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
Weymouth to Host Vic Tribute
20th April 2004 By Weymouth Speedway & Dorset Echo
Weymouth Speedway followers will get the chance to pay tribute to one of the town's most popular riders later this summer. The Wessex Stadium is to host the Vic Harding Memorial Trophy meeting between the Wildcats, Sunderland and Hackney at the Wessex Stadium on Friday, June 8.
Harding, who was killed in a horrific crash at Hackney 25 years ago, spent two seasons with the Weymouth Wizards back in the mid-70s. Weymouth boss Brian White explained: "Those who are old enough to have seen Vic ride describe him as one of the best riders ever to pull on a Weymouth jacket. His untimely death while riding for Hackney came just as he was reaching the peak and it was a huge shock to everyone in speedway.
"To celebrate Vic's life, a trophy was put up in his name which originally was competed for at Hackney. When they shut down it moved to various venues and lately it's been run at Sittingbourne. Unfortunately they haven't got enough free dates to accommodate it this season and so when members of his family called me to ask if we could hold it, I had no hesitation in agreeing." He added: "The meeting will be a three-team tournament featuring the three clubs who Vic rode for during his career. It should be a fantastic night's racing and it's a real honour for Weymouth to be hosting such a prestigious event."
Having started his speedway career at Rye House training school, Harding was handed his first league opportunity by Sunderland in 1974. A year later he joined the Wizards before moving to Hackney in 1977. Harding made an immediate impact at the London club and quickly rose to the ranks of heat leader. However, tragedy struck on June 8, 1979 when he lost his life on the track aged just 27.
"Weymouth have produced some greats over the years," added White, "and Vic is up there with the very best such as the late Simon Wigg, Steve Schofield and Martin Yeates."
(Courtesy www.weymouthspeedway.co.uk - with permission from Tim Allan)