1972 Season - Some Steel!
Last yearâs main points scorers Russ Dent and George Barclay were back, and to add some bite to the team came
Graeme Smith and Jack Millen, taking the pressure off the much loved Russ and George. Now the team had some
steel to it, no longer were they a pushover. Now especially with Millen in the team, teams that had steam-rollered the
âStarsâ last season, knew they had a fight on their hands. Teesside based Dave Gatenby was also back, and was
beginning to look very promising indeed, as was newcomer, young Kiwi Jim Wells. Also back was the ever popular and
reliable Pete Wrathall. These seven would form the main basis of the Sunderland Stars 1972. Len Silver again promoted
the Sunderland outfit.
There was indeed some improvement in the Team as the âStarsâ finished the season in 12th place out of 17 in the
league. Dent and Barclay still scored solidly, while Smith and Millen hit some big scores (when Millen wasnât injured).
Jack Millenâs injuries were mainly due to his hard riding style and he copped a fair few injuries during the season. Never
the less he topped the averages for Sunderland with 8.69, just ahead of Graeme Smith and Russ Dent.
The Sunderland âStarâs also won the Four Team Tournament in 1972, beating Berwick, Teesside and Workington,
sealing victory on their home track.
* Dave Gatenby lost part of a finger in a meeting at Eastbourne.
To sum up: Much improved, much stronger and hope for the future.
Back Row (L to R) Colin Armitstead (Manager) Jim Wells, Graeme Smith, George Barclay, Jack Millen, Dave Gatenby,
PeteWrathall. On machine Russ Dent.
1972 Team ~ About to go out on Track