THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Speedway News: Gary Havelock

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23 Mar 2012 15:59 - 27 Mar 2012 18:10 #642546 by Reed John
The speedway veteran Gary Havelock (sp?) is the brother of one of my close colleagues/friends. He was in rather a bad crash and is in the ICU now with a busted shoulder, busted ribs, possibly a small brain bleed and maybe spine issues. He's stable but he's in a lot of pain, so best wishes to him and his family. Apparently, he's very well liked in speedway circles. I thought some of you all might care.
Last Edit: 27 Mar 2012 18:10 by Reed John.
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27 Mar 2012 18:11 #643996 by Reed John
Surgery today in Leeds. Remains to be seen what, if any, use of his left arm can be restored. Very trying times for his family.
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27 Mar 2012 21:24 #644105 by Sits
Well if I can wish Fabrice Muamba, who I've never met, well, then I can certainly wish Gary Havelock well too.

I've not followed it since the days of Ivan Mauger but speedway always resonates a little as my best mate's Dad (the same one who said it used to be all fields) was a speedway rider, and before that a cycle speedway star in the 50s and 60s.
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28 Mar 2012 16:10 #644443 by Third rate les bleus
Sorry to read this, though Havvy looks to be improving as he is now twittering from his hospital bed, but with 7 broken ribs I'd be surprised if he rides again this season. Hopefully he makes a full recovery, and we'll see him on our screens as a pundit during his recuperation.
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01 Apr 2012 12:12 #645841 by Muukalainen
stonelephant wrote:

I've not followed it since the days of Ivan Mauger but speedway always resonates a little as my best mate's Dad ... was a speedway rider, ...

Out of idle curiosity stonelephant, who is he? I used to frequent Wimborne Road and also go to Blunsdon and Smallmead during the mid '70s.
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01 Apr 2012 12:18 #645842 by Gerontophile
Good luck to the man. I was always a closet speedway fan, and I support Poole. So there. Best wishes.
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01 Apr 2012 13:00 #645853 by Sits
Muukalainen wrote:

stonelephant wrote:

I've not followed it since the days of Ivan Mauger but speedway always resonates a little as my best mate's Dad ... was a speedway rider, ...

Out of idle curiosity stonelephant, who is he? I used to frequent Wimborne Road and also go to Blunsdon and Smallmead during the mid '70s.


Muukalainen, I will PM you
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01 Apr 2012 19:25 #646050 by Reed John
He's the captain of the Redcar Bears, which is his "hometown" team near Middlesborough. His mom and dad bought a stake in the team and dad is the manager or promoter or some such. My colleague, his sister, is worried about what he's going to do with the rest of his life to support his family if and when he has to quit. He hasn't made a fortune at Speedway but it's all he's known since he was 16.
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01 Apr 2012 20:55 #646083 by sw2bureau
It's Middlesbrough, Reed, not that it's particularly important - the club used to be the Boro Bears, have gone through a few incarnations since, and now ride at South Bank, which is sort of Middlesbrough, but counts as Redcar for local authority purposes.

I've never been a speedway fan myself, but I know a few people who are, including one chap who used to travel away watching the Bears, and yeah, this has been a bit of a shock to people. Local rag. It's fair to say that Gary is in the thoughts of local speedway fanciers.

We live pretty close to the old speedway track in Middlesbrough proper - it's a set of 5 & 7-a-side football pitches now, and I play there quite a bit - there was a pub nearby called, erm, the Speedway, that's been knocked down. It was popular for away fans for Boro matches when we were at Ayresome, as it was just off the motorway, out of the way of where most home fans would drink, but handy for the ground.

I don't ever remember going to Cleveland Park to watch speedway, but I do have very found memories of going to watch the dogs (greyhound racing) there as a kid with our mam & dad.
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01 Apr 2012 21:32 #646098 by sw2bureau
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02 Apr 2012 05:31 #646171 by Reed John
Is it really spelled "brough?" Then why is the nickname boro rather than bro? Weird. I've never heard of a brough. Over here we have boroughs. Well, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, at least.
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02 Apr 2012 07:30 #646185 by Muukalainen
His dad is presumably Brian Havelock, who was a decent racer back in the '70s. Can't remember which club he used to ride for though. Good to hear that Gary's on the mend.
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02 Apr 2012 09:41 - 02 Apr 2012 09:42 #646204 by treibeis
Can't remember which club he used to ride for though.

I can recall Brian Havelock turning out for the Newcastle Diamonds. (Why I can recall this, when I can't even remember what I did on Saturday afternoon, I don't know.)

I used to frequent Wimborne Road and also go to Blunsdon and Smallmead during the mid '70s.

I was a Poole Pirates fan when I was six (my parents moved to the South Coast for six months; they always refused to tell me why, but my recompense for being temporarily uprooted was a guarantee that I could go to the speedway every Wednesday).

I was fascinated by the slightly odd surnames in the team (Goodey, Cake, Broadbelt, Middleditch) and the fact that Oyvind Berg was always on the teamsheet (and always in italics), yet never actually appeared on the track.
Last Edit: 02 Apr 2012 09:42 by treibeis.
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02 Apr 2012 10:55 #646215 by Kryvbas Gripper Rih
treibeis wrote:

Can't remember which club he used to ride for though.

I can recall Brian Havelock turning out for the Newcastle Diamonds. (Why I can recall this, when I can't even remember what I did on Saturday afternoon, I don't know.)

I used to frequent Wimborne Road and also go to Blunsdon and Smallmead during the mid '70s.

I was a Poole Pirates fan when I was six (my parents moved to the South Coast for six months; they always refused to tell me why, but my recompense for being temporarily uprooted was a guarantee that I could go to the speedway every Wednesday).

I was fascinated by the slightly odd surnames in the team (Goodey, Cake, Broadbelt, Middleditch) and the fact that Oyvind Berg was always on the teamsheet (and always in italics), yet never actually appeared on the track.


Italics? Was he the 'number 8'?

Did he have a clean green sheet, whatever a green sheet was? (I was an Exeter Falcons fan in the early 80s, John Barker, Les Sawyer, Andy Campbell etc, but never understood what a green sheet was.) Fond memories of the County Ground where Exeter rugby used to play before they got good.

Indeed, veteran speedwayer Johny McNeill (Weymouth rider when I was into the sport) recorded a great 7" back in the day, 'I wanna be like Ivan Mauger', with an even-better b-side 'I'm your friendly reserve' which included the line 'I'm your friendly reserve, I've got a clean green sheet'.

The internet is so ace it found me the A-side in seconds. Listen to it here - yourlisten.com/channel/content/113375/I_..._be_like_Ivan_Mauger . But no b-side.

Back on-topic, I would have seen Brian Havelock in his final season riding for Middlesbrough at Exeter in 1981.

I loved the set-up of the leagues back then, subscribed to the Speedway Star which I relished equally as much as I relished 90minutes magazine too, and I had a board game which I bought from some mail order at which I played out my own 1982 season, probably at the ultimate expense of my Eng Lit 'O' level.
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02 Apr 2012 11:02 #646217 by Muukalainen
treibeis wrote:

I can recall Brian Havelock turning out for the Newcastle Diamonds.

Yeps, you're right.

I was fascinated by ... and the fact that Oyvind Berg was always on the teamsheet (and always in italics), yet never actually appeared on the track.

I saw him a few times, but you're right he appeared a lot more in the programme than in person. He was doing something like his military service and had difficulty getting off the tank range or whatever during the middle of the week. He was also incapable of keeping his colours properly on his helmet for four laps. I can't remember anything else about him -- he obviously didn't make too much of an impression on either of us.
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02 Apr 2012 11:12 - 02 Apr 2012 11:19 #646222 by treibeis
Italics? Was he the 'number 8'?

He was always second on the list, although that was probably just coincidence. It may have been the rider replacement rule (although that could have been the rule that allowed teams trailing by more than so-and-so many points to replace one of the duffers with one of the better riders).

He was also incapable of keeping his colours properly on his helmet for four laps.


I loved it when their helmet covers came off, even more than I loved tape-breaking or "laying your bike down" to avoid hitting someone who'd fallen off.

When I think about it, I didn't care for the actual speedway very much at all. I could have spent two hours a week watching riders break the tapes and deliberately falling off and would have been just as happy.

Indeed, veteran speedwayer Johny McNeill (Weymouth rider when I was into the sport) recorded a great 7" back in the day, 'I wanna be like Ivan Mauger'.

I want to have that record. It's probably unlistenable, but that's not the point.

Without wishing to come across as a YouTube commenter who claims that the rhythm guitarist who's in close-up for three seconds at 2:42 is their dad, my uncle was in a group that recorded a speedway-flavoured song in the late 70s.

I can't remember the name of the group or the song, but the chorus (and possibly the title) was "I'm going to the speedway / I'm going to the speedway / I'm going to the speedway TONIGHT" and was played at Bristol Bulldogs' home meetings at least three times, possibly even more.
Last Edit: 02 Apr 2012 11:19 by treibeis.
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02 Apr 2012 11:59 - 02 Apr 2012 12:00 #646240 by Fussbudget
Reed John wrote:

Is it really spelled "brough?" Then why is the nickname boro rather than bro? Weird. I've never heard of a brough. Over here we have boroughs. Well, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, at least.

I thought you Yanks had burghs? Borough is the normal English spelling, Middlesbrough most likely being a misspelling that has stuck. The only other brough I'm aware of is Sprotbrough in Doncaster.
Last Edit: 02 Apr 2012 12:00 by Fussbudget.
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02 Apr 2012 12:08 #646249 by Gangster Octopus
There's also Masbrough, one time home of the Millers and where the great boat disaster took place ...
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02 Apr 2012 12:19 #646257 by Fussbudget
Ta, I'll add it to the list.
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02 Apr 2012 12:20 #646260 by Gangster Octopus
Oh, and I've got a copy of Speedway by the Kursaal Flyers. I'd love to go to a speedway meet.
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