Exeter Speedway History

Exeter Falcons Riders - S

Refurbishing

Apologies for the dropsheets, paint tins and scattered detrius. More information...



Name.......SAMPSON, MIKE.
Seasons....1973/74/75.
Others.....Eastbourne,Barrow,Romford,West Ham,Nottingham.

Born in Exeter, Mike was originally on the books with Exeter as a Junior back in 1971, when he was to be loaned out to the Barrow camp and then later to Romford where he appeared in 22 meetings and scored 95pts.At the start of the 74 season he made the move to Eastbourne which reduced his traveling time to Exeter and in the same year he was to ride for the England test side against Czechoslovakia who themselves had future Falcons in their line up in the form of the Verner brothers and Zdnek Kudrna. In his nine matches for Exeter in 74 he was to average 5.55pts.


Name.......SANDERSON, MIKE. Seasons....1980. Mike came to Exeter on Loan from his home town of Sheffield and appeared several times for the "Falcon's" before calling it a day and ending his speedway career. In a recent message, commercial manager Mike, recalls fond memories of his days at the County round and irrepressible characters such as Bob Maxwell, Arnold Haley and Bob Watts who were around at the time.


Name.......SANFORD, TONY. Seasons....1980/81. Others.....Reading. Tony was to be involved in a fatal spill during a second half race at the County Ground, as a result of which he was to tragically die whilst in hospital in September of 1981. Prior to his untimely death, Tony was emerging as a sensation at Exeter. In 1980 he made 16 appearances and had scored 34 pts and was to average 4pts from his 10 outings in 1981, before he had been sidelined by an injury. It was during his efforts to get back into the full side that the tragedy happened. A benefit meeting was held for him that included Bruce Penhall, World Champion at that time, and former Falcon Scott Autrey from which over £7,000 was raised.


Name.......SARGENT, JOHNNY. Seasons....1950/51/52/53/54/55. Johnny was to spend many years with Exeter, during which time he appeared in 104 matches for the Falcon's, and notched up a total of 478 points. He eventually made the decision to retire from the sport after failing to get back into the line up during an attempt to recover from injury problems and was to later emigrate to Canada. He had once made an appearance in an England "C" side against a touring New Zealand team and scored two points.
Name.......SAWYER, LES. Seasons....1981/82. Others.....Halifax,Oxford,Cradley,Halifax,Nottingham,Claremont(Aust). Stoke. Australian Les was riding with Oxford back in 1978 where he had looked a very good prospect, but was later confined to second half appearances following an injury and he was to have outings at Crasdley.In 1980 he was at Stoke on loan from Halifax and they had hoped to retain him ,but he was to be snapped up by the Falcons. Les was to ride well around the Devon track and during the 1981 season he was regularly scoring double figures, but injury problems were to strike again in 1982 when he was sidelined in the later half of that year. As a result, Les opted to return home where he later turned out for Claremont.
Name.......SELL, ANDY. Seasons....1985/86/87/88/89/90. Born in Bristol on March 26th, 1964, Andy had begun as a Junior following his exploits on the Grasstrack circuits, and was to soon feature prominently in the Falcons line up. He had made his debut in the last meeting of 85 while in 1986 he turned out 14 times and averaged 4pts.
Name.......SEMMONDS, MIKE. Seasons....1982/83 1985/86. Born in Cornwall on the 23rd, April 1960, and a former Cornish grass track champion, Mike was to get his first team call up after only 24 second half laps and he repaid the favour with a nine point return against local rivals Weymouth.During 1983 he was dogged by injuries, making only five appearances and was free transferred to Weymouth in 1984 on Exeter's switch back to the British League. But things weren't to go well for him there and was to return to the Exeter camp for the 1985 season during which he averaged 5.29. But at Workington, he received a bad knee injury that was to see his days come to an end on the shale although he did have a few rides in 1986 but he found it difficult to continue. Mike still lives in Cornwall where he runs a garage service.
Name.......SHUTER, FRANK. Seasons....1973/74. Others.....Poole,Swindon. Born in New Zealand on June 6th,1946, Frank was originally racing around the famous Christchurch circuit, and it was there that he was noticed by Barry Briggs who promptly brought Frank back to join up with the Swindon Robins. He was later to make the move to Poole, where he appeared in 100 matches and scored 398 pts for the Pirates, and while at the Dorset track he became the New Zealand Speedway Champion. Joined Exeter in 1973 where he stayed for two seasons before deciding to return home, where he continued to race and was later to appear in the Rest Of the World side against America in Israel which they were to win 3-2. Frank was to eventually settle in America where in 1985 he ran an engineering business. Tragically, Frank was to die in a Motorcycle accident in America in July, 1997.
Name.......SILVER, LEN. Seasons....1961/62/63/64. Others.....Ipswich,Hackney,Crewe. Len had been riding for Ipswich back in 1953, when they were in the second division, and it was from there that he came to Exeter in 1961. It was as the Falcons skipper that Len guided Exeter to the K.O Cup win against Stoke with an aggregate score of 106-86, and went on to win the Provincial League Riders Championship at Belle Vue. He was to also equal the record of winning ten consecutive defences of the Silver sash.In his time with Exeter he was to accumulate 574 pts from his 63 matches in the Green and White and was to later emerge as a well respected Manager and Promoter.
Name.......SIMMONDS, MARK. Seasons....1989/90/91/92/93/94/96/98 Others.....Isle of Wight. Born on May 10th,1971 in Truro, Cornwall, he was to win his first competitive event on the Grass aged only twelve. Mark managed to get into the side on June 12th, 1989 when injuries had left many holes in the Exeter line up, and was to win his first League race and gain a regular place in the team. His regular scoring makes him a popular figure around the County Ground, though it appeared he had reluctantly left the sport at the end of 1993 because of work commitments but was to return to Exeter part way through 1994 following a change of employment. In 1994, he was selected to ride for an England U-23 side as well as captaining a team that won in Italy. Was included in the 96 line-up until a bad shoulder injury sidelined him and kept him out of the sport until the latter part of the 97 season where he was to be found at the new Isle OfWight track. His obvious enthusiasm was to see him return to the Exeter camp for the 1998 season when the team structure changes made Mark an instant selection choice for Promoter Colin Hill
Name.......SJOSTEN, CHRISTER. Seasons....1972. Others.....Poole. The Swede had made four appearances for the Falcons in 1972 and averaged 6.15 points but it was later alleged that his permit had not been properly obtained and he had therefore not been eligible to ride in British League meetings. Tragically he was to later die following a spill whilst riding in Brisbane.
Name.......SLADE, BERNARD. Seasons....1947/48/49/50. Others.....Crystal palace,Plymouth,St.Austell. Bernard, probably better known under his nickname "Bronco", first tried his hand at speedway around the County Ground way back in 1932, when just out of school, and shortly afterwards he was to be found at neighbouring Plymouth during their infrequent meetings prior to the outbreak of war. During this period he had also established himself as an accomplished grass tracker and it was to this area of the sport that he returned after the war had ended.In 1946 he was to have trials with Wimbledon but failed to impress and it was in 'he became the first ever post-war captain, together with holding the earliest track record in a time of 84 seconds. He suffered serious injuries in the season of 1948 but returned for the start of 49. Bronco was to remain at Exeter until his form slumped and he then made the move to Plymouth who were hard hit by injuries at that time, before finally making a move to the St.Austell track in 1952. Bronco was to remain with the sport and served as both the team manager and chief mechanic at the County Ground. Made a spot of history in 1965, during the home leg of the B.League K.O cup, following the absence of the referee, Bronco stepped in and took the job on himself.
Name.......SMART, DAVID. Seasons....1987,1994. Others.....Arena Essex,Swindon,Oxford. Born in Swindon on Dec. 28th, 1965, David had spent three seasons with Arena Essex before joining the Falcon's in 1987, and was soon notching up double figures for the side before his parent club Swindon, recalled him to complete a deal that saw him return on a full time basis to Arena Essex. His recall meant that David was to appear in only 22 matches for Exeter, during which he ended up with a calculated 7.43 average. Later he was to return to Swindon and promptly on to Oxford but was once again to appear in the Falcons line up midway through the 1994 season and was to soon regain his County Ground form with good scoring.
Name.......SMART, FRANK Seasons....1990/91/92/93/97/98. Others.....Milton Keynes,Peterbrough. Born on October 27th, 1969, in Perth, Australia, Frank was to ride his first race over here as the number 8 for a short handed Peterborough at the County Ground, before making his debut for the Falcon's i n the penultimate match of the 1990 season at Edinburgh. Had a frustrating 1991 campaign due to assessed averages problems and injuries and he managed only six outings. He had been loaned out to Milton Keynes in 1992 due to an increased average of 7.5, but rejoined the Falcon's midway through that year upon the Knight's closure. Later to return Home, Frank was yet again to return to Exeter in 1997 with the advent of the new League structure after finding good form in Australia in the winter of 1996 and his good form was to see Colin Hill arrange his contract for 1998 before Frank returned home at the end of 1997 where he was to reach the Australian Final.
Name.......SMITH, ALAN. Seasons....1966. Alan featured in the Falcon's line up during the 1966 season when he appeared in seventeen matches for Exeter and from his 47 rides, he was to finish the season on an average of 4.76.
Name.......SMITH, BILLIE. Seasons....1961. It's that season again and Billie was yet another victim. His mishap occurred on April 10th at the County Ground and as a result he broke his collar bone.
Name.......SPARSHOT, NIGEL. Seasons....1985. Others.....Oxford,Crayford,Kings Lynn,Milton Keynes,Long Eaton. Wimbledon,Middlesbrough,Rye House. Born on September 2nd, 1961, Nigel had first come to Exeter on a loan deal from Oxford, having found life as a Cheetah reserve unsuitable and he was seen as a valuable acquisition on the "Falcon's" return to National League racing in 1985. He was to win the Siver Helmet whilst at Exeter and caused quite a stir with the media at the time when his girlfriend won the right to be his mechanic at meetings.It appears Nigel was to retire at the close of the 1985 season, but was to later make a reappearance in 1988 with the Milton Keynes outfit and remained in the sport with a return to Long Eaton in 1992, after spending 1991 on the sidelines. Whilst with at Exeter he never missed a meeting and he was to return an average of 7.39 from his 40 appearances. Sadly, in July 1998, Nigel was involved in a car accident and as a result died from his injuries.
Name.......SPELTA, BOB. Seasons....1975/76. Others.....Canterbury. Born in Queensland, Australia on July 27th, 1953, Bob was to be on the books of Exeter at the start of 1975 but it wasn't until Geoff Mudge was forced out by injuries well into the 1976 season that, Bob actually got into the line up for a British league meeting. Whilst unable to make the Exeter team, Bob was to appear in the Canterbury team and he appeared in 36 League and cup matches for them resulting in a 5.11 average.
Name........SPENCER, BERT. Seasons.....1929. Others.....Belle Vue, Plymouth.

Bert has to be mentioned as he was the first to ever ride the Exeter circuit along with Freddie Hore. The then 16 year old Australian had come to England with a group of fellow Australians to help launch Speedway here, and on the opening of the Exeter track, he was to take part in a demonstration following a Rugby match at the Exeter club. Had the Nickname of "The Baby Cyclone". He spent a couple of seasons riding mostly at Exeter and was part of an Exeter side prior to entering the League structure.


Name.......SQUIBB, JIMMY. Seasons....1963/64/65/66/67/68/69 1972. Others.....Plymouth,New Cross,Cradley,Eastbourne,Ipswich,Southampton Poole,Wigan. Jim was unquestionably one of Speedway's greatest ever ambassadors and became one of the overall highest point scorer in a career that was to span a total of 36 years between the years 1939 - 1975, apart from the second world war.We pick up his record in the late forties and into the fifties when he was to appear in 192 matches for Southampton and totaled 1,371 points. He had joined the Poole camp in 1952 for their Division two season that they eventually won, and he was to remain there until 1956 as well as returning in 1959, scoring a total of 920 pts from 156 meetings for the Pirates. It was during this period that he was to score a maximum for Britain against an overseas side staged at Wolverhampton. Jim was to move to New Cross after a spell at Plymouth in 1962. But the New Cross speedway were soon to close and he was to only appear 17 times for them, still managing to score a high 186 pts before embarking on his long and successful period at Exeter in 1963. During his stay at the Devon track he was to total 1,469.5 pts from a total of 204 matches and was given the honour of captaining a Gt.Britain side against Russia that was staged at the County Ground. He was to make a brief re-appearance later on in 1972 on loan from Cradley to help out with an injury hit Exeter side. It had been to Cradley that Jim moved following his departure from Exeter and in 1973, he made the drop into the second division with Eastbourne as a rider coach, only to lose his team place following injuries and later joined Canterbury in 1974. Jimmy Squibb, who had been signed during the 1963 season from New Cross, took over the role of captain. During his early days at Exeter Jimmy was the only Falcon who did not wear white boots. His son Barry spent so much time each weekend polishing his father's leathers that he didn't have the heart to paint his boots white but nevertheless did don the green and white jersey which was a part of the Falcons' regular attire for several years from 1962.
Name.......STANGELAND, EDGAR. Seasons....1972. Others.....Newport,Swindon,Wolves,Wimbledon,Bristol. Norwegian born Edgar had joined Exeter from Newport, where he had notched up 459 pts from 69 outings. Edgar had actually planned to retire when leaving Newport, to concentrate on his long track career in Germany, but was coaxed to stay in Britain by the Exeter management which was fortunate as he went on to total 230.5 pts from his 29 meetings for the Falcons. He was to move on to Swindon in '73 where he appeared 32 times and recorded 219 pts and there were hopes he would again wear the Falcon's vest in 1978, but he finally opted to ride at the Wolverhampton circuit.
Name.......STEEN, DAVID. Seasons....1993. Others.....Stoke,Ipswich,Reading,Edinburgh,Milton Keynes. Born on March 12th, 1966, S.African Dave was to move to Exeter from Stoke for the start of the 93 season following their closure, and had ridden with Gordon Kennett at the ill fated Milton Keynes track the previous year. Made his debut for the Falcons in a match at Swindon and topped the Exeter score sheet whilst the following night, he had to have his thumb sewn on when it caught in the chain in the pits. While at Reading he was to win a First division Championship medal and a Speedway Star Cup medal.
Name.......STEVENS, STAN. Seasons....1970 - 71. Stan only appeared in three meetings for Exeter. Two of those were in 1970 when he had six rides and averaged 1.33 points, the other was in 1971 when it appears he fared a little better as from five rides he was to average 4.8.
Name.......STONE, TERRY. Seasons....1961 - 64. Others.....New Cross,Rayleigh,Glasgow,Ipswich,West Ham Terry had started racing at Rayleigh in 1960, and was to double up with Exeter between the years 1961-64. It was in 1964 that terry was sold to Glasgow from where he went on to ride for New Cross, Ipswich and West Ham. Later returned to Rayleigh where he remained until the Stadium's closure in 1973. Terry now resides in Essex and is still a popular figure at Arena Essex, where "Harry the Hammer" as he is known, can be seen entertaining on the centre Green. As of 1996, Terry was still seen to be riding in various "Veterans Meetings".
Name.......STREET, NEIL. Seasons....1952/53/54/55 1966/67/68 1970. Others.....Newport,Bradford,Swindon. Born in Australia on January 15th, 1931, Neil was to spend most of his long career at Exeter and rode in 242 matches for the Falcons with a total points tally of 1,580. The pioneer of four valve engines, Neil had also earned a good reputation on both grass and ice and was to be capped several times for his country before he eventually retired at the end of 1976, and was to become manager of Poole in the mid eighties.
Name.......SUMMERFIELD, MARK. Seasons....1983. Mark was to make his debut against Mildenhall and failed to score in a 29-67 drubbing. He was to appear in four races for Exeter that year, and learnt an average of 2.50pts.
Name.......SVAAB, ANTONIN. Seasons....1994. Others.....Middlesbrough, Ipswich. The 19 year old Czech, highly recommended by Vaclav Verner, was signed in a bid to strengthen the team for the '94 campaign after being placed 8th in the 93 World Under 21 Final in 93. His father of the same name had been the first non-soviet to win the World Ice Speedway Championship.
Name.......SWAINE, RON. Seasons....1952/53. Others.....Harringay,Swindon. Ron had come to Exeter on loan from the Harringay camp and eventually made the switch to neighbouring Swindon during the season of 53 where he was to score a total of 493 pts from his 102 appearances over a three year period.
Name.......SWEETMAN, TOMMY. Seasons....1966/67/68. Others.....Wolverhampton,Hackney,New Cross,Rye House. Tommy was an instant favourite with the Exeter fans, following his move from Wolverhampton, when he notched up a maximum in his first meeting for the Falcons and went on to end his first season on a 7.31 average. Tom was to continue his good form whilst with Exeter and in a total of 108 matches, he was to collect 756 pts, an average of exactly seven. He had once ridden in a Young England side against an overseas side back in 1958 alongside another former Falcon, Colin Goody, whilst appearing in the Overseas side was the old master himself, Ivan Mauger. Just for the record, England won that match 58-49 with Goody (16),Sweetman (9) and Mauger (11).

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