Apologies for the dropsheets, paint tins and scattered detritus. More information...
Seasons....1980 - 1986/87.
Tony had originally rode in second half outings at Exeter in 1978 whilst on the books of Bristol. Later in the same year whilst Tony was on loan from Bristol to Crayford, Tony was struck down by a serious illness from which he nearly died, but his strength and determination were to see him eventually return to the saddle in 79 when he was to join the Nottingham side. The Australian was to have a short spell at Exeter in 1980 during which time he collected 24 pts from his 8 matches, before returning once again midway through 1986 and part of 1987.
Hugh's spell at Exeter saw him appear in 125 matches for the Falcon's and he amassed some 757 pts. He was to switch to Swindon for the 1951 season, whilst between 1952-53, he could be found racing in the colours of Cardiff where he was to average better, scoring 367.5 pts from 48 meetings.Hugh then returned for a short period to the County Ground in 1954. It was during the 1952-53 season that Hugh was to get an international ride, though oddly not for his native country Australia. Whilst England were on tour down under they found themselves a rider short so in stepped Hugh to make up the numbers.
Although spending many seasons at Exeter, little trace can be found of Vic's achievements though he appears to have ridden no less than 171 times for the Falcons and scored 945 pts.
Another rider clouded in mystery here for it appears that when he signed for Exeter it was under the alias of Reg Neal, the reason for this appears to be fact that he was not eligible to ride in the Provincial league of that time. Only had a brief spell at the County Ground before joining neighbours Poole for whom he totaled 896 pts from 104 outings.
Tony featured in three matches for the Falcon's in 1968 and had only seven rides from which he averaged 1.14 points.
A former World Finalist, Australian Jack was another of the great favourites at Exeter and made many appearances in the Falcons vest.He had come to Exeter along with another favourite, Neil Street and made a total of 200 appearances for the Devon side, notching up a staggering 1,544 pts, an average of almost 8 pts per outing. He had returned back home at the end of 55 before returning to a spell at Poole and then on to Leicester where he scored 766 pts from 89 meetings for the Lions. In 1962 Jack was to join the Oxford "Cheetahs" and totaled 393 pts from 60 outings. Jack was to later return to Exeter in 1965 in answer to an SOS from the Falcons, following the sudden retirement of Tim Bungy and he was to remain there for a further three seasons until retiring. Jack was to come back to the Exeter camp once more in the late 1970's as the Junior coach. Back in 1957, Jack was to finish 10th in the World Final with a score of 7pts held at Wembley.
Little was known about Per, apart from the fact that he appeared in six meetings for Exeter in 67 and scored 23pts for his troubles, until recently that is - before Stefan Ornerdal of Sweden kindly provided me with the following information.
Per-Aake Gerhardsson (Aa is pronounced like 'a' in English word 'fall'). He is a very well known figure in Swedish speedway. He started his career in '65 or '66 in Swedish team Indianerna from the town Kumla, his hometown. 1967-1971 ho rode for "my" team Vargarna, Norrk�ping. He made it to the Swedish final 1970, but not very high in the scoreboard. 1972 onwards he was a steady point-scorer with Indianerna again, into the 80s. I remember he was in the field when Ivan Mauger had his "Master of Speedway" Swedish qualifying round in 1979 - he pushed out Peter Collins in the fence in one of the last heats! I believe PC is still furious about that...When his riding career was over he became team manager for Indianerna's 80cc junior speedway team. He discovered World Finalist Henrik Gustafsson in the junior team. When Henrik got into the A-team, Per-Aake followed him and became A- team manager and until this very day he is some sort of "personal manager" for Henrik.In big meetings you can see him around as a mechanic to (for?) Henrik. He also is sole distributor in Sweden for Italian speedway engine "GM". He has named his business Gerhardsson Motors and thus can use GM:s logotype! Smart guy, he is also one of the very few people in Sweden who can make a living of his speedway engagement!
Born in Honiton, Devon, on November 8th, 1966,David had started racing around the Weymouth track whilst on the books of Poole and made the switch to Exeter in 87. During the 86 season he was to miss only four meetings for the Pirates and had begun to show promise, averaging at 4.55 at the close of the season. He had continued his good form at the start of the 1987 season and began to score highly but his good form was to falter and he was eventually loaned out to Wimbledon.
Ross rode at Exeter during the 1969 season and was to appear in nine matches for the Falcon's. From a total of 29 rides he was to finish the season on an average of 4.55 points.
Born on 22/6/1933, Colin was having rides at Oxford back in 1953 and in 1959 he became the top scorer in the Southern Area League, whilst riding with the Eastbourne outfit. He began riding full time at Oxford in 1960 but after only four meetings he was to move on to Ipswich, where he stayed for two years, scoring 238 pts from 48 matches. Then he was to return to Oxford for a long spell before coming to Exeter in 1965. Colin was to have a good spell with the Falcons, his first season was to see him finish on a 9.24 average and he was to score some 640.5 pts from his 83 outings altogether.During this period he was to also represent Exeter in the B. L. Riders Final, reached the British Final of the World Championship and score 13pts for England against Scotland. Was to return for a spell at Oxford following his departure of Exeter and in 1974 he returned back to the Cheetah's camp after accepting the post of team trainer.
Graham emerged into the team in 1996 after a successful period with the junior Devon "Demons" side and soon began to make an impact around the County Ground with some impressive outings. In 1997, with the new three League set-up, Graham was to confirm that the management's decision to stick with him was a sound decision.
Although Bryan was only a junior at Exeter who never actually saw team racing we feel he is worth a mention as he was later to emerge as one of the leading top Moto-X riders and was very well known in that area of motorcycle sports. Better known under his nickname of 'Badger', he had spent a while at the Lew Coffin training school in Weymouth as well as having spells around the County Ground before moving away to the world of scrambling.
Born in Exeter on 16th March 1967, John was to try his hand at speedway in 84 and at one time was a plasterer with Bob Coles. Indeed, the father and son combination of the Cole's family were John's biggest influence in Speedway. Became a junior in 1986 and was to gain a couple of meeting during the 1987 season.
Born on August 16th, 1965 in Norfolk, Richard had his first try on a bike aged sixteen in second half rides at Kings Lynn, eventually joining their Junior side. He moved to Mildenhall in 1985, before coming to Exeter in 1988 and was to be an instant hit around the County Ground, scoring a paid maximum on his debut. He then went on to reach the National League Rider's championship in 1992, finishing in third spot after having been denied the winner's place after a spill in his final race. He had looked set to leave Exeter at the beginning of the 1993 season following troubles concerning the new riders pay regulations, but was to return three meetings into the season, only to later receive a serious neck injury that was to force him to eventually retire from Speedway. A Benefit meeting was held for Richard on March 24th 1997 and included many top stars, a thank you to one of the most exciting riders ever seen around the County ground.
Walter had appeared in this country from Austria in 1976, with trials at both the Newport and Wolverhampton circuits but had failed to impress either camps. Undaunted, Walter made the long trip back in 1977 and landed himself a trial with Exeter against the Polish touring side Stal Gorzow and impressed the Falcons with two wins and a runner up spot, so much so in fact that he was to sign a contract before the interval came. Such was the battle for team places that year, that he was eventually released from his contract when a team spot could not be guaranteed.