Search

Former Arena-Essex Hammers promoter Thorogood heartbroken with Raceway closure

PUBLISHED: 11:00 21 September 2018

Arena-Essex Hammers 1996 team (Pic: Supplied by Phil Ranson)

Arena-Essex Hammers 1996 team (Pic: Supplied by Phil Ranson)

Archant

Former Arena-Essex Hammers promoter Peter Thorogood admitted it is heartbreaking to see the Raceway where he spent many years close down, writes Jacob Ranson.

The first speedway meeting took place on April 5, 1984, with Bob Garrad winning the Essex Radio Championship with Chick Woodroffe and Wally Mawdsley promoting the racing, before Thorogood stepped in to help in 1986.

“It’s heartbreaking. I was here from 1983, when I started carving the track out, and to see it close now is so sad,” said Thorogood at the final meeting last Friday.

“There are so many tracks closing down now. At one time there used to be seven tracks in London and I was at speedway seven days a week.”

Thorogood called the 1996 season his most enjoyable while running the team, after promoter Terry Russell chose to move to Hackney having run the Hammers for a few years.

It left Thorogood and Woodroffe back in the hotseat and they opted to run in the lowest league, but he said: “The year Terry Russell took it to Hackney, we ended up running in the amateur league, and that year was one of the most enjoyable years as they didn’t get paid – they just got a bit of travel money.

“It was a brand new era for them; they were getting regular racing, in front of an audience instead of going to training schools and costing them money.

“It was a good group of lads, it was really entertaining, and we actually made money that year.”

Thorogood also revealed the reason for the team being called the Hammers, as he followed West Ham speedway as a young boy.

“I used to go to West Ham straight from school at half past four to get in the queue for a quarter to eight start to get the seats that we had every week,” he added.

“I’d put my West Ham scarf along the seats, saving them for my mother and my father, and my brother.

“When we come in here we were deciding what to call them and I said ‘why don’t we call them Hammers?’

“I thought that might resurrect a few West Ham fans, as it had been long closed, which it did and that’s how it got the name.”

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 10:00

Tower Hamlets manager AJ Ashanike is looking forward to coming up against his former club Ilford under the Friday night lights.

Yesterday, 09:00

The former Brighton & Hove Albion ace praised the professionalism of players like Harrold and Lawless

Thu, 18:00

A round-up of the latest results from match involved Wapping Hockey Club teams

Thu, 17:00

Coverage of Wheelchair Basketball Premier League game to reach millions of homes across country

Thu, 16:00

East London’s women set up a meeting with Jersey in the cup after a 2-0 win over Burnt Ash.

Thu, 16:00

The east Londoners will look to reach the semi-finals of the Errington Challenge Cup over the next week

Thu, 12:00

An under-23 team, instead of the current academy set-up at Orient, looks a real possibility going forward

Wed, 16:48

West Ham Women striker Jane Ross said the side won’t be underestimating Huddersfield Town when they meet in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists