Exeter Speedway History

Exeter Falcons Riders - T-U-V


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

Name.......THOMPSON, PETER. Seasons....1974. Others.....Crewe,Peterborough,Hull. Australian Pete had been hailed as something of a sensation down under and when picked to ride for his country against a Rest of the World side, he was to score 28 pts in the three race test. He was seen as an ideal replacement for Bob Coles who had moved to Newport, but Pete was unable to show the same form and was soon on his way to Peterborough to gain more experience following the signing of Steve Reinke. However, Pete refused to ride there in 1975 due to a disagreement over terms, and promptly went home to win the West Australian solo championship, held in Perth. He was to appear in 13 matches for the Falcons and averaged 4.23pts.
Name.......TITMAN, JOHN. Seasons....1975/76/77. Others.....Halifax,Leicster,Hackney. Australian John had originally raced in Britain with the Halifax camp in 1972 and 1973, but never rode here in 74, opting instead to race back home. It was during the test series of 74-75, that he was to really shine when he appeared in seven test matches for his country and totaled 65 pts. He was also riding at the Sydney track at that time and his good form prompted a return to British League racing and to Exeter. John had also ridden for a Rest of the World side against Poland and Britain, and had scored 10pts for a Gt.Britain under 23 side against a Polish side. He was to become the Australian Speedway champion in 1978 and was to finish 10th in the World Final that very same year whilst in 1979 he again reached the final coming 11th with 6pts.
Name.......TRIM, LES. Seasons....1947. Others.....Crystal Palace,Birmingham. Les was to circulate around Midland tracks, before joining Crystal Palace in 1939 alongside another Falcon of that era, Bernard 'Bronco' Slade. He was to join Exeter after the end of the war in 1947 when Exeter started out on their League racing but was to retire later that season through injuries. During the 1947 season he was to score 79 points for Exeter.
Name.......TROWNSON, DAVE. Seasons....1988. Others.....Edingburgh,Boston,Berwick,Wolves,Hackney. Dave was to spend just the one season at Exeter having previously been at the Boston camp in 1973, Berwick in 1974, Edingburgh in 77, Wolverhampton in 1980 and moved to Hackney for the 1981 season.
Name.......UNSTEAD, JACK. Seasons....1962. Others.....Ipswich,Poole,Rayleigh,Bristol. Jack had only recently moved to Exeter from Ipswich when on the 13th April, 1962, he was killed in a tragic accident whilst guesting for his former club during a challenge match against Southampton. For many years after the fatal event, riders were to race for "The Jack Unstead Memorial trophy". His best days had been at Rayleigh where he had started out as a novice in 1949 and in 204 matches he totaled 1,614 pts, whilst later at the Bristol circuit he was to collect 374 pts from 50 outings for the "Bulldogs". In 1958-59, Jack was riding for the Poole outfit and scored 226 pts from 34 meetings and once rode for an England 'C' side against New Zealand from which he collected 6 pts.
Name.......VANCE, PHIL. Seasons....1980. Phil appeared as a Junior in 1980 when he was to score 13 pts from his 16 matches for the Falcons.
Name........VANDIREK, PETER. Seasons....1995. Peter had been a reserve in the 1986 World Final, and he was to ride for his native country Czechoslovakia in the World Team Cup of 1987. He was to join Exeter in April of 1995 and made his debut on his 33rd birthday with a 10 (paid 12) at Swindon.
Name.......VERNER, JAN. Seasons....1978/79. Others.....Swindon,Cradley. Born in Czechoslovakia on March 9th,1951, Jan was team up with his older brother Vaclav at the County Ground in 1978, after having made his debut in this country whilst riding for a Czech tour side at Canterbury back in 1974. Jan holds a rather unique record in that he was to appear in five World Finals in 1977, no surprise then that he was signed by the "Falcons". The World Finals he rode in were the Ice Final, Long Track Final,World Pairs and the World individual Final. Jan was also to make the World Final in 1978, when he collected 5pts, whilst his team mate Scott Autrey was also there finishing third with 11 pts.
Name.......VERNER, VACLAV. Seasons....1977/78/79 1993/94. Others.....Poole The second of the Czech brothers who rode for Exeter, Vaclav was born on May 6th, 1949 in Prague and it had taken almost three years of negotiations to complete the signing that was to bring him to Exeter. Vaclav had first appeared in Britain back in 1968 at the age of 18 with the Czech touring side and had ridden alongside his brother, not Jan, but another brother named Miroslav. At the time of his signing, Vaclav was ranked number 2 in his country and had reached the Continental Final of the World championship, World Ice finalist in 1970,71 and 1973, as well as qualifying for the World 1,000 metre sand track final in 1975. Was at one time the track record holder when he clocked 67.2 in April, 1979 and was famous for his exciting style of riding.Later moved on to Poole when Exeter switched to National League racing before embarking on long grass track career.It was near the close of the 1993 season that the veteran was to make an astonishing return to the County Ground to help a depleted Exeter line up and after a fight to get him a work permit, he was to be included in the plans for the 1994 campaign. He made two World Final appearances in 1982 (15th, 2pts) and again in 1984 when he failed to score and was reserve in 1980 but did not ride.

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