton,Stoke,Arena Essex.

Born in Bristol on the 26th November,1963. Steve had been loaned out from Swindon to Canterbury for the 1982 season but after only two matches he was released and came to the County Ground. Was to soon settle on the long track and was to end the 1983 season with an eight point average together with a full contract. However the 1984 season saw Exeter's attempt to return to the British League and Steve was to be loaned out to Stoke where his average was to drop to a mere two. He was to appear several times at Exeter during this period before returning back in 85 when the Falcons returned to the National League scene. It appears that he was to move on during 1987 & 1988 before returning again in 1989. Then in a surprise move, Steve looked set to join Exeter yet again in 1997 with the introduction of the new Elite League. However he was to pull out of the reckoning after the fixtures clashed with his Grass Track calendar.


Name.......BLEWITT, CHRIS.
Seasons....1964/65/66/67/68/69.
Others.....St. Austell, Plymouth.

Chris was to join Exeter from the St.Austell camp in 1964 and scored a useful six points in his opening debut against Middlesborough. His wild and often overenthusiastic style of riding was earn him the nickname of the "King of Crash" from the supporters and as a result he was to spend a lot of time out of the side through injuries.Barry Briggs once said of Chris," He would rather have him 50 yards behind him, but did not mind to much if he was fifty yards in front, as long as he wasn't near him". This was to do little to tame him and Chris was to collect 436 points from his 118 outings for the Falcons. It appears that Chris was more successful on the Plymouth circuit where it is known he totaled 144pts from his 31 matches.
Chris rode there in 61 and 62 and when Division 2 began, attempted a return but after dropping it several times in a Plymouth practice called it a day when he realised that his previously broken wrist just wasn't going to allow him to ride.
In the two years at Plymouth it was a case of the two Chris's, Blewett and Julian in fact they used to travel in 61 in an A40 pickup that shared a braking system with their race bikes, it was only later that the feud began.
Chris had a terrible accident at Wolverhampton in 61 and received massive facial injuries from which he returned in 62 under the new promoter Bernard Curtiss and a return to the Devils name following 61 as the Bulldogs under the transferred Bristol Promotion of former Bristol rider Eric Salmon.

* My thanks to Godfrey Spargo for his contribution in outlining Chris's Days at Plymouth.


Name.......BOOCOCK, NIGEL.
Seasons....1979/80.
Others.....Bradford,Canterbury,Coventry,Ipswich,Bristol.

Though with Exeter for only a short period,Nigel was another of the sports greatest ambassador's about whom an entire book could be written. He had first begun his speedway career back in 1954 at the Bradford camp where at the age of only eighteen he was to make his debut in the 1956 World Final as a reserve. After a spell with Ipswich he moved to Coventry where he was to enjoy a very long and successful era. In his first season at the Brandon circuit he finished as the top scorer for the Bees. Apart from being capped for his country on numerous occasions, Nigel was to finish runner up in the 1967 British Rider's Championship and was the first ever rider to score a maximum 30pts during a double header that were common during that period. During the period from 1959 to 1974 he had scored an incredible 5,321.5 points for Coventry from 514 matches. The by then "veteran" was to come to the County Ground in 1979 and was incredibly assigned the number eight berth due to the fifty point ruling. He was to be loaned out to Canterbury that year whilst doubling for Exeter and as a result he finished fourth in the National League Championship. Nigel rode for Exeter during their 1980 drop to the N.League as captain and topped the scores with 295 pts from 37 matches before retiring from racing at the end of that season. Incidentally he had earned his the nickname of "Bluey" due to the easily distinguishable light blue leathers he liked to wear. Apart from 1956, Nigel was to appear in eight World Finals, his best result being at Wembley in 1969 where he was to finish fourth with 10pts.


Name.......BOSSNER, ANDY.
Seasons....1994.
Others.....Eastbourne.

Three times Austrian Champion, Andy was to join Exeter on loan from the Eastbourne camp in their desperate search for riders at the start of the 1994 campaign and quickly impressed pundits on his practice session. He was beginning to score constantly when he suddenly decided to quit owing to the travel costs and returned home late in the season.


Name.......BOWERS, ROY.
Seasons....1961/62
Others....Stoke

Roy had ridden for Exeter on their entrance to League racing in 1961 and looked like becoming a high scorer in 1962. However, he departed from the County Ground early in the 1962 season, and after initial reports that he was retiring, he was to start something of a row when he joined Stoke. Seems he had problems there too, for he was to quit not long after joining.


Name.......BRENNAN, DAVE.
Seasons....1985/86/88.

Dave was a Junior who's services were called upon from time to time and appeared in just five meetings during his spell with Exeter. Sadly he was unable to score in any of his outings.


Name.......BREWER, DAVID.
Seasons....1980/81/82.
Others.....Wimbledon.

Born in London on 27.11.61,Dave was to join Exeter on loan from Wimbledon in 1980 and was soon making a good impression around the County Ground. Such was his liking for the Exeter track that he was to request his own transfer to the County Ground and he signed a full contract early in 1981. But following a serious injury Dave's form tailed off badly and he decided to retire at the close of the 1982 season.


Name.......BRIGGS, WAYNE.
Seasons....1967/68 1971.
Others.....Edingburgh,Poole,Glasgow,L.Eaton.

New Zealand born, Wayne was the brother of the legendary Barry Briggs. Began racing in this country with the Edingburgh Monarchs and though he was dogged in his early days by a constant string of injuries, he was to score a healthy 641.5pts from his 102 appearances. He made a long trip south to team up with Poole Pirate's before making a much closer move to the County Ground. He settled well on the much bigger Devon track and totaled 460 pts from his 71 matches for the Falcons.


Name.......BUNGAY, TIM.
Seasons....1964/65/66/67 1969.
Others.....Wembley,Newport,Poole.

Tim joined Exeter from neighbours Poole for the 1964 season and he remained on the Devon circuit until 1967, when he suddenly decided to call it a day. The surprise retirement forced Exeter to recall old favourite Jack Geran who had opted out at the start of the 1967 season. But Tim was to try his hand again after being persuaded by his former club Poole to turn out for the 1968 campaign and was to even have a brief fling at the County Ground in 69. Tim was to make many appearances on the Grass track circuits but despite offers, he was never to ride on the shale again. Altogether,Tim had appeared in 63 meetings for the Falcons scoring a total of 283.5pts, whilst at Poole he was to amass a sum of 405pts from 93 meetings on the Dorset track.


Name.......BYFORD, HOWDY.
Seasons....1961/62/63/64.
Others.....Hackney, Kings Lynn, West Ham, Ipswich, Oxford.

Howdy's long and eventful career started with West Ham where he was to be found racing from 1947-1955. During that period, speedway was taking off in Holland in a big way and several Englishmen, including Howdy, were to be found riding in the Dutch Leagues as well as their own tracks at home. Howdy had a taste for riding overseas for in 1955 he was riding for the Durban Hornet's (South Africa) in the winter months, but he was to receive serious facial injuries for his efforts. He was selected for the England touring side of Australia during the 1949/50 season that crashed 6-1 to an Aussie team which included another "Falcon" of that era, Ken Walsh. Howdy made the switch to Oxford in 1956 before coming to the County Ground in 1961. He remained with the Exeter side until he officially retired at the end of the 1964 season, but such was his love for the sport, that he was coaxed back in 1965 to ride for the Hackney outfit and again in '66 to ride for K.Lynn. The records also shows Howdy having ridden at Ipswich, though exactly what period this was isn't clear.In 1968 he was to become manager of the Weymouth Wizards but the sides entry into the second division of that period was to doomed to failure owing to poor attendances. His points tally in the early years were 803pts from 201 matches at W.ham, 293pts from 75 matches at Oxford whilst at Exeter he was to turn out in 51 matches and score 284pts. One of Howdy's more noted talents was when he used to sing to the spectators over the track tannoy systems.


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