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Dukes Riders 85-97 Information (A - M)
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Dukes Riders 85-97 Information (N - Z)
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Dukes Riders 85-97 Information (N - Z)

Joe Screen

Joe signed for the Dukes in 1994 for a then World record fee from the arch enemy Belle Vue.  Joe went on to be apart of the Dukes team up until its closure.  Joe was nigh on unbeatable around the Odsal bowl, even if he was always ten yards behind everyone at the firts turn.  Joe was crowned British Champion in his time with the Dukes, but never produced his top form in the GP's.  He was an integral part of the Dukes team that won many a trophy and was always averaging 9.00+ per meeting.

Sean Willmott

Sean rode just for the one season with the Dukes in 1986, after coming to Odsal as part of the Halifax set up.  He rode for the Dukes from 1986 to 1988, where he was a steady second string, his best season was 1987 where he avearged over 7.00 points per metting and represented the Dukes in the  BLRC.

Larry Ross

Larry was another rider like Sean Willmott who cane as part of the Halifax set up.  Larry never seemed to click in a Dukes race jacket after his suprise transfer from Belle Vue.  He only rode one season at Odsal and struggled to average 6.00 points a meeting , which was poor for a rider of his quality.

Gordon Whittaker

Gordon, like Sean and Larry came from thre Halifax set up and was reserve for the Dukes in the 1986 season where he was averaging over 4.00 points per meeting.  Gordon was the captain of the reserve team and was some what suprsingly transferred to Belle Vue at the end of the 1986 season.

Robert Pfetzing

Rob only rode the one season on loan from Wolverhampton in what can be described as the worst Dukes team, he would always give his best, but the size of the Odsal track did not help him as he was used to the little circuits in the USA.  He was famed for his multi coloured leathers.

Bryan Larner

Bryan was another Duke to come through the ranks, but he never seemed to get any good luck, if there was a crash Bryan was usually involved in some shape or form.  Bryan could gate with riders who were better than him, he just did not have the craft to keep them behind him.  Bryan went on to be part of Havvy's pit crew.

Oli Tyvainen

Oli is only what you can call one of speedways entertainers.  He rode for the Dukes for one season in a very poor Dukes team.  Oli's carrear highlight has to be reaching the 1989 World Final in Munich.  Oli is currently the manager of Elite league Eastbourne.

Paul Thorp

Thorpy was a bit of an inigma around Odsal, he had the knack of beating the very best in the World (ask Hans Neilsen!!) but could as easily loose to a poor reserve.  Paul was one of the quickest riders around Odsal during his time with the Dukes and only his poor away average stopped him from being a top class performer.  Thorpy has ridden for nearky every Northen track during his long and distinguished career.   Paul's career highlight has to be qualifying for the 1991 World Final in Sweden.

Andy Smith

Andy was another rider loke Paul who could be up there with the best apart from his poor away form.  Andy came to the Dukes from Belle Vue and soon found the fastest way around Odsal.  Any made a few World Final apperances (1 whilst riding for the Dukes) and is currently in the Grand Prix series abliet struggling.  Andy is one rider who never has the rub of the green always missing out on a team birth at the beginging of the season due to the way the averages work out. 

Stuart Parnaby

Staurt progressed from the reserve team and had a lengthy spell at reserve in the 1992 season which culminated him bradding valuable points in the KO Cup Final at Reading which the Dukes only just won.  Stuart rode in the second division for Long Eaton but never fulfilled the promise shown at Odsal.  Stuart went on to be Aussie Jason Lyons' chief machanic.

Mark Loram

Mark is the current World Champion and is the first British rider to hold such an honour.  Mark came to the Dukes in 1997 and won the Danisg GP, British Final and also the Elite league with the Dukes averaing over 9.50 points per meeting.  Mark like Joe Screen is one of the most talented motorcycle rides to have appeared in a Dukes body colour.

Garry Stead

Steady rode for the Dukes in two spells, picking up the league titke in 1997 and was one of the best white line riders seen around the Odsal bowl, which was unusual for a home rider, as most of the others enjoyed the wide open spaces Steady crept around the inside picking up valuable points.  Garry was always pushing for a heat leader birth but always just missed out.  He made a stunning debut for the Dukes at the end of the 1994 season by beating Hans Neilsen in only his second ride around Odsal.  Steady is now part of the Hull Vikings side and is an acomplished rider in the premier league.

Josh Larsen

Josh rode in the 1997 team that won the Elite league and picked up valuable pounts away from home which other Dukes riders in the second string position had failed to do over the years.  His season did not start off to well picking up a couple of knocks which seemed to take there toll as the season progressed.  Josh has only appeared for one more full season in Rngland since and seems happy to concentrate on racing back home in the USA.

David Walsh

David was another member of the Elite league winning squad of 1997 after being called upon as a last minuite replacement for Todd Wiltshire.  Walshy started the season like a house on fire and at one point topped the Dukes averages.  He settled in to be vaualble member of the team picking points up home and away.  David has had a few clubs since leaving Odsal (it seemed that any club he went to closed down the year after!!) and is currently riding for Hull.

The Late Simon Wigg

What can you say about Wiggy that has not already been said.  A great rider not just speedway, but grasstrack and longtrack where he was a multi World Champion, a credit to speedway with his profesionalism, as he was years ahead of his time. a great team man to have around always helping out the younger team members.  Simply a magnificent rider who is sadly missed.

Sean Wilson

Sean was a crowd favourite at Bradford winning most of his points the hard way from the back.  He formed a grate racing relationship with his off track mate Havvy, but was often let down by his away form.  Sean suffered a bad back injury in the winter of 1993/94 in Australia, which ruled him out for the whole of the 1994 season.  He mad his comeback for the Dukes the year later and ended up as the third heat leader in the side.  Some what suprisingly he was left out of the side for following year for some unknown reason.  Sean has since rode for Belle Vue and Coventry in teh Elite league, but is currently one of the top performers for Sheffield in the Premier league.

Kelvin Tatum

Kelvin joined the Dukes in 1992 in what can only be called a shock move from Berwick.  Kelvin was always a target for the boo boys whilst riding for any opposing team at Odsal, but soon became a firm favourite whilst picking up points for the Dukes.  Kelvin appeared in the 1992 world final in 1992 at his home polish track, but could not live with Havyy that day.  Kelvin was always on had to help out the less experienced members of the team, but was forced out of the Dukes side due to the long ditence travelling each week from his home in the south.  Kelvin has since gone on to be World Grasstrack champion and also has his own GP team.

Darren Pearson

Darren was one ot the brightest prospects to come out of the Odsal training system.  He made his Dukes debut at 16 in 1992, but never progressed out of the reserve birth in all his matches for the Dukes.  His best performance has to be in the 1995 KO Cup versus Belle Vue where he beat every Belle Vue heat leader whilst going on th ebe the Dukes top scorer that night.  Darren is currently riding for Mildenhall in the Conference league.

Rick Smith

Rick was number eight for the Dukes during the 1992 season where he rode in a few matches.  Rick was part of the resrve team and would have gained more experience if he would have had a spell in the premier league before becoming the Dukes number eight.  A good performer in the reserve team, but was another rider unfortunate with injuries.

Paul Pickering

Pickers made his Dukes debut at the end if the 1992 season in the second leg of the contraversal KO Cup Final at Arena Essex.  Paul had never rode at Arena or in the Elite league bit  managed to put in a match winning performance from reserve, which was rewarded in a full time birth for the Dukes the following season.  Collerbone injuries plauged Paul's carrear with the Dukes, but was always a trier in the second string/reserve birth.

Jimmy Nilsen

All I can say about Jimmy is what if.  Jimmy used to put up some top performances when he rode against the Dukes, but he could just not string it togeather in his Dukes carrear.  Anytime he seemed to be getting a bit of form up he would get an unfortunate injury.  He was always the model professional which shows in the fact he is a multi world finalist.

Glyn Taylor

Glyn was a suprise choice in the 1996 team where he rode at reserve due to the fact that he was old enough to be some of the other riders dad!!  Glyn did not pick up many points but if he got in front at Odsal he was hard to pass due to the fact he rode the widest ever racing line I have ever seen.  Glyn suffered a bad back injury a few years ago but has gone on to set up his own tuning business.

Kevin Little

Kevin was signed on loan from Berwick in 1992 and started the season as reserve.  He struggled with the big open spaces of Odsal but picked some valuable points away from home.  His season and Dukes carrear was ended mid way through that year after breaking his leg at Odsal in a heat 2 spill.

Chris Readshaw

Chris was reserve for the Dukes for the first few matches in the 1996 season, but really struggled.  He was a good prospect a few years before, but did not have the cash to invest in good bikes.  Injuries also took there toll which resulted in Chris not riding with any confidence.


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