Search

Hackney’s big speedway hero Thomas has plenty of stories to tell in upcoming biography

PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 December 2017

Barry Thomas racing 2012 Veteran Speedway Riders Open Championship (Pic: Chris Fenn)

Barry Thomas racing 2012 Veteran Speedway Riders Open Championship (Pic: Chris Fenn)

Archant

A biography of much-loved Hackney speedway rider Barry Thomas is set to be released early in February.

Barry Thomas racing 2012 Veteran Speedway Riders Open Championship (Pic: Chris Fenn) Barry Thomas racing 2012 Veteran Speedway Riders Open Championship (Pic: Chris Fenn)

Author and speedway fanatic Chris Fenn has decided to follow up his Hackney history book that was released in 2003 with a new book about an all-time favourite of his and the club’s.

The former London Riders’ and British under-21 champion rode for the east London club for 20 years and Fenn said: “There have been a number of books about some of the world champion riders and that’s all very well, but they’re all about big meetings.

“I wanted to tell a story from a rider’s point of view that concentrates on riding domestically instead of all about championship races and big Polish meetings.

“As a kid he was my favourite. When you’re young you just took to one rider and that was it.”

The book will be released at the sport’s 90th anniversary event at the speedway museum at Paradise Wildlife Park on February, 18, and Thomas believes it was a good idea to do it.

“I thought it was a fantastic idea and it brought back a lot of memories for me,” he said.

“All the riders that helped with the book thought they wouldn’t remember a lot of it, but once we were prompted it all came back.

“There have been so many memories, but winning the London Riders’ Championship twice is the one for me, no one has ever done it three times and I actually came close to doing that.”

Thomas is also remembered for his last-bend heroics when he roared around one of the sport’s greats Ivan Mauger and his American partner Scott Autrey to win the meeting for Hackney and deny Exeter the British league title 40 years ago.

“That didn’t happen very often and that’s what made Ivan such a good rider,” added Thomas.

“I’d have to go a long way to try beating that one, but I had quite a few good races with good riders over the years and never worried about coming second, as long as it was a good race.”

The 66-year-old, now living in the Isle of Sheppey, revealed how special it was to race for the club.

“It was fantastic and it was quite an honour to ride for Hackney as it was a really special place to race. The supporters were brilliant and although I had bad meetings when I was there, they took the rough with the smooth.”

You can pre-order the book and get a signed copy on release day.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

17:30

Spurs took the lead inside 25 minutes at Wembley and never looked back against the Potters

57 minutes ago

Emma Bartholomew takes her three children for a fun city break at Le Méridien Barcelona where they stay in one of the newly revamped family rooms.

14:36

Arsenal have been drawn in the Europa League round of 32 against the team taking Sweden by storm – and their English manager is delighted.

13:37

Arsenal have been drawn to play in northern Sweden against Ostersunds FK in the Europa League round of 32 knockout stage. But how much do you know about them?

13:00

Clapton manager Jonny Fowell disappointed with poor performance from his men as they drew 3-3 with Southend Manor.

Pat Turnbull has recently been in the Gazette’s pages because of her fight to save the Britannia Leisure Centre – but she’s been a campaigner in Hackney for decades. She talks to Emma Bartholomew

12:32

Arsenal have been drawn against Östersunds FK in the Europa League draw as they attempt to emulate Manchester United’s success in winning the trophy last season.

11:21

Spurs have been drawn against last season’s runners-up in next stage of this campaign’s competition



Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists