Content Â© Sunderland Speedway Supporters - Ian Martin and Bob Ferry 2003-2013 - â¢ Â© 2013
Keeping Alive Memories of Speedway Racing at the Boldon Stadium, dedicated to the Memory of Vic Harding, Jack Millen, Colin Robertson, Vic Ridgeon, Bernie Aldridge, Pauline Dent and Elizabeth Martin
Bits 'N' Bobs
Programme notes by Barry Wallace commenting on the previous weeks meeting between Sunderland and Berwick, 1973
Jack (Millen) and Willie Templeton were both on a maximum when they lined up for heat ten. Willie got the drop on Jack at the gate and led for three quarters of a lap. Jack drove hard inside the Bandit on the fourth to take the lead but over-cooked it a bit, clouting the fence, bouncing off again and clinging to his bucking bronco for a few more yards, then clouting the fence again before parting company with his bike, which just beat jack to the finishing line as he sailed through the air.
The stating marshal was hastily looking a white flag to hold up in surrender! The stretcher went back to the pits unused as the skipper, still with his left leg in plaster, hobbled away amidst cheers of admiration from the fans. What a man, and what an inspiration to the rest of the team as he gamely turned out with Russ Dent, the still unbeaten Willie Templeton and Andy Meldrum two heats later. With the Stars just ahead 34-31 it was a vital heat indeed. No one needed to worry though as our boys overtook Willie to clinch the meeting with a 5-1. See what you missed.
Did you know ?
Its a well known fact that Sunderland won only one away league meeting, that was at Weymouth in 1974, their last season in speedway before closing, and their very last away meeting. But did you know that the Sunderland Stars actually won two other away meetings, in 1973. Both were Challenge matches. They rode and won at Newton Grange on the 15th of June, the score being 41-37, and on the 15th of August they beat Hull Vikings, winning 40-38.
In 1973, in two home matches against Berwick (54-24) and Crewe (53-25, Sunderland won all thirteen heats in both meetings. Whereas when Bradford visited the Boldon track the home team only managed to provide six out of thirteen heat winners, but won 40-38! And when the old enemy Teesside Tigers came to Boldon the Stars only managed five heat winners, but again they went on to win the meeting.
Did you know that Jim Wells was the only Sunderland rider to ride in all of the Stars fixtures in 1973. Thats 54 meeting in total, which included League, KO cup, Four team, Challenge and other meetings.
1972: Graham Smith scored more than half the sides points when the Stars visited Birmingham in September..More Brummie bashing for the Sunderland lads, Birmingham was definitely not one of their favourite tracks to visit.
Russ Dent and George Barclay were both ever present for the newly formed Stars in 1971, Russ topping the averages and George second.
1971: In a season where we got used to seeing Dent and Barclay topping the score sheets, we had one-off performances when Brian Whaley topped the list with 9 pts at Boston. John Lynch scored 12pts at Hull, and Alan Mackie top-scored with six pts at Crewe. Two other one-offs were in 1974, when Brian Johnson topped the scorers for the now named Gladiators. And in the KO cup at Teesside, John Robson joint top-scored with 6 pts, when we lost 22-55.