Norwich speedway reunion helps take sport from strength to strength

Fast and furious, Ove Fundin, the Flying Fox.

Fast and furious, Ove Fundin, the Flying Fox. - Credit: Mike Kemp Collection

The Flying Fox, the Pocket Rocket and the Hedge-Hopper were among the guests when the Norwich speedway reunion returned – thanks to Pam Hedge.

She was determined that the lunch would be back after being cancelled last year and of course the tickets sold like hotcakes.

Five-times world champion Ove (Flying Fox) Fundin, now in his late-80s, made the journey from his home in the South of France to return to his beloved Norfolk.

Ove on his bike at a speedway reunion a few years back.

Ove on his bike at a speedway reunion a few years back. Do you recognise anyone? - Credit: Archant Library

Norwich speedway supporter Dennis Harttree gets to meet his heroes, Billy Bales and Ove Fundin. 

Norwich speedway supporter Dennis Harttree gets to meet his heroes, Billy Bales and Ove Fundin. - Credit: Family Collection

“I love these occasions. They are very special,” said Ove, who spent ten great years at Norwich.

Also on hand to meet his supporters and friends was the one-and-only Billy (Pocket Rocket) Bales, aged 92, who grew up in the shadow of the Firs Stadium to become one of our best-loved and most courageous riders.

Speedway racer Billy Bales, the Pocket Rocket, in full flow.

Billy Bales, the Pocket Rocket, in full flow. - Credit: Mike Kemp Collection

Speedway historian Bill Goodswen with the legendary Billy Bales.

Speedway historian Bill Goodswen with the legendary Billy Bales. - Credit: Tony Hurren

And next to his wife Pam of course was Trevor (Hedge-Hopper) Hedge, the Diss and Scottow lad, who rode for Wimbledon, England and Great Britain after the Norwich stadium closed in 1964.

The Hedge-hopper, Trevor Hedge, in action for the Stars.

The Hedge-hopper, Trevor Hedge, in action for the Stars. - Credit: Mike Kemp Collection

The lunch for 130 people was held at the new banqueting suite at Bawburgh Golf Club and money raised this year went to help the stars of today – members of the Norwich Grass Track Club.

Since the events started Pam has raised more than £25,000 to help the World Speedway Riders’ Association.

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“The new dining area at the golf club went down well with everyone. I was able to hold the ticket price at £30 which included a drink, so I believe it was value for money. And people are already looking forward to the next one,” said Pam.

“Mr and Mrs Speedway.” Pam and Trevor Hedge.

“Mr and Mrs Speedway.” Pam and Trevor Hedge. - Credit: Tony Hurren

Apart from Ove, Billy and Trevor, others present included Ray Bales, Gavin Hedge, Cyril Crane, David Gagen, Bert Harkins, Richard Greer, Graham Miles, Rob Hollingworth and Dingle Brown.

It was also good to see young stars of the future such as Jack Thomas, Jake Mulford and Kenzie Cossey… making sure the speedway family lives on.

Speedway author Mike Kemp, Ove Fundin and Mickey Ong.

Speedway author Mike Kemp, Ove Fundin and Mickey Ong. - Credit: Tony Hurren

Norwich speedway supporter Dennis Harttee gets to meet his heroes, Billy Bales and Ove Fundin. 

Norwich speedway supporter Dennis Harttee gets to meet his heroes, Billy Bales and Ove Fundin. - Credit: Family Collection

MC Tony Hurren interviewed Ove and joint Great Britain team manager Oliver Allen, who spoke about how Robert Lambert, Dan Bewley, Tai Woffinden and Tom Brennan rode to success in the Speedway of Nations Cup.

The Firs may have closed back in 1964 but the speedway family goes from strength to strength.

Thank you Pam.

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