WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Teesside Teessiders 1969 at Cleveland Park - Left to Right: Tim Swales, Pete Reading, Dave Durham, John Spilsbury, Terry Lee, Bruce Forrester (R.Spencer-Oliver)
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Due to a number of requests from former Middlesbrough speedway supporters we have decided to dedicate a page on the website to the whereabouts of former riders, contributions are most welcome. We've tried to be as accurate as possible but corrections are most welcome, especially from the riders themselves!
GARY AINSLIE - A junior rider who began at Felton and appeared in second half racing at both Middlesbrough and Newcastle in 1980. He later made a few first team appearances at Brough Park.
M.ALDER - A junior who appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park in September 1980.
BRETT ALLEN - A browse through some old programmes and we discovered this Aussie sounding rider who appeared in junior races at Cleveland Park in 1978. Haven't a clue who he was!
ROBIN ARCHER - A junior who appeared in second half racing at Cleveland Park in 1982. Was always associated with Newcastle.
ALAN ARMSTRONG - A Belle Vue junior who rode at reserve and showed glimpses of potential throughout the early 1980s. Lives in Salford.
IAN ATKINSON - Junior rider from 1985/6 who showed lots of promise. Had his own garage on the old Thornaby Aerodrome.
FRANK AUFFRET - Began as a track raker/pusher and soon progressed on to the bikes themselves. Rode for four seasons and was then transferred to First Division Hull. He made a brief return at the beginning of the 1982/3 (?) season before retiring. Self employed conference organiser who worked for the leisure & museums department of Stockton Borough Council for many years. He lives at Battersby Junction, Great Ayton.
L.AVIS - A junior who appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park during the 1964 season.
STEVE BAGHURST - Jim Burdfield's mechanic from 1985/6 appeared in a Northern Junior Grand Prix in June 1986 and but for a fall whilst leading one race, came as close as anyone to winning the damn thing. Not bad for someone who was never that serious about speedway.
MIKE BEAUMONT - Grass tracker from the Ripon area of North Yorkshire who joined the club during the 1976 season. A haulage contractor who struggled to get to grips with the tight confines of Cleveland Park and left the club to join Scunthorpe at Quibell Park - with similar results. He was an international grasstrack star who had considerable success on the continent but had been a road racer five years previously. He first rode speedway in 1972 with after-the-meeting rides at Sunderland and Halifax and then attended Belle Vue training school in January 1976.
PAUL BENTLEY - Former Middlesbrough captain who was born in Newcastle. Made his Tigers debut in 1988 at Exeter's County Ground and was a regular until Coventry signed him in 1992. After a spell at Bradford and appearing nude in a Channel Four documentary on speedway he returned to Middlesbrough in 1994 and was crowned Division Two Riders Champion. Has ridden for Newcastle, Glasgow, Hull (twice) and Berwick (twice). Based in Darlington, where he works as a postman, 'Banger' currently rides for the Berwick Bandits and has a testimonial in September.
WILL BEVERIDGE - Appeared in junior racing at Cleveland Park in 1993 but was never really given a chance to establish himself. He rode for Berwick's junior side the Border Raiders and has had spells with numerous northern clubs including Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh & Glasgow. Currently rides for Stoke in the Premier League and Buxton in the Conference League. Works as a postman and lives in Bishop Auckland.
BILL BIRD - Appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park in 1962.
TOM BLACK - A New Zealander who emigrated to Canada - who made just seven appearances in 1973 before injury finished his career. God knows how he ended up in Middlesbrough!
DAVID BLACKBURN - Came from Hinckley where his father Mick had links with Coventry. A man of many clubs but probably the most unpopular rider ever to appear for Middlesbrough. At practice day 1988 Martin Dixon was badly injured and 'Blackie' was seen as an ideal replacement. He turned up for the first match of the season at Berwick with dirty equipment and rode like a 'lemon'. Then he 'disappeared' and made himself scarce when Tim Swales rang him to see when he was going to ride for us. Low and behold he turns up at the new Glasgow track at Shawfield a month later claiming he was being used as a stop gap until 'Dicko' returned. The truth of the matter is that having agreed to ride for Middlesbrough he then backtracked when he found out Glasgow were interested. Money made him move to Scotland. Revenge was exacted in the Four Team finals at Peterborough when on parade 150 Middlesbrough fans chanted 'Judas' and 'Traitor' at him for what seemed an eternity. He looked totally embarrassed by the whole affair. Rode for Workington, Milton Keynes, Boston, Newcastle, Berwick and Long Eaton.
ERIC BOOCOCK - Wakefield born Eric has been involved in speedway, in one capacity or another now for the best part of 40 years. He began his riding career at Cleveland Park in the old Provincial League in 1961 and then moved to Halifax in 1965 when promoter Reg Fearman transferred the licence to The Shay. He rode at the highest level appearing for England - first as a rider and then a team manager. He has also worked as a team manager at Belle Vue, Long Eaton, Middlesbrough and currently - Hull.
ERIC BOOTHROYD - Began his speedway career at Tamworth's Deer Park in the early 1950s and then rode for Birmingham. Rode at Cleveland Park for three seasons between 1961 and 1963 and then ran a series of 'open licence' meetings in 1966. Eric was promoter at Halifax and then Bradford for well over three decades.
KEIRON BOYLE - A junior who appeared in second half racing in the 1981 season. Made one appearance for Wolverhampton.
TRACY BRAY - An Aussie who appeared from nowhere during the 1987 season. Looked a class act in second halves but when promoted to the main part of the team seemed to struggle both physically and technically.
KEVIN BRICE - A stop gap signing to shore up an injury riddled team from 1993. Having spent most of his career at Arena-Essex and Rye House (his uncle Neville had ridden for Canterbury in 1969). After a handful of mediocre first team appearances his services were quickly dispensed with.
ALLAN BROWN - A New Zealander signed as a replacement for the injured Graham Edmonds from King's Lynn in 1968. In 13 appearances he scored five maximums (one paid) and was a revelation when he did ride. He rejoined King's Lynn in the British League for another couple of seasons. Sadly he died about three years ago.
MAX BROWN - He was from Australia and we think a friend of Bruce Forrester's who tried his luck without success in reserve races at Cleveland Park in 1974. He made a few appearances for Boston.
ANDY BUCK - A junior rider who showed much promise in reserve races but didn't quite make the grade. Came from Hull and now works in a garage in his home city.
DAVID BUCKLE - A junior who rode in reserve races at Cleveland Park during the club's Provincial League days.
STEVE BULLESS - A junior who appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park in September 1980.
JIM BURDFIELD - A big fans favourite from Australia who provided good second string support to our existing heat leaders in 1985 and 1986. The former Stoke and Glasgow rider won us the Fours Championship at Peterborough in 1986 and was carried shoulder high down the track immediately afterwards.
DAVE BURNETT - Appeared in second halves at Middlesbrough in 1966. Came from West Yorkshire.
DERMOT BURROWS (spelling could be Burroughs) - A junior who appeared in second half racing at Cleveland Park in 1982.
MARK BURROWS - A Sheffield lad. 'Buzz' came to Middlesbrough from Edinburgh in 1987 having begun his first team career at Scunthorpe. He actually first appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park in 1982. It was club captain Martin Dixon who persuaded the promoter Tim Swales to sign him. Though he failed to live up to his potential at the time meetings he was involved with always turned up something different. He has spent the last few years riding for Stoke though he did retire briefly and then made a comeback, riding for the Cleveland Bays on occasions.
DAVE BUTT - A stylish rider who was on the verge of a breakthrough in 1980 when he was transferred in his job as an airport controller from Manchester to Norwich. Had ridden at Barrow in 1978.
ALAN BUTTERFIELD - Appeared for the club in the 1960s Provincial League and also rode for Newcastle.
M.CAISLEY - A junior who appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park in 1964.
NICK CALVERT - A junior who appeared in second half racing during the 1985 season.
ROB CARTER - A junior who rode mainly at reserve in our 1984 side. He joined Long Eaton in 1985.
WAYNE CARTER - Based in Sowerby Bridge, Halifax. Signed on loan from First Division Wolverhampton in 1991 and was a solid second string. Made his official debut at Rye House the same day Lawrence Hare was for the Rockets. The match went to a last heat decider and Carter top scored (unfortunately we lost!). Also rode for part of the 1993 season. Celebrated a testimonial at Isle of Wight a couple of years back. Began the season at Elite League Coventry but was dropped after the initial matches. Has recently joined Newcastle.
DUNCAN CHAPMAN - A former public schoolboy from Scarborough who made it to reserve level and then featured in a number of high speed crashes which curtailed his career. He had his moments though especially in 1992 with double figure scores at home to Rye House and Exeter and a number of impressive displays from reserve. He had brief spells with Long Eaton and Hull. He works for his father's (Ray) Volvo dealership in Malton, North Yorkshire. He was last seen at some services on the M5 last year on the way to the Grand Prix, Cardiff, where he could not recall yours truly!
DAVE CHESHIRE - An Aussie from Perth who was very popular with the fans which was in complete contrast to when his signing was revealed in front of 300 fans at a pre-season social in 1990! Provided superb back up for the heat leaders in 1990 but left the club in June 1992 as he was homesick and had financial problems.
KEVIN CLAPHAM - A junior from Pontefract who appeared in second halves at Cleveland Park in 1980. He rode for open licence track Castleford throughout 1979 and 1980 and later moved to Workington.
DAVID CLAY - A Bradford junior who made a few appearances at reserve in 1987. He scored more on the away tracks.
JOHN CLEGG - A junior who rode in second halves at Belle Vue, Halifax and Middlesbrough in 1980. He also rode for Castleford.
MAXWELL CLIFT - From Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire the stylish Clift looked the part in 1972. Made eight appearances for a three point average. His father ran a haulage business and Clift moved into it soon after.
NIG(EL) CLOSE - Hero turned villain! His father Derek had ridden for the 1940s Boro Bears. Appeared at Teesside in 1976 but had an awful crash at Edinburgh in 1978 which finished his season. Mind you, he had already informed the promotion he was looking for a new club the following season. He once encurred the wrath of administrator Nigel Furniss for demanding appearance money (along with Alan Emerson) to appear in an individual event at Cleveland Park. He later turned up for Berwick and will never be forgiven for his third bend fencing of Steve Wilcock in the 1980 Knock-Out Cup final at Newcastle's Brough Park, in the last heat with the result determining who would win the cup. Everyone who was in the grandstand on the third bend (including the Newcastle fans) saw what he did, except the referee. He was a qualified motor mechanic but after retiring from speedway in 1983 at Long Eaton he had his own nursing home in Sedburgh, Cumbria. The last I heard he was running his own financial/insurance business.
E-MAIL from Nigel himself:
Just did a search for Workington speedway on web and found a link through to your site. Love it. Flashes a few memories for me. Even got my face in the '78 Tigers team photo. Whatever happened to Tony Coupland?
Haven't done a full tour of your site yet but am very interested as we now have www.realtimeitsolutions.co.uk as a multimedia web design and development company. Our developers have done some pretty good designs and our flagship is www.ukcare.net which is the No. 1 web site for the care services in the UK. I've often thought how good it would be for speedway results to be posted on line immediately after the meetings via a secure passworded members upload. Is there anything like that in play now?
You will see many instances in our site where we have limitless secure uploading for common info share.
Anyway, my favourite Teeside memory I guess was ..... well too many really great memories. I obviously remember well my night of winning the Teeside Silver Helmet in June 77 I think. I was about third reserve before the meeting but it was one of those occasions when I just knew what could happen. I had even had a 'premonition' on the night before the meeting and was tuning the old engine up well into the night with a very strong conviction of what could happen.
Turning up on the night, 2 riders had failed to arrive making me first reserve for the night and then someones bike cracked up I think before the meeting putting me into the meeting proper. First heat against our 'Emmo' (Capt and No.1 at time) and I blew them all away. I remember looking back at end of first lap going into second bend and it seemed like Emmo was just crossing the line then after 1st lap. Anyway, went on to win it. (and all without any uppers or whatever many started taking)
Many other great memories and a great life learning experience. I guess a further memory for me would be at Brough Park when Berwick rode their 'home' leg of Div. 2 KO cup Final and in the very last race of the night Berwick needed more than a point to win Cup. I came from behind to pass Steve Wilcox and split the Tigers and Steve tried a big wind up to come round me on 3rd bend on last lap. He ran out of room and came off which didnt exactly endear me to my old Tigers supporters for a while after. Ahhhh........... Great days.
DAVID COLES - An Aussie who appeared briefly in second halves at Cleveland Park in 1978 but found a team spot at Workington.
BERNIE COLLIER - A Belle Vue loanee who rode mainly at reserve in 1980 and the National League championship winning side of 1981. He averaged over five points a match yet his team position came under scrutiny - rather unfairly we thought. He later rode for Newcastle and briefly with Barrow and Exeter in 1985. Sadly Bernie is not a well person these days and due to illness cannot work (see the Belle Vue website for more info).
RON COOPER - A friend of Bruce Forrester's who tried to win a team place at Teesside in 1975. He later appeared at Boston.
MICK CONROY - An Australian who was based at Leicester. Made five appearances and scored 3pts in 1979 and was soon dropped. Couldn't ride the second bend at Cleveland Park. Had previously ridden for Weymouth in 1978.
MALCOLM CORRADINE - A grasstracker from Grantham who began his speedway career at Doncaster in 1970 and later moved to Birmingham. Corradine rode just the one season in 1979 and later appeared for Weymouth. Had his own plant hire business but was last heard of in France.
MARK COURTNEY - Mark joined us from Barrow (Furness Flyers) in 1979. Originally from Braintree, Essex, the family had moved up to Workington to live. He was British Junior Champion in 1980 and won the National League Pairs at Halifax with Steve Wilcock. After three spectacular seasons including a league title in 1981 he moved to Leicester and then on to Belle Vue. Somewhere along the line the potential that Courtney once had never really reached its full potential and he rejoined the club in the mid eighties. He was part of the team who won the Fours for us in 1986. Towards the end of his second spell his form began to tail off and he joined arch rivals Newcastle and towards the end of the decade was signed by Berwick. His career blossomed at Berrington Lough and he helped the club to their second Knockout Cup against Poole (coming off his sickbed in hospital to star in the first leg at Wimborne Road). He returned to Middlesbrough a third time in 1993 but following a match at Swindon he was implicated in a hotel being trashed and was immediately sacked by the club. Worse was to follow as he was sentenced to six years in prison for a drugs related charge. Incredibly Courtney made an astonishing comeback with Glasgow midway through the 1999 season. From there he spent last season with Trelawny and then to the present date with Rye House. Currenly living near Wimbledon.
SEAN COURTNEY - Younger brother of Mark who achieved more success when he left the club in May 1982. Had spells with Berwick, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
ANDY COWAN - An Aussie with Noddy Holder-style sideburns who along with Steve Wilcock - was signed from Bradford at the beginning of the 1976 season. Came from Perth, Western Australia and worked as a builder for Wally Martin. He was dropped from the team early in 1977 and refused to travel from his Leicester base to win his place back.
PAUL COWARD - A junior who made a number of attempts to break into the first team throughout the eighties without much success.
MARK CRANG - Darlington based, christened 'Wang Bang' by former team manager Tony Coupland because of his outrageous riding style that did not endear him to opposing riders. Rode at reserve in 1984 before Belle Vue promoter Stuart Bamforth paid 10,000 for his services, having never seen him ride! Crang's stint at Hyde Road was brief and unsuccessful. Made a brief comeback attempt in 1988/89 and also made appearances for Peterborough and Stoke. Unfortunately Mark's attitude was not what it should have been!!
SIMON CROSS - England international with an excellent pedigree who was coming back from serious injury. Signed for part of the 1991 season following his dreadful crash in the World Pairs Final in 1990. Spent most of his career with Cradley Heath.
DEREK CUMMINS - A locally based junior who appeared in second half racing at Cleveland Park in 1982. His girlfriend had been Miss Middlesbrough Speedway.
MARTIN CUSWORTH - Self employed builder from Wakefield who didn't quite make the grade in 1977. Originally began riding at Stoke in 1975 but followed his brother Andy to Newcastle in 1976 and then on to Teesside. He came up for Steve Wilcock's testimonial in September 1985. Now lives in retirement in Ireland.
RAY DAY - A Provincial League stalwart who rode for Middlesbrough and Bradford. He returned to Cleveland Park in 1966 and appeared in the club's series of open licence meetings.
RAY DAY (Left)
DENE DAVIES - A pint sized Aussie who had ridden for Reg Fearman at Reading in 1968, he was a major disappointment whilst riding at Teesside in 1971 and only rode half the season.
MALCOLM DAVIES - Appeared in second halves throughout the 1974 season. Ended up mechanicing for various Middlesbrough riders over the next three decades.
ROBIN DIXON - A Newcastle junior who rode at Felton and Middlesbrough in 1978. Had previously ridden for Berwick in 1975 and then moved to Glasgow. Together with his father they later bought Felton training track. He now works in industrial and warehousing environments.
MARTIN DIXON - Currently riding in his 26th consecutive season for the Glasgow Tigers. Began his career at Teesside featuring in second halves in 1977 and then was promoted into the team proper in 1978 where he stayed until moving on to Halifax for the 1983 season. Returned to Middlesbrough in 1985 for another five year spell and was involved with our Four Team successes at Peterborough in 1985 and 1986. He left Middlesbrough after a disagreement with a former co-promoter and moved to Newcastle and later to Long Eaton, where he found success again, partnering Carl Stonehewer to pairs success.
IAN DODSWORTH - A junior who appeared in second half racing during the 1980 season.
DAVE DURHAM - A protege of Eric Boocock who came from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and a mainstay of the Ron Wilson era between 1969 and 1975. Dave was injured in a second half race with Newcastle's Robbie Blackadder and never returned to the side. According to Henry Atkinson (former team manager) Dave now works with mining machinery and still resides in Wakefield.
COLIN EARL - An accomplished grasstracker from Stokesley who had a couple of attempts to break into the shale game. Sometimes he looked great but his equipment appeared to let him down at important times. He was involved with the Cleveland Bays side of 1994. Found it difficult financially and went back to riding on the grass. Was last seen in the Cleveland Centre, Mddlesbrough, just a few weeks ago.
COLIN EARL (Cleveland Bays 1994) back row second from right
MITCH EASTON - A junior who began at Felton and appeared in second half races at Cleveland Park in 1980, he made a few first team appearances for Newcastle.
GRAHAM EDMONDS - Came on loan from King's Lynn in 1968 and showed lots of promise. After just three meetings he was injured and out for the season. Allan Brown was his replacement. Edmonds made a comeback at King's Lynn but struggled. He now runs his own haulage business in Norfolk and maintains financial interests in King's Lynn Speedway.
DAVE EDWARDS - An Aussie who rode at Middlesbrough during the 1989/1990 seasons. His spectacular back straight wheelie in one match (Arena Essex?) remains in the memory, as does him riding round for a point in a local derby at Newcastle. It was later discovered he had ridden four laps with a broken leg after Newcastle's Bryan Larner had fenced him on the second bend at Brough Park. Now works as an hydraulics engineer in the Hunter Valley (two hours drive from Sydney).
DAVE EDWARDS celebrates his birthday in style!
ANDY ELLIOT - A junior who appeared in second half events in 1981. He made two official appearances for Workington the same season.
ALAN EMERSON - A haulage contractor from Appleby, Cumbria, he made his debut at Cleveland Park in 1974 appearing originally in second halves. After four years at Middlesbrough he joined First Division Birmingham and then later rode for Workington in 1979, Newcastle and Glasgow before retiring at 26! He once encurred the wrath of Nigel Furniss (administrator at Cleveland Park during the Ron Wilson era) for demanding appearance money to appear in an individual meeting.
ALAN EMERSON in action against Mildenhall at Cleveland Park in 1977
PAUL EMBLEY - Came from Ellesmere Port in July 1980 but crashed on the first bend in his first race and never returned. Later rode for Wolverhampton.
MILES EVANS - Though he was born in Middlesbrough he had moved away from an early age. He began appearing in junior races in 1983 and made two appearances. He later won back-to-back National League titles with Long Eaton in 1984 and Ellesmere Port in 1985. He once said he was not impressed with how he was treated when he rode as a junior at Middlesbrough!
LEX FIELDING - Made just one appearance in 1968 before getting injured - and that was that!
STEVE FIELDING - A junior who made a few brief appearances in second halves at Cleveland Park in 1978. Not related to Lex - unless you know something we don't!
MARK FIORA - A big winter signing from Edinburgh on the eve of the 1985 season had begun at Sheffield and rode a few matches with Scunthorpe. 'Felix', as he was affectionately known, was hugely popular but injury and a strange move to on loan to Long Eaton meant we saw less of him. He returned to Cleveland Park in 1987 and 1988 and then never returned from Australia the following season. Brother-in-law of Hull's Paul Thorp, sadly he has split up with his wife. He now runs the family brick business in Littlehampton, Adelaide, Australia, and owns a pub in an old German town of Harndorf in the Adelaide Hills which he leases out - and he always complained he had no money! He quit speedway following a practice day crash with Gary Havelock before an Australia/England test match in 1989/1990. He broke his hurnorous bone in his shoulder.
BRIAN FOOTE - A nephew of the late Ron Wilson who made just one appearance during the 1968 season. Foote went on to be a good performer for Romford and Rye House.
BRUCE FORRESTER - Began life at training schools at Long Eaton in 1967 and the occasional ride at Leicester's Blackbird Road. When the Second Division was formed in 1968 it meant dozens of riders who maybe only had second half rides could now find a team place. Promoter Ron Wilson opened up Middlesbrough under the Allied Presentations banner in 1968. Bruce eventually found his way up north and by 1972 was the captain of the team. Based in Leicester he had a garage business. He left Teesside in 1975 citing business reasons and then joined weekend track Boston before retiring from the sport at the end of that season. He retired a couple of years ago and lives in Frisby-on-the Wreake, Leicestershire.
TONY FORWARD - A grasstracker from Northampton. 'Fast Forward' he had written on his leathers but he didn't make much impression at Cleveland Park in 1986 having signed from First Division Sheffield. Some cruel fans nicknamed him 'Rapid Reverse'.
TONY FORWARD second from right back row in this team picture from 1986
JOHN FRANKLAND - Appeared in junior races at Cleveland Park in 1980. Went on to celebrate National League championship success with Long Eaton in 1984. Rode for the ill fated Barrow Blackhawks in 1985 in the same team as Paul Price.
PAUL FURNISS - Appeared in junior scurries at Cleveland Park in 1969 and 1970. His brother Nigel ran the administrative side of the speedway. Lives in Thornaby.
MARK GALLAGHER - A junior who appeared in second halves at Cleveland Park in 1983.
DAVE GATENBY - Made an aborted comeback attempt at Teesside in 1978. Ran a motorbike shop in Darlington for many years. Began on the grass and then graduated into speedway via Sunderland and then Halifax. Had an appalling second half crash at Newport's Somerton Park in 1975 when his own teammate Ian Cartwright failed to avoid him and broke his leg. Now retired, lives in Cleasby.
DAVE GATENBY far right kneeling in this team photo from 1978
IAN GIBSON - A junior who appeared in second half races at Cleveland Park in 1982. He made 52 appearances for Scunthorpe in 1983/1984.
SIMON GREEN - One half of two brothers who began at Bradford and then later Newcastle. Green overcame a serious crash to ride again but naturally was never the same rider.
FRED GREENWELL - An old favourite from the club's Provincial League days who had ridden in 'closed to club' meetings in the 1950s and also for the Edinburgh Monarchs. Promoter Ron Wilson persuaded him to make a comeback in 1970 which was a big disappointment as he failed to make much progress and was even getting beat off the likes of Frank Auffret in second half races. Lived in a house on Sedgefield Racecourse.
DEREK GRIEVES - A scrambler who tried his luck at speedway during the 1966 season of open licence meetings. He briefly appared for Berwick during their initial season in 1968. Came from Northumberland.
KEN HALL - Runs his own garage business in Thornaby. Now races cars as a hobby. Rode for the ill fated Castleford Kings in 1979 and 1980. His website claims he was an accomplished speedway rider!!
E.HANUN - A junior who appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park during the 1964 season.
DAVE HARDY - An electrician from the Halifax area who appeared at Cleveland Park during the open licence series of meetings of 1966. He made a brief reappearance during the 1968 season.
MARK HARRISON - A member of the Cleveland Bays in 1994 this former grasstracker has his own newspaper distribution company and lives in Hull (hope you enjoyed Cardiff, Mark?!). Joined Buxton in 1995 and then retired.
MARK HARRISON (far right back row) of the CLEVELAND BAYS 1994
GRAHAM HARTLEY - One of many riders who were given a chance to impress by promoter Ron Wilson in1975. The highlight of his season was appearing in a Tigers team consisting of Tom Leadbitter/Pete Reading/Colin Pestell/Dave Levings/Trevor Stead/Brian Johnson that beat Mildenhall 45-32pts!
BRIAN HAVELOCK - Part of the 1981 National League championship winning side. Brian sold his heating and plumbing business in Oxbridge, Stockton, a couple of years ago. Made a brief comeback with Stoke 1982/3 (?) having previusly ridden for Sunderland, Berwick, Newcastle & Workington. Was team manager of Middlesbrough in 1985 and then later became involved with promoting speedway at another one of his former club's, Newcastle. When the consortium pulled out unable to do a deal with the stadium owners at Brough Park, Havvy got the blame. Later on he team managed Hull Vikings in 1995. Now lives in retirement in Yarm and spends most of his time in Ireland fishing, though we did spot him leaving a show at the Billingham Forum a few months ago.
BRIAN HAVELOCK pictured with a very young Gary in 1981
GARY HAVELOCK - Born in Eaglescliffe, 'Havvy' is probably the most famous rider to have ridden for the club. Made his debut at the age of 16 in a challenge match against Long Eaton in April 1985 and starred in the team's Fours success at Peterborough. After two years at Cleveland Park and many individual honours (Pride of the Potteries, Grand Slam) he moved to British League Division 1 with Bradford in 1987 for 20,000 pounds. He spent 11 years at Odsal and during this time was banned for a year for testing positive in a random drugs test (1989) and then came back to appear for England and win the world championship in 1992. When Bradford closed in 1997 he joined Eastbourne who then released him to Poole where he has been ever since. He also rides for Masarna in the Swedish Elite League.
GARY HAVELOCK - World Speedway Champion 1992
who began his speedway career at Cleveland Park
PAUL HEYES - A printer from Manchester who joined us from Ellesmere Port for the 1986 season. He was a Belle Vue asset. He retired after three months.
CLIVE HITCH - A popular member of the 1960s Boro Bears that rode for four seasons in the Provincial League. Came from Stanstead Abotts, Hertfordshire. Began his career at Rye House training track in 1957. Spent a few seasons with Swindon in the late sixties.
RUSSELL HODGSON - Rode for Teesside in 1973 and 1974 therefore retaining a family legacy going back to Frank and Jack Hodgson in the forties and following a dispute with promoter Ron Wilson moved to Belle Vue in May 1975. Injury curtailed his career at Hyde Road in 1977 where he was a useful addition at reserve. Recently featured in Peter Collins 'Dream Team' in the pages of Speedway Star. Spent most of his time building boats and then sailing round the world. Always had a smile on his face whenever he spectated at Cleveland Park. Lives in Hutton Rudby.
STAN HOLEY - Rode in second halves at Middlesbough during the open licence season of 1966. Later became team manager of the Bradford Northern team that raced at Odsal in the early 1970s.
DAVID HOLIDAY - A promising junior rider from Darlington who made nine appearances without much luck in 1986 and 1987. He is now married with a family and occasionally spectates at Newcastle.
GLEN HORNBY - A Belle Vue loanee who appeared at Cleveland Park in 1985 and 1986. He was held in high esteem by the fans and once appeared in a televised meeting at Peterborough as Glen Horny!
ANDY HOWE - Began his career at Newcastle. The 1994 Academy League Riders Champion joined Buxton and then retired. Moved to Liverpool to live and work.
TONY HOWE - Brother of Andy who began junior racing with Newcastle and then moved to Middlesbrough. In 1997 he spent the season riding for the Border Raiders (Berwick's junior side). Originally from Northallerton but now lives and works in Stockport, Greater Manchester.
DAVE HUDSON - A junior who appeared in second halves at Cleveland Park in 1978.
ROD HUNTER - Former Newcastle and Halifax rider who was signed at the beginning of the 1990 season to replace Martin Dixon who had joined neighbours Newcastle. Hunter, an Aussie, despite his consistency was not popular on the terraces of Cleveland Park - he was also very expensive!
JIM IRWIN - A second halfer who failed to make the grade in 1970.
MICHAEL IRVING - A junior who appeared in second half racing during the 1982 season. Made seven appearances for Workington in 1981.
WAYNE JACKSON - Rode for Workington in 1981 and the moved to Oxford. Appeared in second half races at Cleveland Park in 1984.
BOB JAMESON - Signed from First Division Halifax in 1970 big things were expected from this Aussie but more often than not he let the team down with a number of ineffective performances, considering his experience. He quit at the end of the 1971 season and went back to his native Australia.
DENNIS JENKINS - A Provincial League stalwart for Stoke who appeared in the club's opening challenge match fixture against Newcastle in May 1966 when a series of open licence meetings were staged.
BRIAN JOHNSON - Local rider who appeared for Sunderland in 1974 making 20 appearances and then when they closed down came to try his luck at Cleveland Park but only made two appearances.
PETER JOHNSON - His father Brian rode for Teesside in 1975. Showed great potential in junior racing at Middlesbrough and Newcastle. Appeared riding for the Cleveland Bays in 1994 and Berwick in 1995, and then promptly disappeared!
GRAHAM JONES - A big money signing in 1993 from First Division Wolverhampton who tragically had his career cut short after an appalling crash at Long Eaton where he ran into the back of Neil Collins, whose bike had conked out. Made a brief comeback at Hull and then Middlesbrough but was not the same rider. Began at Stoke where he won the National League Best Pairs in 1988 with Steve Bastable at Poole. Came from Market Drayton, Shropshire.
MARTIN JONES - Big things were expected from this Bradford-based 16-year old when he made his debut during the 1988 season but like so many before him he drifted away without really making any long lasting impact.
GREG JOYNT - A New Zealander who tried his luck at a number of tracks including Middlesbrough in 1978 without too much success.
KEVIN KEAY - Kev rode in second halves in the early 1980s but broke his legs in a junior match against Wimbledon in 1984. A local amateur rugby player he joined the police force. He currently works as a motorcycle policeman for Cleveland Constabulary.
ERIC KENT - A fireman from Northallerton who appeared in second half races at Cleveland Park in 1968.
JOHN KNOCK - Originally from Leicester but emigrated to Australia he tried to make the grade at a number of places including Teesside. He made one appearance for Peterborough in 1970 and then a few more for Sunderland in 1971.
ROB LASSEN - Appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park in May 1979. I have to be honest and say that I have never heard of him even though his name is in a programme I own against Workington!
'TIGER' TOM LEADBITTER - Originally rode speedway at Long Eaton training school in 1967. Had two spells at Middlesbrough: 1968/1970 and then 1975/1976. He temporarily retired in August 1976 but made a comeback the following month. Originally from Lichfield, Staffordshire, Tom, a self employed builder, died from a heart attack in May 1995. He rode for Bristol in 1977 and then concentrated on grasstrack after that often appearing in vintage meetings.
TERRY LEE - From Bolton Brow, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire where he had his own garage business. Former moto-cross rider who began at Newcastle in April 1966 and rode second halves at Halifax. Had two spells with Teesside before prematurely retiring in 1971, the highlight being his Teesside Open Trophy victory in 1969. A former go-kart champion he now lives in retirement. He will be celebrating his 58th birthday on July 28!
MARK LEMON - An Aussie from Bairnsdale in the mountainous region of Gippsland, S.E. Victoria who showed great potential when he joined us on loan from Poole in 1991. He was allowed to leave the club in 1992 after posting his highest score at Peterborough and then found 'red tape' blocking him appearing for another UK based track for two years. He currently rides for Elite League Oxford.
DAVE LEVINGS - From Leicester, promoter Ron Wilson spoke highly of him throughout the 1975 and 1976 seasons. However Dave never rose above reserve berth and announced his retirement in the early part of 1976 after losing his first team place to Nig Close.
JAMIE LUCKHURST - Left Edinburgh in controversial circumstances claiming that God had sent him a message. Peter McNamara went in an exchange deal. Jamie was a colourful performer between 1989-1991 for the Bears before retirement beckoned. Also rode for Canterbury, Wimbledon and Ipswich. He now sells cars back home in Kent.
KENNY McKINNA - Signed in the early part of the 1993 season to shore up an injury riddled team after a big falling out at Glasgow. Came to the club at a time when morale was low and results disappointing. Immediately given the captaincy and results improved. Would have ridden for the club much longer if he had lived closer. Also appeared for Belle Vue and Edinburgh. Works as a builder.
HARRY MACLEAN - A wholehearted rider who had two spells at Cleveland Park. Was working as an accountant. Also rode for Oxford, Milton Keynes and Glasgow.
PETE READING & HARRY MACLEAN
STUART McDONALD - All heart, signed from Edinburgh for the 1995 season but opportunties were limited in such a weak side where he was expected to deliver the goods immediately. Had some excellent meetings though for a young reserve. He later rode for Glasgow and Stoke.
PETER McNAMARA - From Halifax, West Yorkshire, Peter was a more than useful second string on his day. Started out with Sheffield when they were a first division club then had spells with Milton Keynes and Mildenhall before joining MIddlesbrough in 1987. When the club signed Jamie Luckhurst from Edinburgh in 1989 McNamara was part of the deal that saw him move to Powderhall and then into retirement only to reappear for Long Eaton in 1991.
MALCOLM McPHIE - A Hutton Rudby-based engineer who appeared briefly in two meetings in 1970. His claim to fame was winning the Stars of Tomorrow at Berwick in 1971/2 (?). He also wore white boots! He used to ride a vintage JAP.
ROGER MILLS - After leaving Cleveland Park in 1971 Roger joined a club closer to home at Long Eaton. He was last heard of running a fish and chip shop in Willenhall, West Midlands.
NEIL MILSOM - A rider who appeared in junior scurries at Cleveland Park in 1969 and 1970. He later became a journalist working for BBC Radio Teesside (Cleveland) though his current whereabouts are unknown.
ALAN MOGRIDGE - A surprise signing in 1993 given that he is based in Eastbourne, Sussex. A long career in speedway and a man of many clubs. Began his career at Crayford in 1979 and made a few appearances for Wimbledon in 1980. Has ridden for Hackney, Rye House, Ipswich, Berwick, Swindon to name just a few and currently rides for Stoke. One of the sport's great entertainers.
MICK MOORE - Former grasstrack rider who rode at reserve 1971/1972 and then later joined Long Eaton. Was working as a security guard and living in Pocklington, York.
LARS MUNKEDAL - Ha ha ha! A lowpoint in the history of Middlesbrough Speedway was this joker from Copenhagen, Denmark via Milton Keynes and Edinburgh. Munkedal had the talent, though when he was at the back in races he would tootle round doing wheelies! He now team manages Danish League Slangerup, the same team that Newcastle's Kenneth Bjerre rides for.
ROBERT NAGY - Hungarian who signed for Middlesbrough in 1995. Had previously appeared for Glasgow where he won two league championships and Long Eaton. Recovered from an appalling crash with Roman Matousek but was very much a confidence rider. Rides for AK Slany in the Czech Republic.
'UNCLE' DOUG NICHOL - An all-rounder from Santa Monica, California, who had ridden motorcross and road racing. A relative of Donny Odom's who appeared mid season at Cleveland Park in 1992 with fluctuating fortunes.
TIM NICHOL - From Northumberland he appeared in the Scottish Junior League side from the late seventies. Resembled a cross between 'Claypole' the court jester off BBC TV's children's programme 'Rentaghost' and the comedian Bill Bailey. He also made a number of appearances for Workington in 1980/1981. Works as a HGV driver for a company based in Ashington.
PETER NIGHTINGALE - An Aussie who rode for the club down at reserve during the 1983 season.
ASHLEY NORTON - An Aussie who had two spells with the club during the eighties, the first of which was in 1982 in second half races. He spent time at reserve and second string level. He became good friends with Steve Wilcock.
DONNY 'Too Tall' ODOM - An American rider from Santa Monica, California, who appeared at Cleveland Park in 1992 with mixed results as the team finished bottom of the league.
DONNY ODOM is the tall one holding the handlebars team picture 1992
BRIAN OLIVER - A junior who appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park during the 1963 season.
PAUL O'NEIL - A New Zealander from Tasmania who was contracted to Belle Vue. He was signed to ride for the 1968 season. He found it hard to ride Cleveland Park with any consistency and midway through the 1969 season he asked for a transfer and joined Crewe, then the biggest track in the country. He later appeared for Barrow and Glasgow in 1972 and then on to Ellesmere Port in 1973. He then returned to Barrow in 1974 for just eight matches before returning back to his native country. His surname was regularly misspelt and even we don't know for sure which is the right spelling!
JACK ORMSTON - One of the pioneer riders who appeared in the very first meeting at 'Cleveland Park Speedway' in August 1928. Rode for Wembley Lions and Harringay. He then became a famous racehorse trainer. He now lives in a nursing home in Gainford, Darlington.
CHRIS PAILOR - A junior who appeared in second halves during the early 1980s without ever really making it into the first team.
ALAN PALMER - Made seven appearances in 1968 and then three for Long Eaton the following season without much success.
SHANE PARKER - Club captain of the 1995 and 1996 sides, Aussie Parker based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, was a big fans favourite with his never-say-die efforts as he single handedly often was the difference between respect and annihilation. Currently rides for Elite League Peterborough.
IAN PATERSON - A junior who appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park in the club's Provincial League days. He later went on to ride for Berwick in 1969/1970. He houses a speedway museum (pictured) at Duns, Berwickshire.
CARSTEN PELZMANN - A German who signed for an injury hit Middlesbrough side in 1991. He showed great promise in the handful of meetings he appeared in before he himself got injured.
COLIN PESTELL - The 'Mad Monk' from Northampton rode throughout the 1975 season mainly down at reserve having made his Tigers debut the season before. One of his relatives (Jeremy Pestell) currently rides in the Conference League with Wimbledon.
COLIN PESTELL (far left) on this team picture from 1975
MARTIN PETERCA - A low quality import signing in 1995. Slovenian champion he had the equipment and even a bright flourescent pink van, it's just a pity he couldn't ride Cleveland Park. Disappeared into oblivion.
PAUL PICKERING - A relatively late starter to speedway at the age of 28 he made his Middlesbrough debut in 1992 where he was voted Rider of the Year. This after achieving a highest score of 6 against Exeter! From Hartlepool, he moved on to Bradford and then later to Reading where he won a league championship medal in 1997. Has spent the last five years as captain of the Stoke Potters.
JOHN PLACE - A local lad from Billingham who surfaced in second halves in 1980 and made a few brief appearances in 1981 and 1982. Sadly John was killed riding his trials bike on wasteland in Haverton Hill.
GRAHAM PLANT - The first Second Division Riders' Champion in 1968 who rode just the one season at Cleveland Park. His father Wilf rode for the famous Boro Bears from the 1940s. From Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, he was an enigma for First Division Leicester and Halifax; beating the best and getting beat off the worst. Ended his speedway career with a poor year at Milton Keynes. Runs a garage.
ANDRE POLLEHN - A German rider signed as a stop-gap to shore up a weak team at the beginning of the 1995 season. His services were soon dispensed with when he didn't produce the goods. He has just made a comeback and finished fourth in a recent grasstrack event at Collier Street in Kent. He rides in the Danish League for Outrup which includes former Peterborough rider Hans Clausen.
DOUG POOLE - An Aussie based in the Midlands who tried to make it at various tracks throughout the 1977 season with little success.
PAUL PRICE - Signed from Ellesmere Port in 1982 providing solid second string support for the next three seasons. Moved to Barrow in 1985.
GEOFF PUSEY - A fruit machine collector from Maghull, Merseyside, 'Puse' was part of the 1981 championship winning side and awarded a testimonial in 1988. He was also a good friend of 'Stavvy's!'. Had previously ridden for Belle Vue, Ellesmere Port, Chesterton and Barrow.
LES RACE - A self employed builder from North Yorkshire who first tried his luck in speedway with Barrow in 1978 and a further spell with Workington. Had second half rides at Halifax, he then began to reappear at Middlesbrough in 1986 and was involved with the junior teams.
JENS RASMUSSEN - A Danish rider who appeared for the club in the mid nineties. Had a few seasons with Rye House and Peterborough.
CRAIG RATHBONE - A junior who appeared in second half racing at Cleveland Park in 1993.
CHRIS READSHAW - Works for a motor auction company and lives less than a hundred yards from my old flat in Bowesfield Lane. Not bad for a former King's Lynn reserve! He rode for Berwick in 1992 but was a fan on the terraces before he took up riding.
PETE READING - Another testimonial man, the first in the Second Division in September 1977. Pete left Middlesbrough in 1980 following an attempted comeback after serious injuries sustained at Canterbury in 1978. He now works as a school caretaker in his home town of Retford, East Midlands.
STEVE REGELING - An Aussie from Mount Isa who joined the club in 1992 from Exeter. Was the club's top scorer that season. Had started out at Leicester, Workington, Boston and King's Lynn.
GARY REID - A King's Lynn junior who appeared in second halves at Cleveland Park in 1985.
GERALD RICHARDSON - A grasstracker from Thirsk who appeared in second half racing at Cleveland Park in 1969. He later turned up riding for Sunderland in 1971 in a very poor side and promptly retired.
TONY RICHARDSON - A junior who began at Newcastle in 1986 and then moved to Middlesbrough in 1988 when the Geordies closed down. Came from Bishop Middleham, County Durham, but now lives in Hartburn, Stockton, where he is married. Works in the computer industry for NTL.
GARY RIDDELL - A junior who appeared in second half events at Cleveland Park in 1982. He rode at Felton training track and was always associated with Newcastle.
C.ROBERTS - I have to plead ignorance but in April 1971 this rider appeared in three junior scurries heats in the match against Workington. Once again I know nothing about him!
SCOTT ROBSON - A man of many clubs including Berwick, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Eastbourne, Coventry and currently Rye House. His career has been blighted by serious injuries but can guarantee points in the engine room of the team. Travels from Jedburgh to race for Rye House in Hertfordshire!
STUART ROBSON - Younger brother of Scott and his father John himself was a rider. Has been riding at Coventry for the past seven seasons but recently injuries have been taking their toll. On his day he can be a matchwinner. Has ridden locally for Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
JOHN ROBSON - Sunderland based rider whose two sons Scott and Stuart ride for Rye House and Coventry. John was all heart and made a few appearances for Sunderland in 1972 and then Newcastle. He was on the edge of a breakthrough at Teesside in 1977 when he got badly injured. His efforts made him popular with the fans.
COL ROGERSON - An Aussie who made a few first team appearances in 1973.
WAYNE ROSS - A junior rider from Halifax who made two appearances in 1985. He later joined Boston in 1986 and also rode for Berwick maintaining a six point average in 1987. Rode for Glasgow in 1988.
MERV SALT - An Aussie who rode down at reserve during the 1974 season.
MIKE SANDERSON - Came from Sheffield and looked stylish. A friend of Pete Smith he found it hard on the smaller tracks. Appeared in Scottish Junior League matches for the club. Made four appearances each in 1977 and 1978 and didn't score a single point! Then made nine appearances in 1979 and only averaged 1.90 from 32 rides (combined).
BRETT SAUNDERS - An Australian who was signed from Sheffield with Alan Mogridge going in the opposite direction in 1993. Had spent a decade riding for the Edinburgh Monarchs and began at Berwick in 1980. Was finding it difficult to maintain expensive engine blow-ups at Owlerton and looking for a smaller track.
MAX SCHOFIELD - Works in a gents outfitters in Manchester. Had two spells at Middlesbrough and one at Newcastle.
PAUL SHEARD - A junior who appeared in second halves at Cleveland Park in 1978. Also rode frequently at Halifax and open licence track Castleford.
BARRY SHEARER - A junior who appeared in second half racing at Cleveland Park in 1982. He made seven oficial appearances for Newcastle in 1983.
IAN SILK - One of a number of junior riders who were given a chance in 1975. Was working in the parks department of Scunthorpe Borough Council.
COLIN SMITH - Appeared in National Junior League matches for the Middlesbrough side in 1986.
MIKE SMITH - A landscape gardener from Billingham, Cleveland. The man once dubbed 'the Billingham Bomber' retired from the sport last season after riding for Hull Vikings. Spells with Newcastle and Berwick too.
PAUL SMITH - Brother of Andy who made a brief appearance in 1990. Originally from York, currently riding for Mildenhall in the Conference League. Had a good season at Hull in 2000.
PETE SMITH - 'Miffy the Bean' had two spells at Middlesbrough. The first in 1976 whilst on loan from King's Lynn. Left Cleveland Park in 1984 second time around and joined Long Eaton before retiring. Also rode for Stoke. Was a milkman in his hometown of Barnsley for many years before becoming a renowned Sheffield businessman.
NIGEL SPARSHOTT - Nigel was sadly killed in a car crash in the mid nineties. Rode for many clubs including King's Lynn, Wimbledon, Exeter and Long Eaton but joined Middlesbrough midway through the 1987 season.
BARRY SIMPSON - Rode for Teesside's junior team in the Scottish Junior League and was also a member of the Northumberland based Felton Fliers when they won the league in 1982. The former grasstracker works in an office in Darlington and used to be the timekeeper at Cleveland Park.
JOHN SPILSBURY - A fence scraping Aussie from Tasmania, New Zealand, who often prepared the tracks at Middlesbrough and Leicester during the 1968 and 1969 seasons. John was notorious for riding the outside line.
MIKE SPINK - Mike was part of the 1981 championship winning team. He left Middlesbrough in 1984 and rode for Canterbury and then Long Eaton. He now works as a courier driver in Peterborough.
PETER SPINK - Brother of Mike who had two spells with the club, the first in the 1978 when the club was experiencing an injury crisis. Spinky was all heart and didn't always get the points his efforts deserved. He returned in 1982 but was less impressive in his second spell.
IAN STAINTHORPE - A junior who appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park in September 1980.
PAUL STEAD - Won a junior event held at Cleveland Park in October 1978 beating Mike Sanderson and Barry Simpson and was immediately offered a contract for the following season. He made 28 appearances and was quite a revelation for the club. For some reason he requested a transfer and left the club. Numbered Newcastle, Sheffield and Long Eaton among his former clubs.
TREVOR STEAD - This Sheffield based rider was one of many given an opportunity by promoter Ron Wilson in 1975/76. An engineer by profession, his son Simon currently rides for Sheffield.
JOHNNY STOCKDALE - Appeared at Cleveland Park in second halves during the open licence season of 1966.
ANDY SUMNER - Brother of Daz who made a few appearances at reserve during the 1987 season.
DAZ SUMNER - British Junior Champion in 1987 who began his career at Stoke in 1985. A big money signing who cost 10,000 pounds at the beginning of the 1988 season. Had been brought up on the same grasstrack scene as Gary Havelock and Paul Bentley. Came from Hazel Grove, Stockport and works as a motor mechanic. He became notorious as a white line rider who found it hard to overtake on the outside. He tried to make it in the First Division with Belle Vue and Oxford but on both occasions was a disastrous move as he failed to score more often than not but he was our top scoring rider in 1989.
ANTONIN SVAB - From the Czech Republic. Signed on loan from Ipswich and rode two seasons at Middlesbrough in 1995/1996 where he was a popular second string rider. He absolutely loved riding Cleveland Park (like Shane Parker) and was devastated when news of the sale of the land on which the stadium stood was announced. Went back to Ipswich and won the league title; currently riding for Eastbourne Eagles in the Elite League.
JACK SWALES - Appeared in reserve races at Cleveland Park during the club's Provincial League days.
JONATHAN SWALES - Looked the part in junior racing for the Cleveland Bays in 1994 and rode for both Linlithgow and Mildenhall in the Conference League in 1995 and 1996. He made a few appearances for Newcastle in 1997 but injury and a lack of cash hampered his progress and he retired from the sport. He now drives the tractor at Workington's Derwent Park!
STUART SWALES - Works as a motor mechanic for Prestons of Potto. Lives in Eaglescliffe. Last rode for Glasgow in 2001. Had also ridden for Bradford, Long Eaton, Cradley Heath & Newcastle.
TIM SWALES - Former pusher, track raker, rider and promoter. Tim still has his garage at Osmotherly on the edge of the North Yorkshire moors. Last seen spectating at Workington two years ago. His last speedway involvement was as chairman of the BSPA in 1994/1995.
TONY SWALES - An agricultural engineer who had some success at reserve in the early seventies. Twin brother of Tim he used to prepare the track at Middlesbrough and was also involved with the Cleveland Bays (Middlesbrough's junior team from 1994). He now prepares the track at Workington's Derwent Park and up until recently was doing similar work for Hull Vikings.
STUART SWEENEY - Came from Hartlepool where he ran a bike shop. Appeared in 1989 riding for the Boro Bear Cubs. Now lives in South Africa.
PETER TARRANT - Signed from Rye House in 1981 and rode at reserve as cover for the injured Bernie Collier.
MAURICE TATE - Yes, the former start marshal at Cleveland Park had a crack at speedway himself in 1962 in reserve races but was more known as a scrambler.
GRAHAM TATTERSALL - One of many riders who were given a chance to impress in 1975. Appeared at Bradford & Barrow with moderate results. His father Derek was team manager of the Nelson Admirals. He rode in seven matches for Scunthorpe in 1979.
ROLAND TEBBS - A grasstracker from Yarm, Cleveland, who originally tried his hand at speedway in 1980 and then again in 1985/1987 with mixed fortunes. Roly was a big lad and often struggled on the tighter tracks. Tried his luck at Newcastle a couple of seasons later but drifted away. Owns a farm between Eaglescliffe and Teesside Airport.
PETER THOMPSON - A Yorkshireman from Bradford who tried his luck at a number of tracks in the mid sixties without much success. He rode at Middlesbrough during the open licence series of meetings staged by Eric Boothroyd in 1966. He then made a brief reappearance during the 1969 season (1 app, three rides, no score!) which was disasterous. He also rode for Nelson and then moved with them to his hometown club making 21 appearances between 1970 and 1971.
PAUL THORP - From Macclesfield, Cheshire, Thorp has had an outstanding career in speedway. I think he began as a junior at Sheffield but rode at various northern tracks in second halves including Middlesbrough in 1982. Began to make a big impression with Stoke in 1986 and spent a few seasons with Bradford before settling down with Hull, who he currently rides for. Capped at international level and even spent a year riding for Newcastle!
LEN THWAITES - One of a number of second halfers who failed to make the grade in 1970. Now runs a motorcycle leathers shop in Barnard Castle, County Durham.
PAUL TILLMAN - According to my programme from August 1975 against Newcastle in the KOC he rode in the reserves scurry. I know absolutely nothing about him.
KEVIN TORPIE - An Australian who rode for the Bears during the club's Provincial League era.
BRIAN TURNER - A grasstracker from Redcar who showed great potential in 1994 whilst riding for the Cleveland Bays. Later rode for Newcastle, Linlithgow and then Glasgow and then retired from the sport after a poor run of results.
DOUG UNDERWOOD - An Aussie who came from Leicester. Made his National League debut with Scunthorpe in 1974 but in 1975 Teesside were having team problems and along with Tom Leabitter he was brought in to steady the ship. It wasn't long before both he and Tom were running up double figure scores - home and away. After leaving Cleveland Park he also rode for Reading and later Weymouth. He was last seen as a spectator at a Peterborough/Middlesbrough meeting in 1990.
DOUG UNDERWOOD (Pre-meeting parade Newcastle 1975)
SHAWN VENABLES - A stop-gap signing from Hackney to patch up an injury-jinxed team in 1991. Venables was thought to be the first Canadian to have ridden at Cleveland Park since the pre-war era.
MARTIN VINTHER - Signed during the 1995 season from Denmark. Showed glimpses of potential but never quite made the breakthrough in a struggling side. His services were dispensed with before the end of the final season. He now rides in the Danish League for Brovst.
JOHN WALLINGER - A grasstracker from North Yorkshire who appeared for Teesside in their Scottish Junior League days in 1977/78. His son David is making a name on the grasstracks.
JOHN WALMSLEY - Appeared in second halves at Cleveland Park in 1982 and 1984. Inbetween he made six appearances for Glasgow with little success. Joined the ill-fated Barrow team in 1985 and was better known as one of the few British ice speedway riders.
JOHN WALMSLEY (Barrow 1985)
DAVID WALSH - One of three former Middlesbrough riders from Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, to have appeared for the club. A wealth of experience at Second Division/Premier level. Was riding for Hull last season until serious injury curtailed his career. It remains to be seen whether he will make a comeback in 2003.
BOB WATTS - A stop-gap signing in the summer of 1978 to help us through an injury crisis. The fact was that Bob was a farmer from Uffculm near Plumpton, Devon, who had a few rides at Exeter. He spent most of the day travelling to Middlesbrough for three reserve rides (357 miles and 357 back!). A Cleveland Park legend yet he only made 21 appearances. Bob turned up at Martin Dixon's 25th Anniversary meeting at Swindon last season and was amazed people still remembered him.
IAN WEDGEWOOD - A New Zealander who made a few appearances down at reserve during the 1985 season. His claim to fame is that travelling to an away match at Rye House he turned up at Rye in Sussex!
BRIAN WHALEY- The son of former Glasgow promoter Les Whaley was signed by promoter Ron Wilson in May 1970 and big things were expected. Whaley had ridden to an unbeaten 15pt maximum in the very first second division match at Cleveland Park in May 1968 for the Berwick Bandits. He had previously ridden for Glasgow in 1967 and doubled up in 1968. An engineer by profession, he had left the country to work on the US Apollo. His comeback was disastrous as he hardly registered a single point in a handful of appearances and his services were quickly dispensed with. He turned up riding for arch enemies Sunderland the following season but only maintained a four point average in a poor side.
PAUL WHITTAKER - A star performer for Hackney in the late eighties he never fully recovered from an appalling crash at Newcastle's Brough Park whilst riding for Peterborough. Initially he came on loan at the back end of the 1991 season.
STEVE WILCOCK - Number one for so many years at Cleveland Park. Originally signed from Bradford on loan, on the eve of the 1976 season. Originally from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. Spent 15 of his 16 years at Middlesbrough before retiring in 1991. Had spells with Halifax, Belle Vue and Coventry but decided against a move up. The last we heard Steve had his own business hiring bouncy castles out.
DAVE WILSON - Appeared in second half races at Cleveland Park towards the back end of 1971 and made three official appearances in 1972 but failed to score in seven rides.
ROB WOFFINDEN - Signed from Scunthorpe in 1982. Showed lots of promise but never fulfilled his true potential. Rode for Rye House, Birmingham, Berwick, & Exeter. He finished his career at Sheffield in 1993 and emigrated to Australia.
ROB WOFFINDEN pictured second right in this team photo from 1982
PETER WRATHALL - A Midlander who appeared in second halves at Cleveland Park in the open licence season of meetings in 1966. He also rode for Cradley Heath and later on turned up riding for Sunderland in 1971.
ROGER WRIGHT - Who knows? Left Teesside under a cloud in June 1975 citing 'no team spirit'. Was based on a farm at Picton, Yarm, with Paisley Lions Malcolm Chambers Joined Workington and then later moved to Berwick. A New Zealander from Christchurch who began his British career with Rayleigh in 1969. He was still making brief appearances for Berwick as late as 1983.
KENNY YOUNG - A junior who appeared at Cleveland Park in reserve races during the 1982 season. He rode at quite a few northern tracks and later became a track spares dealer. He was involved with the Conference League version of Sheffield Prowlers.
DAVE YOUNGHUSBAND - From Castleside, Consett, County Durham. Dave was a regular member of the Provincial League side for four years between 1961 and 1964. He moved with Reg Fearman to Halifax. Was team manager of the Teesside Tigers in 1973 and later on the Newcastle Diamonds. Was running a dairy.
PHOTOGRAPHS: Ray Cooper; Ken Carpenter; Dave Gatenby (not the rider); David Lowes; R.Spencer Oliver; Mike Patrick; Trevor Swan; Alf Weedon; Wright Wood.
All photographs acknowleged if source is known
Special thanks to DAVE SMITH of DARLINGTON for lending us his tremendous archive of early 1970s photos and scrapbooks
Information supplied by Henry Atkinson, Paul Boothby, Colin Greenwell, Steve Harland, Jason Pipe, Tony Richardson.
Additions and corrections are most welcome