Tom Farndon Memorial Trophy
Bluey Wilkinson Memorial Trophy
Alan Hunt Memorial Trophy
Peter Craven Memorial Trophy
Ivor Hughes Memorial Trophy
Jack Young Memorial Cup
Gary Peterson Mem'l Trophy/Shield
Alfred Smoczyk Mem'l Trophy
Mike Polukard 'Criterium of Aces'
Edward Jancarz Mem'l Trophy
Lubos Tomicek Mem'l Trophy
Tommy Jansson Mem'l Trophy
Memorial Events for British & Commonwealth Speedway Riders
Tom Farndon Memorial
New Cross Ranger Tom Farndon failed to survive his collision with fallen team-mate Ron Johnson in the Scratch Race Final of August 28th 1935 at his home track, New Cross on the eve of the Wembley Star Riders Final, of which he had been a favourite to win. He had been a previous winner of the Star Championship, 2x London Riders Champions and was the current unbeaten British Individual Champion with 5 successes. This competition was abandoned as a mark of respect.
Farndon started his racing at the local Coventry tracks of Foleshill and Brandon, riding alongside brother Fred and the Parker brothers, Jack and Norman. He joined Crystal Palace, London, in 1931 and moved with the promotion when it transferred over to New Cross in 1934.
Tom Farndon was buried in his home city of Coventry where he had started his career, his burial place being marked with a unique black granite art deco depiction of a speeding motorcyclist, (below).
(See also British Match Race Chmpshp page.)
b. 11 Sept 1910 Coventry
d. 30 Aug 1935 Greenwich
Australian Arthur 'Bluey' Wilkinson was a double World Champion, having won the title in both Paris and London in 1932 and 1938 respectively. He also won the 'World Speedway Derby', an alternative ACU-approved World title, in Sydney in 1937 after narrowly missing out on the first official World Championship 4 months earlier at Wembley in 1936 by dint of lesser bonus points from qualifying rounds, despite an unbeaten 15pt. maximum at the Empire Stadium.
Wilkinson first rode speedway
at Bathurst, NSW in 1928 and traveled to Britain in '29, signing for
West Ham, whom he stayed with throughout his U.K. racing career. He returned home to NSW each closed season,
taking 3 Australian national titles, and 3 NSW state titles, plus the Scottish
Championship in 1938, his best year, title-wise. He moved to promoting in 1939 by joining the management at Owlerton Stadium,
Despite many injuries on the track throughout those years, Bluey Wilkinson lost his life at the age of 28 in a road traffic accident in 1940 while riding his motorbike in a Sydney suburb, when he was struck by a lorry, dying instantly. His pillion-passenger wife suffered only minor injuries. Trophies to his memory have been raced for at each of his 3 associated tracks, Bathurst, West Ham and Sheffield, following the recommencement of speedway racing at the end of W.W.II in 1945.
Bluey Wilkinson with the World Championship trophy, 1938 . .
. . and in action below.
1945 BW.MT 1983 BW.MT
Arthur 'Bluey' Wilkinson
b. Millthorpe, NSW - 27.8.1911
d. Sydney, NSW - 27.7.1940
Alan Hunt Memorial Trophy
Alan Hunt Memorial Trophy has been raced for 21 times since the death
of the Brummie and Durban captain in February 1957 from injuries
incurred at Wembley Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa.
table below lists the venues and winners of the Trophy events held in
the UK and South Africa.The second and third placed riders are also
given. The UK venues have been Dudley Wood Stadium, Cradley Heath,
where Alan Hunt first began racing in 1947, and the Perry Barr
Greyhound Stadium, (formerly the Alexander Stadium) Birmingham, home
of the Birmingham Brummies, his only other British club which he
captained until his death. The South African venues have been Hoy
Park, Durban, Alan's SA base where he captained the Durban Hornets,
Springs Speedway near Johannesburg and Walkerville Raceway in the
of the prestige event in the UK have included World Champions,
Briggs, Mauger, Olsen, whilst in South Africa they have ranged from
his former team-mate Doug Davies to present day top Afrikaaner Byron
Bekker (above rt,) a 4-times winner. The original silver trophy
presented by the Durban Supporters club in 1957 is retained in SA and
has been raced for as recently as 2011 at Walkerville. (An article on an historical Hunt /
Bekker link, first published in the Bekker fanzine, can be found
Cradley 1969: Bernt Persson and Mrs Eve Hunt
Perry Barr 1960: Arne
Pander Walkervile SA, 2008: Byron Bekker Perry Barr 2009: Seb
with Doug Ellis and Geoff Duke with original 1957 trophy .
b. 25 July 1925 Aston, B'ham, U.K.
d. 2 Feb.1957 Johannesburg, S.Africa
Peter Craven Memorial
Craven died following a crash during the Edinburgh v. Belle Vue challenge match at Old Meadowbank stadium
on Sept. 20th,1963. The diminutive star started riding at his local Liverpool track at the age of 16, and had his first rides for first division Belle Vue in 1952. At the age of 21 he was World Champion, a feat he repeated 7 years later in 1962, captaining England many times in the intervening years. He held the Golden Helmet British Match Race Championship several times between '56 and '59, as well as in his '63, and was British national champion in 1962 and '63.
A trophy to the memory of the 2x World Champion
has been raced for intermittently at his home track, Belle Vue since 1967. Latter-day
Aces have won the trophy on 10 occasions, Chris Morton taking 3 of
1967, Ivan Mauger, 1st recipient of 2010, last winner
PCMT with Mrs. Brenda Craven Chris Harris
b. 21 June 1934 Liverpool
d. 24 Sept 1963 Edinburgh
Ivor Hughes Memorial
Welshman Ivor Hughes suffered a fatal crash in the final heat of the Cradley v. Sheffield British League match at Dudley Wood Stadium on August 20th and died in the early hours of Tuesday morning, 23 Aug 1966 in Dudley Guest hospital.
Hughes started speedway riding in 1964 and scored his first full maximum in Cradley colours in July '66. In the following meeting against Swedish visitors Vargarna he ended the night by defeating the reigning World Champion, Bjorn Knutsson in the Scratch Race Final. He followed this with another double figure score in the next home match in August, against Swindon. A week later he was unbeaten going into the final heat of the match against Sheffield Tigers when 3 of the 4 riders came down exiting the first bend. Ivor Hughes was hit from behind by an opponent's machinery, the skull injury he received proving fatal: he died 2 days later in the Dudley Guest Hospital, age 27, a promising future cut short.
A trophy in his memory has been awarded periodically, - sometimes raced for - , to a junior or improving rider, or, as in the current 'Dudley' period, awarded to a fans-poled 'Rider of the Year' young Heathen.
1967 - Ken Wakefield, first recipient of the Ivor
Hughes Memorial Trophy,
with Mrs Vera Hughes.
John Hack (& Dekek Pugh) 1977 Tom Perry 2010, '12 Darryl Ritchings 2011
b. 28 Feb.1939 Welshpool
d. 23 Aug. 1966 Dudley
Jack Young Memorial Cup / Jack Young Solo Cup
After Jack Young died of a lung disorder in 1987 a trophy cup was put up for competition in his home town Adelaide, Australia, in memory of the double World Champion. Originally staged as the 'Jack Young Memorial Cup', a single, 6-lap race following international matches at North Arm Speedway, the 'JY Solo Cup', now run at Gillman Speedway, is currently run to a championship format, top scorers from the heats going into a Semi-final and then the Final.
The first cup was won by Swedish rider Jimmy Nilsen at the conclusion of an Australia v. Rest of the World test match. The second running of the race again saw a win by a Swedish rider, the 1984 and 1988 Ice Racing World Champion Erik Stenlund at the conclusion of the Australia and Sweden test match. Leigh Adams of Mildura holds the record with five wins, at both North Arm and Gillman, but Pole Tomasz Gollob is the only JYSC winner to have emulated the former Monach and West Ham rider by taking the World Championship crown.
2015 JYSC winner, Tyron Proctor
b. 31.1.1925 - Adelaide, AUS
d. 28.8.1987 - Adelaide, AUS
Gary Peterson Memorial
New Zealander Gary Peterson died instantly in a crash during the Wolverhampton v. Oxford match at Monmore Green in October 1975. He started racing at his local New Plymouth track in 1966, was test-capped twice for the NZ v. England series in January '68, and traveled to Britain soon after where he signed to Newcastle and Nelson promoter Mike Parker, riding for both the BL.1 and BL.2 teams that season.
With a change of promotion at the Northern tracks he moved with room-mate and fellow Diamond Ole Olsen to Wolverhampton in 1970, but sat out the '72 and '74 season at home in New Zealand, having won the national title there in 1973.
Peterson top-scored in the '71/'72 3-match test series against Sweden with double figures at each meeting, as well as in the Western Springs test against USA. Against Poland in '74/'75 he twice scored 18pt maximums, his series total bettered by just 2 points by NZ skipper Ivan Mauger.
Throughout his brief career his riding manner had always been full throttle, fence-scraping style which resulted in many injuries to his body and more seriously to the head. Returning to Wolverhampton for the 1975 season, he re-joined Olsen, and near the end of the season, after 30 matches, had averaged 5.85. In October, in his third ride in the home match against Oxford he reared, lost control and went head-first into the track lighting column. He was declared dead at the scene.
With multiple successes down under, former Sunderland and Newport rider John Goodall is the permanent holder of the NZ Memorial Shield, raced for at Western Springs, while Tai Woffinden has had triple wins in the British-staged GP Memorial Trophy at Wolverhampton in more recent years.
Nelson Admirals 1968 Wolverhampton 1971 Wolverhampton 1973
NZ squad of Ronnie Moore, Ivan Mauger, Barry Briggs and Gary Peterson.
GP.MT winners : '80s in NZ, John Goodall '00s in UK, Tai Woffinden
b. New Plymouth, NZ 9. 6.1946
d. Wolverhampton, UK 17.10.1975
Memorial Events for Continental Speedway Riders
n.b: The 3 Polish losses were not the result of track crashes, but the riders' memories are nonetheless well respected by their clubs with stadia renamed in their honour. Smoczyk was a motorbike RTA, Jancarz a domestic fatality, the retired Polukard was hit on the centre green by an out-of-control rider.
Alfred Smoczyk Memorial
national champion of the day, Alfred Smoczyk was killed in a
motorcycle road accident in September 1950 shortly before the running
of that year's event. He was postumously awarded the 1950 Polish
title though the event had been won by Joseph Olejniczak, and up
until 1983 all record books registered Smoczyk as champion for that
year despite his prior death.
As top Pole he had success in Czechoslovakia, Sweden and Netherlands. A memorial race meeting has been held in his honour every year following his death, one-time Coventry Bee Henryk Zyto winning 6 times. In 1953 his home-town track at Leszno was renamed the Alfred Smoczyk Stadium.
ASMT 2012: Emil Sayfutdinov,
b. 1 Oct. 1928 Koscianie, PL
d. 26 Sept. 1950 Gostyn-Leszno road, PL
Mieczysław Polukard 'Criterium of Aces'
Mieczysław 'Mike' Polukard was the first Polish speedway rider to ride in the Individual World Championship Final in 1959, appearing again at Wembley the following year as reserve. He was also a member of the winning Polish World Team Cup squad of1961 in Wroclaw.
Polukard took his country's national championship title in 1954 while riding for Sparta Wroclaw, and moved to Bydgoszcz the following year, where he stayed upto and beyond his retirement in 1968 after losing a leg from injuries. He subsequently became club coach, where, standing on the centre green in October 1985 during a match against Stal Gorzow, he was struck by an out-of-control rider and succume to fatal injuries.
In tribute to his services the annual opening-of-season event at Bydgoszcz, the 'Criterium of Polish Speedway League Aces', of which Polukard himself had been a winner in 1958, was renamed in his honour in 1986 as “The Mieczysław Połukard Criterium of Polish Speedway Leagues Aces”, (usually referred to as the 'Criterium of Aces'.) The competition was dominated by home star Tomasz Gollob for the whole of the '90s decade, the future World Champ taking the title 14 times, his last in 2008.
2012 programme 2012 winner, Darcy Ward
b. 1930, Warsaw, Poland
d. October 25, 1985 Bydgoszcz
Edward Jancarz Memorial
Edward Jancarz was a Polish speedway rider that appeared in 10 World Finals between 1968 and '82, and represented his country in many international matches. Born in Gorzow, Poland, he was a 'home team' Stal Gorzow member and a Wimbledon Don from 1977 to '82, where he won the Embassy Internationale on his debut appearance in '77. His best World Final result was also his debut appearance, finishing as World No.3 in 1968.
Jancarz died from a fatal stabbing in a domestic dispute with his wife in January 1992, since when the local Gorzow stadium has been renamed in his honour and a statue erected in the city centre. Winners of his memorial meetings have included Tomasz Gollob twice, and the triple successes of Jason Crump. After a lapse of 6 years the event was re-staged in 2016 and won by local Pole Patryk Dudek.
b. Gorzow, PL 20.8.1946
d, Gorzow, PL 11.1.1992
At the time of his demise Lubos Tomicek Snr. was the leading Czechoslovak speedway rider and captain of his club Red Star Prague, as well as the national Czech team having been national Czechoslovak champion for 5 consecutive years. He died in October 1968 from injuries sustained in the final of the Pardubice Golden Helmet, and a special memorial meeting has been held in Prague every year since, which over the decades has attracted most of the world's best riders.
Nineteen of the 42 meetings to date have been won by World Champions including Mauger 4x, Olsen 3x and Briggs 2x. His countryman Bo Brhel has also won the meeting on 4 occasions.
n.b: Son and grandson, Lubos Tomicek
II, (b.?) and Lubos Tomicek III, (b.1986) were also speedway riders racing under the same name.
b. 16 Aug.1934 - d. 20 Oct.1968
Per Tommy Jansson, (always known as Tommy Jansson in England,) was captain of Wimbledon Dons and was British Match Race Champion at the time of his tragic death in a racing accident in 1976 whilst competing in the Swedish Final of the World Championship in Stockholm.
Tommy started racing at his father's club Smederna in Sweden: he rode briefly for Wembley Lions in 1971 before joining Wimbledon in '72. After all commuting Swedes were banned from the British League in 1974 TJ returned to Plough Lane for the 1975 and '76 seasons. Although he died aged only twenty three, he had appeared in four World finals, finishing 9th. in 1975. As measure of respect, his British MRC Golden Helmet trophy was given to his parents following his loss, (a new one being commissioned for subsequent MRCs,) and became his Memorial Trophy for the Swedish events.
b. Eskilstuna, SW, 2.10.1952
d. Stockholm, SW, 20.5.1976