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Newcastle Riders

Part 3

Jesper Olsen

Jesper deserves a mention for his exciting riding and his ability to talk too!  He was important to Newcastle as a well known figure in his native Danish speedway circuit.  Jesper recommended young Danes to come over and try their hand at Newcastle and the club became a breeding ground for the Danish youngsters, the presence of another Dane Richard Juul in the side also helped.  Jesper married a local girl and lives on Tyneside although his riding career was marred by injuries and he retired prematurely due to injuries sustained over a period of years and an ineffective operation on his dislocated shoulder.

Richard Juul

Richard has been at Newcastle on and off for most of the 1990's and the millennium years too.   His career has however taken him to teams around the country when he was unable to ride for his adopted "toon".  He is actually a Wolverhampton asset despite becoming Mr. Newcastle.

In 1995, when he was a Wolverhampton rider, Juul crashed at Oxford and sustained horrific injuries. These included a dislodged windpipe, punctured lung, compound fracture of the leg and a broken pelvis. The ambulance was forced to stop twice on the way to hospital as he stopped breathing luckily the crew kept him alive and got him to hospital in the nick of time.

After eighteen months away from the sport, the tough Dane made a comeback and was welcomed back into the Wolves line-up in 1999.
After a successful season at Monmore Green, Juul returned to Newcastle, his first club in Britain.

Dickie is the 2004 club captain and the crowd have taken to him all over again as he proves over and over again what a determined rider he is by top scoring this season.

1997 - Glyn Taylor, Brian Turner, Paul Bentley, Jesper Olsen, Andre Compton and Stuart Swales


Nicki Pedersen

The 2003 world champion Nicki Pedersen was a Newcastle rider in 1998.  Wild man Nicki entertained us by never giving up.  He raced flat out, caused crashes, walloped the fences, great stuff!  I said to my daughter in 1998, "There is a future world champ" Then waited 5 years for it to happen.  Nicki was a smash at Newcastle and only stayed one season before joining the worlds elite, but he is part of our history like Ivan, Ole, Anders. Four world champs have been Newcastle riders.  His riding style makes him no friends within the riding community and he is the rider the fans love to boo! But not at Newcastle!

Bjarne Pedersen

Nicki moved on and his place was taken by Bjarne.  Bjarne wasn't the same kind of rider, he took longer to climb the ladder than Nicki but after a while he was hitting the same sort of scores.  He is arguably the most popular of Newcastle's top Danes.  After a couple of seasons he too had to move on to join the elite riders and Newcastle had another void to fill.  Bjarne suggested that his young countryman Kenneth Bjerre should come to Newcastle.

Kenneth Bjerre

Wow! another Danish superstar in the making.  I said the same to my daughter as I said about Nicki "There is a future world champ".

Kenneth's poor gating in his early years meant he had to overtake to win almost every time.  He rode round Brough differently to any other rider and was usually 2 or 3 seconds faster than the opposition.  Kenneth too had to move up because of his talent and the ever changing rules of the sport.  He left for Belle Vue as did Ivan Mauger before him.

Personally, I think Kenneth has the talent to emulate the "galloping Mauger". Time will tell, but I think Kenneth is special, potentially he, along with Ivan Mauger are the best ever Newcastle riders in my opinion?