Apologies for the dropsheets, paint tins and scattered detrius. More information...
Others.....Workington, Edingburgh, Sheffield, Belle Vue, Cradley.
A former England international, Arnie was a veteran by the time he came to Exeter and his time with the Falcons was to be a short one. Constantly dogged by mechanical problems, his contract was later to be terminated following his failure to turn up for a home meeting. He was then to link up with Edingburgh before joining Cradley for the start of 1981, but was released after a few months and tried his hand at the Oxford circuit, but after a spell of poor scores he finally brought the curtain down on his career and retired. During his short stay at Exeter he appeared in 19 matches and averaged 5.83pts.
Vic had signed a contract with Exeter whilst still riding at Weymouth and was to appear in four meetings that year, ending with an average of 3.14.
Name.......HARDLY, DICK. Seasons....1954.
Don holds the record as Exeter's all time, longest serving rider, with a long unbroken nine year spell at the County Ground, a record that is unlikely to be ever bettered. During his time he was to appear in an incredible 258 matches for the Falcon's, scoring no less than 1,799pts, with an incredible average of just under seven points in every meeting. Don once lived up to his name when traveling by train from his home in London, that collided with a second train. He was taken to hospital for facial injuries, yet still turned out that evening to help Exeter beat Wombwell 47-43 and still managed to pick up six points despite of the days misfortunes. He was to ride for an England 'C' side in 1951 against New Zealand and collected ten points in doing so. NOTE: Don's record WAS equaled and eventually overtaken by Michael Coles on Saturday, 12th June 1999 in a Cup match at Workington.
Riding alongside Don Hardy was New Zealander Jack who in his three seasons at Exeter appeared in 74 matches, and scored a total of 391 pts for the Falcons. He was an easily recognizable figure around the County Ground because of his refusal to wear a face mask. He had an unlucky day on his debut for Exeter against the Swedish touring side Smederna when he fell and broke a leg during the second half of the meeting.
Name.......HAYDEN, CHARLIE. Seasons....1947
Charlie was one of four grass tracking brothers from Dorset and together with his brother Herb, Charlie joined the "Falcons" when they first began League racing back in 1947.The following season he was to move to neighbouring Poole and in his three seasons there, he was to appear in some 147 meetings for the Pirates and scored 718 pts.
Name.......HAYDEN, HERB. Seasons....1947
As with his brother Charlie, Herb had switched from grass to shale to join Exeter on their initiation to league racing back in 47, but it appears that Herb preferred the grass, and was to return after one season at the County Ground.
Name.......HAZZARD, SID. Seasons....1947. Others....
The only information that I have on Sid at present is that he scored a total of 95 points during 1947.
Dave had come to Exeter from Belle Vue where he had been racing from between 1969-1971 and had appeared in 79 meetings and scored some 345 pts for the Aces.In his one season at Exeter he turned out in 33 matches for the Falcons with a return of 134 pts before he moved to Sheffield for the start of the 1973 season. Towards the end of 73, Dave was to emigrate to Rhodesia where his love of the sport saw him turn out on a few occasions for both Bulawayo and Salisbury.
Born in Swindon on the 6/2/62, Martin was to tragically die in hospital following a stroke whilst at a meeting with Swindon against Birmingham in 1982. He had come to the County Ground for their start in the National League and was fast becoming a high scorer, finishing second in the 1981 averages. That same season saw Martin finish fourth in the British Junior Championship and it was in 82 that he returned to his home club prior to his untimely death.
Eric had some rides at Aldershot in 1954 and 1959, scoring 132 pts from 17 meetings while in 1956 he was at Coventry where he lost form and only managed 27pts from seven meetings. It is not clear why Eric had turned out for so few meetings or what he was doing in between, but we do know that he financed his early days of Speedway as part of a Motorcycle stunt team known as the "Hells Angels" back in the mid fifties. Eric captained the Falcons in 1961 and rode in the very first race for Exeter on their return to Speedway following their four year absence, ending the night on a maximum. Eric was to appear in 14 meetings for Exeter scoring a total of 103 pts. Was a former Track record holder in 1960 when he clocked a time of 77.4 seconds.
Stan had started his career as a reserve at Sheffield in 1946 but he was to really develop when he joined Wombwell for the start of 1947.Stan was to join Exeter from Wombwell after being unable to get into the team following a period of injury problems.He made his debut for Exeter at home to Southampton on Monday August 25th 1947, and notched up a maximum in his second meeting for the Falcons while scoring 41 pts from the remaining seven fixtures of the 47 season. During 1948 he turned out for 39 of the 44 matches but was to only manage 17 meetings in 1949 and those were against the advice of the doctors. Born March 4th, 1922, Stan rode 63 matches for Exeter scoring a total of 392 points. After a trip that saw him top score for the Falcons at Liverpool and Halifax on June 7th/8th, he was to collapse and was rushed to Hospital where sadly Stan was to soon die in hospital at the age of only twenty seven.
Born July 30th, 1950 in Hampshire, Kevin had started out on his promising career at the Weymouth training school and became an Exeter asset in 1970. To gain experience, Kevin was to loaned out to the Romford camp, where in 71 matches he scored a total of 472 pts. But it was to be with Exeter that he made such a big impact, and was soon becoming an international favourite. He had won six caps for the Young England side, was with the British Under "23" touring side of Poland in 73, made the full England team in 1971-74 and the British "Lions" team of 1974. As well as this of course he had helped Exeter win the League title in 1974 and he looked set for the very top. Kevin was to switch to the Poole camp at the end of the 1976 season after appearing in 90 meetings for Exeter and scoring 506 pts. Tragedy struck not long after, when Kevin was involved in a bad crash on the Poole track and sadly he was to die instantly from his injuries, without doubt, speedway had lost both a great man and rider that fateful day.
Billy was most noted for his days at Bristol, where he had spent seven years before their closure that saw him come to Exeter. His long Spell with the "Bulldogs" saw him become their top ever scorer with an incredible 1,718 pts from some 232 matches for the Bristol outfit, an achievements very similar to Don Hardy for Exeter. Some say it was Billy's arrival that convinced Johnny Sargent to retire after a long spell at Exeter, there being a surplus of available riders at that time. Billy was later to become an RAC rescue driver after his riding days were over. His days at Bristol were very much a family affair, when along with brothers Graham, John and brother in law Eric Salmon, they made up half the team.
Czechoslovakian Jan rode for Exeter in 1968 and again in 1970 but was obviously unable to settle here as he returned home at the end of the 1970 season never to ride in the British League again. Jan had certainly made an impact with the Falcons though scoring highly with 419 pts from 58 meetings.
Steve finally broke into the full team in 1989, after many rides in the "Express & Echo" Junior side, and he was to turn out several times for the "Falcons" before a bad spill on the first bend sidelined him with a broken thigh and he still gets along to the County Ground when he can.
Fred was a former Exonian who had emigrated to Australia, learnt the art of racing, and returned with a group of Australians with the launch of Speedway in this country.Beacame the fist to ride the Exeter circuit along with Aussie Bert Spencer in a demonstration of Speedway after a rugby match in 1929.
Seasons....1949/50/51/52/53/54/55 & 1963.
Goog was one of the few who had spent such a long time at Exeter and was only bettered by Don Hardy's long nine year relationship with the Falcons.For good measure he even attempted a comeback in 1963, but found the new style of the sport to demanding. Once held the track record around the County Ground with a time of 72.6, and he was the holder of the Southern League Bronze helmet in 1953 after beating Gerald Jackson of Rayleigh. He had also made an appearance for an England 'C' side, but was to only manage a single point. In all, Goog had competed in 188 matches for Exeter and totaled 1,286 pts.
Eric had moved to Exeter from the ill-fated Bristol camp for the 1961 season where he had started riding back in the '50's. He had joined the "Falcon's" side that was being decimated through injuries faster than riders could be signed up. He became a regular member of the team and was to score 12 points in Exeter's 1962 K. O. Cup Final win over Stoke. Eric himself was to join that casualty list at the start of 1963 when he suffered serious head injuries in a crash at the County Ground. His injuries were such that he was out of the saddle for several seasons, before attempting a comeback with the re-opened Plymouth camp in 1968, but his days in Speedway were over. Eric had made 40 appearances for Exeter before his injury and notched up 147 points. In recent years Eric suffered a stroke but always maintained his interest with Speedway, sadly passing away after a long illness in December 19978.
Welshman Ivor had only the one season at Exeter, after his move from Newport before moving on to Cradley at the end of the 65 season.He had begun to show his full potential there before tragedy struck during a last heat spill in August of that year and sadly Ivor was to die from his injuries.
Seasons....1992 - 93.
Ian was to join Exeter in March, 1992 with an average of less than three but was to find the Exeter circuit to his liking, and his average quickly rose to 6pts before injuries were to set him back. Though maybe not the fastest man on the track, Ian was to well noted for his ability to prevent other riders getting past, but his injured knee was to dog him for the remainder of his stay at Exeter. Was included in the line up for the start of the 1993 season, but further injuries and the arrival of new faces were to signal the end of Ian's team place.
Chris had originally made his debut in the full team as a junior in 1980 when he was called upon to ride against Newcastle. He had opted to move to Swindon in 1981 to compete in second half races but was released in the early part of 1982, and returned back to the County Ground.However Chris was unable to make any real impact and was given a free transfer at the end of that season.
Brian turned out in five meetings for the Falcons, and from his twelve rides he was to end on an average of 2.66 points.
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