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This section is still under construction, if you have pictures or interesting stories about past riders please e-mail me

Newcastle Riders

Part 2


Anders Michanek

awaiting pictures

Swede Anders was brought to Brough in 1970 by the new promoter Ian Hoskins. He was a great rider too and won the world championship, but he came to us at the wrong time. Dwindling crowds and a lack of co-operation by the stadiums owners forced the club to close its doors and Anders went elsewhere for 1971.  The promotion wanted to drop down into the lower division to keep the sport going in 1971 but the stadium owners said no to the proposed move and the bikes went silent for 4 seasons.

Brough stayed shut until 1975 when Ian Thomas arrived and so began the most successful years in the history of Newcastle Speedway.


Tom and Joe Owen

Tom (left) and Joe

The Unforgettable

Owen Brothers

Joe Owen

The Owen Brothers were from Ormskirk in Lancashire.  Both were riding at Barrow in Cumbria in 1974 when Ian Thomas signed them for his new venture! To re-open Brough Park. What a major capture for 1975 these two turned out to be.  First it was Tom who made us sit up and take notice, then younger brother Joe started on his winning ways.  Every match Tom and Joe swapped top scorers roles with really only mechanical failures and falls stopping both from scoring maximum points.

Joe edged Tom out of the no 1 role and Joe became the brightest diamond for the remainder of the 1970s and early 1980's. 

 

Always a great Match between Diamonds and the Gunners Tom? what you doing at an Acid rave?

Barrow, Newcastle, Ellesmere Port, Hull, were graced by the Owen Bros' I have exchanged e-mails with Phil from Ellesmere who has supplied these pictures, thank you Phil: -

Lot's of hair, lot's of talent - 1976 NNL Best pairs. Newcastle's Tom & Joe (runners up), with the Gunner's pair who won it. Er' mmm! I forgot who the guy on the left was, the other is John Jackson, help me out here Phil please! Joe Owen, what you doing riding for the old enemy?  EP!

Come back Ellesmere Port the PL needs you.

 

Very fine action shot of Joe

 

This is Tom Owen

On the inside, doing "the business" team-riding with New Zealander Graeme Stapleton.

Usual stuff from these two! 1st and 2nd for 4 laps and you could throw a blanket over them, they trusted each other so much, they rode flat out inches apart.

2 very skillful riders, making it impossible for the opposition to overtake them.  Graeme was very popular and he would thump anyone who said he wasn't!  He had a Citroen Safari to carry his bikes around in.  The guy practically lived in that car as he was based in London for much of the time he was a Diamond.

 

Here's Tom in 1987 receiving expert advice from my daughter Helen, after she told him what he was doing wrong he went out and scored a 21 point maximum!

Tragedy struck the Owen family when Tom badly broke his leg and Joe suffered a paralyzing injury.  They are both carrying the scars of their great days on Tyneside, Joe still in a wheelchair and Tom walking with a pronounced limp.  They are welcome visitors at Brough and have more fans on Tyneside still, than any other riders. They cannot get to Brough very often but hey, come on lads come up for the Jubilee meeting and shake hands with your old fans and mates.  You two are sure of a standing ovation.


Kenny Carter

Kenny Carter aged 17 on his way to his first paid maximum and superstardom.

Kenny was a cocky little Yorkshire lad when he joined Newcastle in 1978.  He developed into one of England's top men and is famous, some would say infamous, for his on track battles in World Championship finals with American, Bruce Penhall.  Bruce and Kenny produced what was probably the best televised Wembley Stadium world final ever in the early 1980's passing and re-passing each other elbow to elbow.  Then they almost repeated the act in Los Angeles a year later.  Kenny losing out both times to the charismatic American.  Controversy and Kenny went hand in glove and he met his death in 1986 in a highly controversial manner.  

The newspapers reported that Kenny had shot his wife Pam dead and then turned his shotgun on himself and committed suicide.  Two young lives lost in tragic circumstances.


Rod Hunter

awaiting pictures 

Rod was an Australian who came to Newcastle in the late70s and rode throughout the 80s for us. After a settling in period he started to show that he was going places. A lightning fast gater he often led from start to finish but when he had to he could sweep around the outside in breathtaking style to overtake.

He was an all round biker and I still remember him doing a high number of wheelie laps on a motor cross bike.  If there is a record for covering the most ground at Brough on your back wheel then Rod holds it.  He suffered back problems and eventually went back to Australia where he ran a motorcycle and all terrain vehicle francise.


The Rest of the 1970's Riders

1975 - The start of the most successful period in the clubs history.

Ron Henderson, Tim Swales, Joe Owen, Robbie Blackadder, Phil Michaelides, Tom Owen,Captain Brian Havelock with son Gary on his knee.  

One of the above went on to become world champion! which one? Guess!


1976 - Robbie Blackadder, Tom Owen, Tim Swales,  Mike Watkin, Joe Owen, Ron Henderson, Andy Cushworth,  Captain Brian Havelock and Phil Michaelides.  Brough Park had a big grandstand and bar on the back straight shown here, now demolished.

1977 - Ron Henderson, Taffy Owen, Dave Younghusband, captain Tom Owen on bike, Robbie Blackadder, Brian Larner, Andy Cushworth, Phil Kynman.


1978 Diamonds


1978 - Robbie Gardner, David Bargh, Kenny Carter, Tom Owen, Robbie Blackadder, Graeme Stapleton, Rod Hunter.

This team was my personal favorite Newcastle team line up, none of these guys knew when they were beaten. They overtook more than any side we have ever had.  What I like about the photograph is the contrast between the older lads faces and Davy and Kenny. The two kids faces are fresh and innocent looking but with their team mates to learn from both became ferocious racers, Kenny almost a world champion and David one of the best team man of his era.

Later I plan to concentrate on one or two years and do in depth details of some of the lower profile riders who were as popular as the big stars. Robbie Blackadder is one of them. More to come later about him and a few others.


Eddie Ingles

awaiting pictures proving very difficult to obtain

Eddie came to us in the 1983 season from sunny California.  He was quite a character and got himself married on the Brough Park track!  He and Joe Owen were the riders that the crowd wanted to see.  Eddie was based on Tyneside and he ran some training schools at a track at Felton in Northumberland.  Eddie never reached the heights of some of his countrymen but we all though him capable of it.  Brough closed its doors yet again and Eddie moved on.


David Bargh

awaiting pictures 

David like Ivan Mauger came to us from New Zealand, like Ivan pronouncing his name took a while before his ability made it a household (on Tyneside anyway) word.  David's team riding was brilliant he would shepherd his partner around to score maximum points whenever possible. Long time partner was English rider Derek Richardson and we all expected them to be first and second every time with David sitting behind and Derek sweeping around the outside.  Great to watch.