1971 Season - Speedway Returns
In 1971 Allied Presentations Ltd (with Len Silver Promoting) reopened the Boldon Track. Speedway
was back with the Sunderland âStarsâ. New names to get used to, Russ Dent, George Barclay,
John Goodall, John Lynch, Alan Mackie and John Knock were some of the early riders. Racing
was good on the 310 yard Track, but the team wasnât too strong. Dent, Barclay and Goodall (until
he walked out on them) shared the job of scoring points, at least the bulk of them! In particular
Russ Dent and George Barclay kept the ship afloat that first season. Russ was known as Captain
Scarlet and he certainly led by example.
The 1971 season started with a challenge match at Hull, where they lost heavily 25-47, the day
was 7th April. They had to wait until 2nd May for their first win, when local rivals Teesside went
down by a 40-38 score line in a North East Trophy match at the Boldon Stadium.
Was that Season hard ?
You bet it was! In all they Won 11, Drew 2, and Lost 27 matches, that included League, Cup and Challenge matches.
No surprise then, that they finished bottom of the league, but the fans were seeing Speedway as they liked it, whats
more they took the riders to their hearts, they were their lads out there and they were bloody-well going to support
Brian Whaley, Gerry Richardson, Paul Scanlon, Coiln Robertson and Bernie Aldridge all also rode in 1971, also Peter
Wrathall was brought into stiffen the team as well as the young Dave Gatenby.
Right at the end of the season Russ Dent gave the fans something to shout about by winning the Farewell Trophy at
Teesside he scored 14 points and tied with Teessides Bruce Forrester and Mal Shakespheare. Russ won a three man
run off, no mean feat around Forresters home Track.
Back Row (L to R) Bernie Aldridge, Dave Gatenby, Gerry Richardson, Alan Mackie, Pete Wrathall, George Barclay,
John Lynch. On machine Russ Dent