Dudley Heathens Archive

2012

 

06/01/12


 
 

HEATHENS DOUBLE DEAL

DUDLEY Heathens have been handed a double boost with talented teenagers Ashley Morris and Tom Perry agreeing new deals with the former Cradley club.  Both riders, based in Wolverhampton, have spent the last two months in Australia on a racing holiday and returned to the UK in time for Christmas.  Club bosses held talks with the duo on Thursday and new deals were quickly agreed for them both to spend a third successive season at the team's adopted Monmore Green home.  They join skipper Adam Roynon, 2011 rider of the year Darryl Ritchings and new signings Byron Bekker and James White-Williams as confirmed starters for the new season. Negotiations are ongoing with riders for the final team place.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: "We're delighted to have both Ash and Tom back on board and in all honesty I didn't really expect any problems, they were both as keen to come back to us as we were to have them.  "They have been told what we expect of them this season. They are at a key stage of their development and we need to see progress from both riders because they both had ups and downs in 2011. We want to see them consistently on the up this year.  "We rate them both very highly as riders and as individuals and if they apply themselves properly and professionally they can both enjoy a good living from this sport in years to come."


18/01/12

GREENWOOD COMPLETES HEATHENS SEPTET

DUDLEY Heathens have finalised their team plans for the 2012 season by signing former British Under 15 champion Dan Greenwood.
Greenwood, who won the title in 2007, looked to be lost to the sport when he quit for personal reasons the following winter.  But he made a comeback last September and scored points for Newport in a handful of meetings. He joins the former Cradley club on a three-point average and will start the season at reserve with Darryl Ritchings.  He will make his Heathens debut at Monmore Green on Tuesday April 3 when the season opens against Stoke in a Staffordshire Cup tie.  “I was really pleased to be back on a bike last season and I feel I can be a much better and improved rider than I was in 2007 because I was only 15 and was pretty small.  “I’ve grown a bit since then and I feel I can be a more complete rider because of it. I’m looking forward to scoring points for the Heathens. "I know some of the lads, I’ve been on the Grass Track with Tom Perry since I was six and he’s a good lad. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the boys in March.”
Tickets are selling fast for the Heathens 2012 Season Launch Party at Cradley Heath Liberal Club on Friday, March 9. All the riders will be introduced on stage and there will also be live music from local solo artist and Heathens fan Neil Davidson. The new Heathens race jacket will also be revealed on the night and there will also be an auction and raffle.  Fans are urged to snap their tickets up to avoid disappointment, priced at 3 for Supporters Club members and 5 non-members. These can be purchased at the club’s online shop at www.dudleyheathens.co or by calling the club number 07717 242957.

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25/01/12

LEGEND REJOINS THE HEATHENS

 

CRADLEY Speedway legend Jan O Pedersen has joined Dudley Heathens as Coach for the 2012 season.
The 1991 World Champion will work alongside Manager Will Pottinger and is moving back to England from his Danish base. It’s a move which is sure to go down well with Heathens fans who worshipped Pedersen when he was a rider at the old Dudley Wood Stadium. He was one of the true entertainers in his generation.  He said: “I’m so pleased to have this opportunity to go back to the club where I started my career, even though they now ride at Wolverhampton in the National League. “If we can be successful and develop the youngsters at the club it will benefit the fans and I still believe most of the fans are from the old Cradley days.
“The main target is for the club to find a track of their own and if we can help by being successful then that’s good.  “Will Pottinger is a good young guy to have as Manager and I will focus on working closely with the riders, advising them on their technique and set-ups, that’s where I feel I can help.
“It’s great to see a Heathens team back on track and to be honest the level of support doesn’t surprise me. They’re so passionate about their club and if ever a group of supporters deserve success and a track of their own then this is it.”
Meanwhile the Heathens 2012 Season Launch Party is fast approaching a sellout now the team is complete but tickets can still be ordered from the club’s official website dudleyheathens.co and go to the online shop.
The event takes place at Cradley Heath Liberal Club, High Street, Cradley Heath on Friday March 9 and includes interviews with all the riders and live music from local solo artist Neil Davidson.
Tickets can also be reserved by calling the club number on 07717 242957.
PICTURED: Jan O links up with Will Pottinger at Cradley Heath Liberal Club. Pics: John Hipkiss.


 

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28/01/12

HANCOCK'S COMING HOME!

 

Greg Hancock will be back in the Black Country on Saturday 17th march for a special event with the World Champion.
He rides in the Brandonapolis at Coventry on the Friday night, plus Sheffield on Sunday and Peterborough Monday.

In between, he will spend early Saturday afternoon at Motor Market in Cradley Heath followed by a Special Reception in Dudley in the evening. Tickets are now on sale.

Greg will take to the stage and meet fans at The Venue Conference and Banqueting Centre, 171-173 High Street, Dudley, on Saturday, March 17 and will be joined by a host of former Cradley riders including 1991 World Champion Jan O Pedersen, Alan Grahame and Colin Pratt.
It will be hosted by BBC WM’s Mike Taylor and Heathens presenter Ian ‘Porky’ Jones.
Said Hancock: “I know what the Heathens name means to the people and they are just so passionate about their team.“The Cradley days were special to me and to so many people. It will be nice to come back to England and to see my fans once again.
Heathens Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “Greg is a very busy man these days and rarely gets chance to come to the UK and it will be a very rare appearance for him back where it all started close to the old Dudley Wood.“We’re expecting tickets to sell fast so I would urge supporters to get theirs quickly to avoid disappointment. We have booked The Venue in Dudley because we anticipate a high demand.”Tickets are available at 10 and will be on a first come first served basis for the show which starts at 8.30pm.
A strictly limited number of VIP tickets are also available for 25 which includes a private reception with Hancock in the Ednam Suite at 7pm, a complimentary print, photograph opportunity and guaranteed front row seats for the main event.Tickets can be purchased at the club’s online shop at www.dudleyheathens.co or by sending a cheque payable to HSSC, 2 Caernarvon Way, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 2TR. For more details, contact HSSC on 07766 745681

Hancock will also be in Cradley Heath on the afternoon of the event between 12-2 when he officially opens a new facility at Motor Market on Newtown Lane. Traditional Cradley Heath Pork sandwiches will be available and there will also be children’s entertainment.

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31/01/12

SHIELD DATES CONFIRMED

HEATHENS have agreed dates with Mildenhall for the defence of their National League Shield.
The former Cradley club will go to West Row for the first leg on Sunday, April 8 with a 4.30pm start.  And the return leg will take place at Monmore Green on Tuesday, April 17.  They’ve already confirmed the visit of Stoke in a Staffs Cup clash on Tuesday, April 3, which is Dudley’s opening meeting of the season.  Boss Will Pottinger said: “In my book both Stoke and Mildenhall are up there as the strongest teams on paper.
“That means we are in for a really tough start and it will be a thorough examination of our team credentials.”

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02/02/12

ADAM TO RIDE IN BEN FUND

HEATHENS skipper Adam Roynon will make a welcome return to Birmingham for the Ben Fund Bonanza on Sunday, March 11 (5pm).
Roynon, who is facing up to a hectic season riding in all three leagues in the UK with Dudley, Coventry and Workington, is regarded as one of the unluckiest riders in the sport with a staggering injury list to his name. He had a brief spell with the Brummies in 2008 which ended with a broken leg.
He’s been helped by the Speedway Riders’ Benevolent Fund in the past and is delighted to play his part in giving something back to the cause.
He will line up alongside Danish stars Nicki Pedersen, Kenneth Bjerre, Hans Andersen and new Selco Brummies signing Bjarne Pedersen.
Roynon said: “I’ve always wanted to be in this event just to give something back for how they’ve helped me through injuries. I’ve used it a bit more than other people, so I’m pleased to be in it and hopefully will bring fans over from Coventry and Dudley to support me as well.”
Birmingham boss Graham Drury said: “I had the pleasure of having him ride for me at the start of his career when he was at Mildenhall.
“I have no doubt that if he hadn’t suffered the horrendous injuries he has, he would have been a Grand Prix rider by now. I rate him that highly.”

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08/02/12

ROYNON TO ATTEND HANCOCK NIGHT

HEATHENS skipper Adam Roynon has added his name to the list of personalities appearing at a special night to honour Cradley legend Greg Hancock next month.  Hancock, the reigning World Champion, is on stage at The Venue Conference and Banqueting Centre in Dudley High Street on Saturday, March 17 (8.30).  And he will be joined by former Cradley boss Colin Pratt and riders Jan O Pedersen, Anthony Boyd, Mark Robinson, Alan and Andy Grahame.  Roynon will represent the current crop of Heathens after accepting an invitation to join the celebration.
He said: “Greg is a hero and an inspiration. I’m so pleased to be asked to represent the current team and I hope I can get a couple of minutes to chat to Greg.”  Roynon, meanwhile, will be a guest on BBC WM Sport tonight (Wednesday) from 7.30pm.
Tickets for ‘An Evening with Greg Hancock and Friends’ can be purchased at the club’s online shop at www.dudleyheathens.co or by sending a cheque payable to HSSC, 2 Caernarvon Way, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 2TR. For more details, contact HSSC on 07766 745681.  Hancock will also be in Cradley Heath on the afternoon of the event between 12-2 when he officially opens a new facility at Motor Market on Newtown Lane. Traditional Cradley Heath Pork sandwiches will be available and there will also be children’s entertainment.

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27/02/12

ROYNON SORRY FOR NO SHOW


DUDLEY Heathens skipper Adam Roynon has apologised to fans left disappointed by his absence at Sunday’s Telford Ice event.
Roynon, 23, was ruled out for personal reasons and has moved to assure fans of the former Cradley club he is fit and ready to start the new season.  He said: “I was left with no alternative but to withdraw which was a disappointment but I had personal reasons which will remain private.
“I apologised to Heathens supporters who felt let down but I can assure them all I am fit and ready to race. I’m looking forward to the start of the new season and I will be in action at Birmingham for the Ben Fund Bonanza on Sunday week.  “I look forward to hearing that Heathens roar and hopefully we can have a season where we ‘ommer um’!”

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08/03/12

HEATHENS PROGRAMME AWARD

DUDLEY Heathens are celebrating high-level recognition for their official matchday programme – which has been rated the best in the National League.  And not only that, the Heathens production scored so highly on design, content and value for money that it finished second only to Belle Vue taking into account clubs from all three leagues in the annual Speedway Star survey.The Star review commented: “Dudley went close to winning the 2010 Programme of the Year award at National League level, but were pipped at the post by Plymouth.
“It’s clear the Heathens set out from day one to scoop the award this time around – and they succeeded.  “With a glossy feel to the whole thing it really was a programme the club and its supporters could justifiably feel proud of - and there was not even a price hike either to pay for it.  “It was head and shoulders above the rest in the NL, and it was also a major contender for the overall gong.”
 

With its distinctive front cover design, engaging articles and sharp action photography, The Heathen 2011 retailed at 2.00, which made it cheaper than several other programmes in the sport.
Club chairman and editor Nigel Pearson said: “This is excellent recognition for the club and my thanks go to all the contributors and photographer John Hipkiss for their hard work.  “Also a big thanks to Yorkshire journalist Paul Rickett who supplied the design, and Paul Hawthorne at Willow Print – we couldn’t have done it without them.  “The challenge now is to maintain these high standards and to continue to provide value for money for our supporters, and we will be working hard to produce another high-quality publication this season.”

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12/03/12

ROYNON IN BEN FUND CRASH

DUDLEY Heathens captain Adam Roynon walked away from an horrific crash in Sunday’s Ben Fund Bonanza at his former home track Birmingham.
Roynon, who was followed at Perry Barr by a huge contingent of travelling Heathens fans, came to grief ironically in a meeting which exists in order to raise funds for injured riders.
The accident occurred in Heat 19, his final ride of the meeting, when he was on the pace with eventual winner Ben Barker and Grand Prix star Bjarne Pedersen.  After making contact with Pedersen on the straight, Roynon was flung towards the fence at top speed, and immediately signalled he required assistance with concern over his heel and ankle – but to the relief of all present, he was able to get up after treatment and was walking around the stadium after the meeting.
Roynon said: “It feels sore but the paramedic doesn’t think there’s any serious damage, and I’ll get it checked out on Monday morning to make sure. Hopefully it will all be okay.”

SCORES: Daniel King 11, Chris Harris 10, Rory Schlein 10, Nicki Pedersen 9, Ben Barker 9, Josh Auty 9, Bjarne Pedersen 8, Kenneth Bjerre 8, Niels-Kristian Iversen 6, Ryan Fisher 6, Hans Andersen 5, Lee Richardson 5, Adam Shields 4, Patrick Hougaard 4, Ty Proctor 4, Nicolai Klindt 3, Richard Hall 3, Adam Roynon 2, Andrew Tully 2, Lukasz Sowka 1.
SEMI-FINAL: N.Pedersen, Barker, Schlein, Auty.
FINAL: Barker, Harris, King, N.Pedersen.

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19/03/12

MAJOR SPONSOR BOOST

DUDLEY Heathens are celebrating more good news ahead of the new Speedway season.  After the massive success of the evening with World Champion Greg Hancock on Saturday, the club have joined forces with Motor Market of Cradley Heath, an independent used car dealership run by brothers Dean and Adam Bridge.  Said Dean: “We are delighted to be working with the Heathens, of course we hope it benefits our business by raising our profile in the area, but above all we are just fans.  “We’ve both been supporters since the 70’s and our Dad much further back. We want to see the club doing well and if we can be a small part of that, then great.  “We wish them good luck for 2012 and hope they have a fantastic season.”
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “This is more great news for the club ahead of the new season and I would like to welcome Dean and Adam on board.  “I have taken a good look around Motor Market and I am very impressed by their facilities and the way they take care of customers. “It’s also particularly nice for us to be joining forces with a Cradley Heath business. Take a look over the fence from Motor Market and you can see the old Dudley Wood!  “Their logo will appear on the back of our race jackets and they will have a presence in the programme. I’d urge our supporters to support the businesses who support the Heathens.”
Motor Market are the largest independent used car dealership in the area.  They have a renowned reputation for providing exceptional customer service and value for money.  Based in Newtown Lane, Cradley Heath, just around the corner from the Tesco’s supermarket, Heathens legend Hancock was only too pleased to appear there at the weekend to open their new facilities.  They are passionate about always delivering what they promise and ensuring customers are delighted with their new cars.  Adam Bridge added: “We understand our future depends on repeat business, that’s what drives us to go the extra mile and ensure we always aim to offer the best quality advice and support we can to all of customers.”

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02/04/12

HEATHENS v STOKE, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens have three new signings on show in their opening meeting of the Speedway season at their adopted Wolverhampton home on Tuesday (7.30).  The former Cradley club face Stoke in the first leg of the Staffs Cup and James White-Williams, Byron Bekker and Dan Greenwood all make their debut in the famous green, red and white.  It’s also the first meeting back with the Heathens for club legend and 1991 world champion Jan O. Pedersen who was appointed club coach during the winter.
Boss Will Pottinger said: “It’s been a busy winter with various club events and exciting signings, but now we have to start delivering the goods on the track. “Our fans have responded again in big numbers during the winter, we’ve sold more season tickets than last season and everyone is well and truly up for this.  “Stoke are a really good team and we will need to be on our guard against them. We need to take a lead to their place for the return on Saturday week.  “All the boys are buzzing and I know the new signings will be given a massive welcome from our supporters. They’ve seen the size of our fan base at social events but this will be the first time they’ve experienced the Heathens roar on the terraces.”
Heathens have pegged adult admission prices at 10 for the start of the new season with 7 concessions and 2 children. A full colour 28-page programme has also been pegged at 2.

HEATHENS: Adam Roynon, James White-Williams, Tom Perry, Byron Bekker, Ashley Morris, Darryl Ritchings, Dan Greenwood.

STOKE: Ashley Birks, Jaimie Pickard, Tony Atkin, Oliver Greenwood, Richie Worrall, Dan Berwick, Ben Reade.

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07/04/12

MILDENHALL v HEATHENS, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens launch the defence of their National Shield when they head to Mildenhall on Sunday (4.30). 
The former Cradley club have named an unchanged side to face the league title favourites who include young Australian sensation Cameron Heeps.
Heathens will be looking to keep the scores close before the sides meet again in the return leg at Monmore Green on Tuesday, April 17.
Boss Will Pottinger said: “We certainly have a tough start to the season, after facing a powerful Stoke side last week we now go to Mildenhall. “They’ve been made favourites for the title in a survey of journalists in the Speedway Star magazine, that’s how highly rated they are. “We need to go there and apply ourselves to the task and give ourselves a chance when we get them back to Wolverhampton.”
MILDENHALL: Cameron Heeps, Joe Jacobs, Stefan Nielsen, Daniel Halsey, Lewis Blackbird, Nathan Stoneman, Josh Bates.
DUDLEY: Adam Roynon, James White-Williams, Tom Perry, Byron Bekker, Ashley Morris, Darryl Ritchings, Dan Greenwood.
 
EVERYONE connected with Dudley Heathens Speedway Club would like to offer sincere condolences to former Cradley rider Bruce Penhall and his family following the loss of his son, Connor.  Bruce was a huge favourite with the club and won the world title twice. He remains firmly in the hearts of all Heathens supporters.

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11/04/12

NEW DATE FOR STOKE

DUDLEY Heathens’ away trip to Stoke in the second leg of the Staffordshire Cup has been re-arranged for Saturday, April 21.
Heathens were due to travel to Loomer Road this Saturday, but the Potters are now staging the semi-final of the British Under-21 Championship, which was rained-off last weekend. Tom Perry and Darryl Ritchings both compete in the meeting.

Heathens will take a four-point lead into the second leg of the Staffordshire Cup, and their next action is the second leg of the National Shield against Mildenhall at Monmore Green on Tuesday, April 17.

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15/04/12

PERRY GOES THROUGH

DUDLEY Heathens will have a second representative in the British Under-21 Final at Monmore Green on April 24 – after Tom Perry sailed through the semi-final at Stoke.

Perry reeled off three straight wins for a maximum nine points in a meeting curtailed after Heat 12 due to the curfew after a host of incidents and accidents.

He was joined on the nine-point mark by Joe Jacobs and Marc Owen, with Adam Wrathall, Stefan Nielsen and former Heathen James Sarjeant the other qualifiers – and they join the list of ten seeded riders which includes Ashley Morris.

Perry’s Heathens team-mate Darryl Ritchings wasn’t in luck, however, as he failed to score at Loomer Road and must wait until 2013 for his next opportunity in this event.

[photo by Jeff Higgott)

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18/04/12

FIXTURE UPDATE

DUDLEY Heathens have moved quickly to rearrange their National Shield Speedway clash with Mildenhall.  The second leg, which was washed out by freak hailstorms, will now go ahead on Tuesday, May 29, at Monmore.
It means Scunthorpe, the scheduled visitors that night, have been provisionally moved to Tuesday July 17 in a league meeting.  Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: "It's nice that we've been able to arrange it so quickly with my thanks to everyone who has co-operated."
Heathens are at Stoke on Saturday in a Staffs Cup tie and then host the British Under 21 Final next Tuesday. Normal admission prices apply and season tickets are not valid for this event.

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20/04/12

STOKE v DUDLEY, PREVIEW

The former Cradley club hold a four-point advantage from the home leg but they'll be without skipper Adam Roynon and in-form Tom Perry for the trip to Loomer Road.  Both riders are in action for their Premier League clubs, Roynon with Workington and Perry with Somerset. Tim Webster, who rode for Stoke last season and is a Potters track specialist, has agreed to deputise as a guest for Roynon and the rider replacement facility will cover Perry's rides.  Boss Will Pottinger said: "This is going to be a very hard meeting, we know that. We'd have liked a bigger lead from the first leg but it's still very early in the season and we want to see the boys have valuable track time.  "I've changed the riding order too with the absence of key riders, just to see if that helps us. Only time wll tell."

HEATHENS: Tim Webster, Tom Perry R/R, Byron Bekker, James White-Williams, Ashley Morris, Darryl Ritchings, Dan Greenwood.

STOKE: Ashley Birks , Jaimie Pickard , Tony Atkin (Captain), Rhys Naylor, Adam McKinna , Ross Walter, Ben Reade, Team Manager: Malcolm Vasey

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21/04/12

FIXTURE CHANGES

DUDLEY Heathens have seen their trip to Rye House put back to June.  The former Cradley club were due at Hoddesdon on May 5 but that date is now needed for a League Cup tie as the Rockets are facing a fixture backlog after the frustrating run of rain.
Now Will Pottinger's side will go to Hertfordshire on Saturday, June 16, as part of a double header. Rye House v Somerset will feature first at 6pm but any Heathens fans who only want to see their own meeting can do so by entering the stadium after the first match.
Chairman Nigel Pearson said: "It's a frustrating time with the rain, the boys are desperate for track time  "On the plus side, they'd better prepare themselves for a busy summer as we catch up with fixtures!"

The second leg of the Staffs Cup will now take place at Loomer Road Stoke on May 5th - 7pm

Heathens host the British Under 21 Final at Monmore on Tuesday 24th April and it represents superb value for money.
Normal admission prices apply, although season tickets are not valid. Adults are charged 10, 7 concessions and 2 children - there will be 22 races and starting at 7pm there will be additional entertainment with a series of Under 16 races.
A full preview will be issued on Monday.

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23/04/12

BRITISH UNDER 21 FINAL

DUDLEY Heathens duo Ashley Morris and Tom Perry are facing up to the biggest meeting of their short career at Monmore Green on Tuesday (7.30).  Both riders, who are only in their third full season of competitive racing, will have massive support when they ride in the British Under-21 Final.  It’s the first time the Heathens have been asked to host a showpiece national event since they reformed for the 2010 season to race at Wolverhampton.  And Chairman Nigel Pearson is urging fans to turn out in force for the event which is held on behalf of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association.  He said: “This is a very proud moment for the club, to be asked by the BSPA to host this event underlines the stature we have very quickly established in the sport.  “Naturally I wish Ash and Tom all the best and hope they do well, also I am looking forward to welcoming Kyle Newman back to Monmore after he rode for us last season and was a delight to deal with.  “And with the amount of races and normal Heathens admission prices, this has to be one of the best value meetings anywhere in the country this year!”
The meeting will feature 22 races. The top two scorers after 20 heats go into the final and those riders in places 3-6 go into a race-off for the remaining two places in the final. In addition, there will be a series of Under 16 races, three of which will act as a curtain raiser at 7pm.

Admission prices are 10 adults, 7 concessions and 2 children. Heathens season tickets do not apply to this meeting.

A full colour 32 page souvenir programme will be available for 3.

BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL – Dudley (Wolverhampton), April 24: Seeded riders: Joe Haines, Steve Worrall, Jason Garrity, ASHLEY MORRIS (HEATHENS), Jerran Hart, Kyle Newman, Kyle Howarth, Robert Branford, Richie Worrall, Ben Morley. Qualifers: TOM PERRY (HEATHENS), Joe Jacobs, Marc Owen, Adam Wrathall, Stefan Nielsen, James Sarjeant.

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04/05/12

STOKE v DUDLEY, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens launch a hectic spell with the short trip to Stoke on Saturday for their Staffordshire Cup second leg clash (7pm).  Then former Cradley club hold a narrow four-point lead from the first leg at Monmore a month ago and know they’re in for a tough test at Loomer Road.
Former Stoke man Tim Webster has been brought in as a guest replacement for unavailable skipper Adam Roynon, who is riding for his Premier League club Workington.  Boss Will Pottinger said: “The most important thing is that the boys get some valuable track time and build up some momentum in this meeting.  “Of course we want to win but also we want to get some laps in so we are fresh for Sunday’s Knockout Cup trip to Buxton.”
Heathens are back at their adopted Monmore Green home next Tuesday, May 8, for the return Knockout Cup leg with Buxton.

STOKE: Ashley Birks, Jaimie Pickard, Tony Atkin, Rhys Naylor, Richie Worrall, Ross Walter, Ben Reade.

HEATHENS: Tim Webster, James White Williams, Tom Perry, Byron Bekker, Ashley Morris, Darryl Ritchings, Dan Greenwood.

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05/05/12

BUXTON v DUDLEY KO CUP PREVIEW

SKIPPER Adam Roynon returns for the KO Cup trip to Buxton on Sunday after a profitable weekend for his other clubs so far – including a 15-point haul for Workington against Sheffield.  Boss Will Pottinger said: “It’s important for us to keep the scores as close as possible before Tuesday's home leg back at Monmore Green.  “We would dearly love to go all the way in the Cup this year but we won’t be taking Buxton for granted.”

HEATHENS: Adam Roynon, James White Williams, Tom Perry, Byron Bekker R/R, Ashley Morris, Darryl Ritchings, Dan Greenwood.

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6/05/12

BYRON Bekker insists he's desperate to race for Dudley Heathens in today's Knockout Cup visit to Buxton (3pm).
Bekker crashed heavily in last night's narrow defeat at Stoke and withdrew as a precaution feeling battered and bruised.

But manager Will Pottinger said: "Byron is so keen to do well for us and I spoke to him late last night after the meeting when we'd travelled home."He says he wants to ride but I've stressed the importance of his role in the team and he needs to be totally sure he can complete the meeting."

Skipper Adam Roynon returns after missing last night as he was riding for his Premier League club Workington.

 

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15/05/12

KINGS LYNN v DUDLEY, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens race their opening National League meeting of the season at King’s Lynn on Wednesday (7.30).
The former Cradley club are in a good run of form after two wins over Buxton in the Knockout Cup and are at full strength going into the meeting at the Norfolk Arena.  It’s sure to be a tough night for the youngsters who ride for the first time since the tragic death of Great Britan star Lee Richardson in Poland at the weekend.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “The sport in general is under a dark cloud right now and it is a tough time for everyone.  “On behalf of all of us connected with Dudley Heathens, we offer our sincere condolences to Lee’s family.  “I’m sure all the riders, both King’s Lynn and ourselves, will be desperate to put on a good show on Wednesday night.”

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16/05/12

KING ERIK IS BACK!

GREAT Dane Erik Gundersen is set for an emotional reunion with Heathens Speedway fans in the Black Country this summer.
Triple world champion Gundersen, who was voted the Cradley’s best ever rider in an online poll, will be at the Venue Conference and Banqueting Centre in Dudley on Friday, July 20.
Hugely popular ‘Gundo’, who saw his career ended in a horror crash at Bradford back in 1989, made 450 appearances for the Heathens and scored almost 5,000 points along the way.
A special ‘Evening with Erik Gundersen’ has been arranged by Dudley Heathens and HSSC and organisers are expecting a sellout audience.
Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “Erik is a true icon throughout the Black Country and throughout the world of Speedway  “I spoke to him last week to finalise things and he was buzzing about coming back to the area where he spent so much of his racing career.  “He can still speak with a bit of a Black Country accent and he can’t wait to come over and see everyone. It’s going to be a very emotional night because every Cradley supporter will want to be there.  “I would urge supporters to snap up tickets as quickly as possible because we are expecting the sold out signs to go up pretty quickly.
“Erik was not only a wonderful rider but he was also fantastic with supporters and after all this time he still holds a place in people’s hearts, particularly in the West Midlands.  “Jan O. Pedersen came back to the area last July and Greg Hancock returned to Dudley in March and both were knocked out by the welcome they received. Erik can look forward to something similar.”

There will be a special VIP reception with Gundersen in the Ednam Suite at 7pm with tickets, restricted to 50, priced at 25 each. General admission tickets are available at 10 with the event starting at 8.30pm.
Tickets can be purchased at the club’s online shop at www.dudleyheathens.co or by sending a cheque payable to HSSC, 2 Caernarvon Way, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 2TR. For more details, contact HSSC on 07766 745681.
You can download a poster advert for the event by going to the following link:
https://www.yousendit.com/download/QlVockhTZ2diR0p3SGNUQw

* DUDLEY HEATHENS launch their National League season at King’s Lynn tonight with a full strength team (7.30).
 
PICTURED: Erik Gundersen, all set for an emotional return to Dudley. Picture: retro-speedway.com

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19/05/12

NEW HEATHENS STADIUM HOPE!

Fresh hope has emerged this week for the Heathens to return to a new permanent stadium in the Dudley Borough.
 
The proposal is not yet finalised but centres on a joint project with Gornal Athletic Football Club, recent winners of the West Midlands Regional League (Premier Division). The speedway club would link up with the non-league football club, with the prospect of a new purpose-built stadium in the Dudley Borough. Advanced discussions have taken place between all parties, with Dudley's Castle Gate site identified as a first choice location. The site represents a prime spot to promote tourism to the area, alongside Dudley Zoo & Castle and the famous Black Country Museum. Other sites would not be ruled out at this stage however.
 
Next month sees the 65th anniversary of the Heathens' first ever home match in the Dudley borough when Cradley hosted Wombwell at Dudley Wood on 21st June 1947. The final meeting to take place at the former stadium was 17 years ago, but the club has been successfully resurrected under the 'Dudley Heathens' banner with crowds of over 1000 attending National League matches at the temporary home of Wolverhampton's Monmore Green during the last three seasons.
 
Gornal FC, known as 'The Peacocks', were originally formed in 1919 but have played with their current name since 1972. Further details are expected soon.
 
Links:
Fans Forum Discussion: http://cradleyspeedway.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=future
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-18101706
http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2012/05/17/dudley-heathens-stadium-plan-gathers-momentum/

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21/05/12

HEATHENS V KINGS LYNN, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens boss Will Pottinger is taking nothing for granted when they face King’s Lynn in their opening home National League meeting of the season at Monmore Green on Tuesday (7.30).  The former Cradley club will be without the in-form Tom Perry who is riding for his Premier League club Somerset.  Heathens are looking to complete the double over the Stars after winning in Norfolk last week.  But Pottinger warned: “We cannot afford any complacency because the loss of Tom is a big blow to us.  “He’s riding well above his average and is a different rider to last year which is good to see.   “But we’re buzzing right now. We had a good win last week, details of plans and hopes for a new track are now public and we’ve got club legend Erik Gundersen coming back to Dudley in July.  “These are good times for Heathens fans and I just hope we can keep smiling with a win at Wolverhampton on Tuesday.”

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25/05/12

PERRY'S UNDER-21 CALL

DUDLEY Heathens hero Tom Perry has been handed international recognition for his superb early season form.
Perry, from Wolverhampton, has been called into the Great Britain team for Sunday’s World Under 21 Team Cup Semi-Final at Lakeside where he will face Australia, Denmark and Czech Republic.  He replaces former Heathens star Kyle Newman who has suffered a collarbone injury.
The news means Heathens will be without their key man for the National League trip to Scunthorpe and they will share his rides around the team under the rider replacement facility.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: “Whilst this is a blow to our team plans for Scunthorpe, it’s a massive honour for Tom and indeed for Dudley Heathens as a club.  “Everyone should feel very proud of Tom and this wonderful achievement and obviously we wish him all the best. No doubt he’ll be on the phone to us straight afterwards to find out our result from Scunthorpe!”
Heathens’ trip to Lincolnshire is the second part of a double header with King’s Lynn up first.

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07/06/12

THE GOLDEN HAMMER 2012

Dudley Heathens and Dudley Stroke Association Proudly Present:
 
THE 2012 FAST GOLDEN HAMMER
 
Tuesday, July 10 - 7.30
 
16 OF THE LEAGUE'S TOP STARS - 20 RACES
 
INCLUDING: World Under 21 Finalist RICHIE WORRALL and the return of Heathens Heroes MICKY 'FLYER' DYER and KYLE NEWMAN
 
PLUS: ROYNO, TOM, ASH AND THE BOYS!
 
AUTOGRAPH SESSION - CRADLEY PORK SARNIES
 
ADMISSION: 12 Adults, 7 Concessions - KIDS FOR A QUID!
 
LADBROKE STADIUM (Monmore Wood), Sutherland Avenue, Monmore Green, Wolverhampton, WV2 2JJ.
 
 

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11/06/12

MATCH PREVIEW FOR 12th JUNE v I.O.W

DUDLEY Heathens are looking for a hefty first leg lead in their Knockout Cup semi-final clash with the Isle of Wight Islanders at Monmore Green on Tuesday (7.30).
Will Pottinger’s men are looking to continue the magnificent cup tradition from the old Cradley days when the Dudley Wood side reached eight finals.  They’ve already dumped Buxton out at the quarter final stage and have suffered only two defeats in nine matches in all competitions, including six successive wins.  Said Pottinger: “This is a big meeting for us and it would mean so much for us to get through to the cup final.  “But just because we’re in a good bit of form we cannot take anything for granted. I’m looking for a positive result and a good win with plenty to spare.  “We need a good lead to take down to the Isle of Wight for the return leg on July 3 and the lads would love to see plenty of support.”
Fans buying a programme at this meeting will be handed a free colour Heathens team poster. Admission is just 10 adults, 7 concessions and 2 children. The full colour 32-page programme costs 2 including the free poster.

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14/06/12

IT'S HAMMER TIME

 
DUDLEY Heathens have unveiled plans for the much anticipated FAST Golden Hammer individual meeting at Monmore Green which takes place on Tuesday, July 10.
Former Heathens favourites Lee Smart, Micky Dyer and Kyle Newman are included in the line-up alongside World Under 21 finalist Richie Worrall.
Reigning champion Kyle Hughes will be back to defend his title and brilliant British youngster Kyle Howarth is also included alongside all the Heathens.
Smart was Heathens skipper in the first year of the reborn club back in 2010 and helped inspire the side to finish top of the table.  Heathens co-promoter Gary Patchett said: “Micky Dyer was so popular with the supporters in 2010 when he rode for us and played his part in us going on a long unbeaten run. He was well happy when I invited him back for the Hammer.  “Smartie looked like sitting out the season but has recently made a comeback and I know the fans will be delighted to welcome him back.  “And Kyle is Kyle, everyone here loves him and he’s a delight to work with. He was also pleased to be asked back.  “When you add in our own skipper Adam Roynon and in-form local boys Ashley Morris and Tom Perry, together with the World Under 21 Finalist Richie Worrall, you can see we have a great line-up.  “We’ve got the old Cradley Pork Sandwich van back again and we’re planning an autograph session when the turnstiles open. I’m excited about it, I’m sure everyone will have a great night.”
The meeting is once again promoting Dudley Stroke Association and the Face, Arm, Speech, Time message (FAST).

Admission will be 12 adults, 7 concessions and just 1 for children. Season tickets are valid for this meeting.

 

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15/06/12

RYE HOUSE v DUDLEY PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens aim to maintain their unbeaten National League record with two away trips this weekend.
The former Cradley club head to Rye House on Saturday where they are on second in a double header after the Premier League clash between the Rockets and Somerset.  And on Sunday they head to Buxton where they have already been successful this season when they were on Knockout Cup duty.
Skipper Adam Roynon is available for the Rye House trip as his Premier League club Workington have a rare Saturday off – but he misses out at Buxton and his place is taken by talented Stoke star Ashley Birks.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: “We already have two away wins under our belt and it would be lovely to add to that this weekend, but we’ll be looking to take something from both meetings.

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18/06/12

MEET THE RIDERS

 
DUDLEY Heathens fans have the chance to get up close and personal with their record breaking heroes at next Tuesday's home clash with Buxton at Monmore.
The table-topping youngsters romped to a stunning 65-27 National League win at Buxton on Sunday - the biggest away win in the history of the club, going back to the Cradley era in 1947.
The previous best came in the sensational 1983 British League title success when Cradley lost only two meetings all season. They won 56-22 at Eastbourne on September 25 and again at Leicester two days later.
Now the modern day Heathens will meet fans and sign autographs when the full team take part in a meet and greet autograph session when the gates open for the Buxton clash at 6.30 on Tuesday.
Team Manager Will Pottinger said: "We were always confident of getting a result but not like that.  "Fans should bring their pictures and programmes to get them signed, the riders will be available until about 7pm before getting changed."

 

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19/06/12

TOM GOES FOR THE HELMET

SATURDAY’S re-scheduled National League Fours at Stoke will begin with the Bronze Helmet match race between Richie Worrall and Heathens hero Tom Perry.
The race was already scheduled for June 23 as the Potters were to stage a league match against Dudley before the switch of dates due to the Fours.
Stoke promoter Dave Tattum said: “Richie and Tom had already been drawn against each other for the Bronze Helmet, which was to take place after the league match between Stoke and Dudley and it makes sense since both riders are here.   “It now means supporters will get to see 25 heats of speedway which I have no doubt will be superb with all eight clubs taking part in the event. We also now have two of the top riders in the National League in Richie and Tom, who are both doing extremely well in the Premier League, going to race-off.”

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03/07/12

BIG BATTLE FOR THE HAMMER

DUDLEY Heathens co-owner Gary Patchett says the race for the Golden Hammer next Tuesday is wide open.

The former Cradley club host the prestigious individual meeting at their adopted Monmore Green home for the third successive season and a bumper crowd is expected. It’s an event which pulls in supporters from all over the country and there will be a rider autrograph session before the start and traditional Cradley pork sandwiches will be available.  Patchett believes every rider in the field will be desperate to win the presitigious title.  He said: “I feel the line-up represents the very best riders that the National League has to offer and is enhanced by four riders who have a special affiliation with the event and a place in the hearts of Heathens supporters.  “Alongside this season's team we were delighted that former Heathens Lee Smart, Kyle Newman and Micky Dyer accepted our invitations to ride in the event.  “It goes without saying that past winners are always welcome and none more so than Leicester Lions star Simon Lambert who won the first staging of the Hammer after the Heathens returned to the track in 2010.  “Unfortunately, the weather has prevented 2011 champion Kyle Hughes from defending the trophy as the Isle of Wight are racing against Kings Lynn that night but I have no doubt that the riders present will provide us with racing well worthy of this illustrious event.  “It's always a pleasure to put fields together for meetings like this and this year's staging, like the past years, is too close to call. Our own riders will obviously benefit from home track advantage and that may prove to be crucial. It's high time we had a home winner!”
The meeting is once again promoting the F.A.S.T message through Dudley Stroke Association – Face, Arm, Speech, Time – and there will be a collection held on the night for the charity.
The full line-up is: Ashley Morris (DUDLEY), Kyle Howarth (Workington), Micky Dyer (Edinburgh), Rob Branford (Buxton), Adam Roynon (DUDLEY), Dan Greenwood (DUDLEY), Ashley Birks (Stoke), Steve Worrall (Scunthorpe), Tom Perry (DUDLEY), James White Williams (DUDLEY), Simon Lambert (Leicester), Darryl Ritchings (DUDLEY), Byron Bekker (DUDLEY), Kyle Newman (Somerset), Lee Smart (Redcar).

Admission is 12 adults, 7 concessions and children just 1. Dudley season tickets are valid for this meeting.

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05/07/12

KURTZ TO RIDE IN HAMMER

TODD Kurtz, the Aussie ace who missed out on a National League slot at the start of the season, will replace the injured Richie Worrall in next Tuesday's F.A.S.T Golden Hammer hosted by Dudley Heathens.  Kurtz, who is doubling up between Premier League Plymouth and Elite League Poole, remained eligible for National League racing despite the closure of former club Newport on the eve of the season.  And as one of the league's leading lights, his appearance in the prestigious individual event at Monmore Green means the race for the title remains wide open.  And Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson has revealed how Kurtz was on the verge of joining the former Cradley club in 2011 until Newport blocked the move.  He said: "Everything was agreed for Todd to become a Heathens rider last year, we had permission from Newport and Todd was well and truly up for it.  "But then, amazingly, Newport changed their mind. They wanted to keep him and Todd was worried he would have lost his Premier League place if he had raced for us.  "So it will be good to see him in the Hammer and I'm sure he'll be determined to build on his third place from last season. His appearance also means he is the only visiting rider to have appeared in all three Hammers since we relaunched in 2010."
The meeting, which promotes the F.A.S.T message - Face, Arms, Speech, Time - through Dudley Stroke Association, features 16 riders over 20 races.  It also sees the return of the traditional Cradley Pork Sandwiches, which always prove popular, and there will be an autograph session at the front of the stadium at 6.30pm.  And the specially commissioned race jackets will be auctioned after the event with the top three in the bar immediately after the meeting and the remaining 13 on ebay.

Admission prices are 12 adults, 7 concessions and children just 1. Heathens season tickets are valid for the event.
 

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06/07/12

DYER'S HAMMER RETURN

  MICKY Dyer will make an emotional return to Dudley Heathens next Tuesday when they host the prestigious F.A.S.T Golden Hammer at Monmore Green.
The Australian was given his first chance in British racing when he came to the former Cradley club in 2010. He helped transform their season as they finished top of the league, only to miss out on the title in the play-offs Now he is desperate to win the Hammer on his return in a meeting which has attracted a top class line-up. He said: “I was helping Sweety (Richard Sweetman) when I first came over and just doing some practice, but Dudley gave me a chance and without them I wouldn’t be here now. “The only reason I am in Britain racing now is because they gave me a spot and took a chance on me, so I will always be so grateful for that. The people were so good to me, everyone made me feel really welcome and you felt part of a family.  “When I signed I didn’t know anything about the history of the club and just assumed it was any old National League team, but you find out pretty quickly that it is more than that! People told me about the background of the club and the story behind everything, and it’s amazing the support you get. “When you win a race and do a victory lap in front of the Heathens’ fans it is the best feeling. The noise they make is awesome and I’ll never forget the first time I heard it.”
I’s an event which pulls in supporters from all over the country and there will be a rider autrograph session before the start and traditional Cradley pork sandwiches will be available.
The meeting is once again promoting the F.A.S.T message through Dudley Stroke Association – Face, Arm, Speech, Time – and there will be a collection held on the night for the charity.

The full line-up is: Ashley Morris (DUDLEY), Kyle Howarth (Workington), Micky Dyer (Edinburgh), Rob Branford (Buxton), Adam Roynon (DUDLEY), Dan Greenwood (DUDLEY), Ashley Birks (Stoke), Steve Worrall (Scunthorpe), Tom Perry (DUDLEY), James White Williams (DUDLEY), Simon Lambert (Leicester), Darryl Ritchings (DUDLEY), Byron Bekker (DUDLEY), Kyle Newman (Somerset), Lee Smart (Redcar), Todd Kurtz (Plynouth).

Admission is 12 adults, 7 concessions and children just 1. Dudley season tickets are valid for this meeting.

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16/07/12

HEATHENS v SCUNTHORPE, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens aim to preserve their unbeaten National League record when they face Scunthorpe at Monmore on Tuesday (7.30).
But the former Cradley club, who have won all six of their league outings so far, will have to do it without Tom Perry who is riding for Premier League Somerset in their meeting at Ipswich.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger insists his side will be taking nothing for granted despite their immaculate record.  He said: “It’s far from ideal being without Tom because he’s been pushing Adam (Roynon) as our top rider this season and we can only use the rider replacement facility in his absence.  “But the boys will be up for the challenge and I suppose Scunthorpe are also hampered by the fact that Gary Irving will be riding for their senior team at Rye House on the same night.”  The Recycled Aggregate Services-backed Heathens have moved James White Williams to number four in the riding order with R/R for Perry at two.
HEATHENS: Adam Roynon, Tom Perry R/R, Byron Bekker, James White Williams, Ashley Morris, Darry Ritchings, Dan Greenwood.
SCUNTHORPE: Steve Worrall, Tommy Fenwick, Gary Irving R/R, Oliver Greenwood, Tom Young, Danny Phillips, Max Clegg.
============================================================================================================
DUDLEY Heathens can go back to the top of the National League table with a win over Scunthorpe at Monmore Green tonight (7.30).
And with a good weather forecast for the area club bosses are expecting a bumper crowd with speedway-starved Heathens fans desperate to see their side back in action.  They were knocked off top spot by Mildenhall at the weekend but are just a point behind after six straight wins.  It's the start of an important phase of fixtures as the former Cradley club, sponsored by Recycled Aggregate Services in Oldbury, head to Stoke on Saturday and Isle of Wight next Tuesday.

Boss Will Pottinger said: "It's a case of so far, so good but we can't take our eye off the ball and we will have to focus when we face Scunthorpe tonight."

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16/07/12

NEW HAMMER DATE

DUDLEY Heathens have moved quickly to re-arrange their prestigious individual event for Tuesday, July 31.
The F.A.S.T Golden Hammer was washed out last week but thanks to the co-operation of Wolverhampton landlords Ladbrokes and promoter Chris Van Straaten a new date has been agreed.  And the line-up is expected to only show one change as Rob Bramford will be riding for Buxton at the Isle of Wight.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We are absolutely delighted to get a new date so quickly and we must offer our sincere thanks to Ladbrokes and Chris Van Straaten.  “We were all desperately disappointed to lose the meeting last week but this means we are ready to go again quickly.  “The British Final is to be staged the night before on the same track and we will look at incentives for fans to attend both meetings. We also want to encourage plenty of children as it’s the start of the school summer holidays.  “We are also delighted to be working alongside Dudley Stroke Association promoting the F.A.S.T message – Face, Arms, Speech, Time.  “We had fantastic local publicity for the event and now we need to gather that momentum once again. It’s sure to be a great night and naturally we would love to see a Heathens winner!”
HEATHENS are back in National League action on Tuesday when they face Scunthorpe at their adopted Monmore Green home (7.30).

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17/07/12

SOUVENIR GUNDERSEN MAGAZINE

HEATHENS fans can now buy their copy of the new Erik Gundersen souvenir magazine – WUNDER GUNDER, King of Cradley.

The unique souvenir looks back at Erik’s career with Cradley and also his multiple international successes.

It is 40 Pages full colour. Over 200 pictures - Features - Statistics - Interviews with Greg Hancock, Jan O Pedersen and the great man himself.

It's a must for all Cradley supporters.

Copies will be on sale on Friday at the Evening with Erik Gundersen, but fans can also order their copy online now and have it delivered to their front door.

 

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20/07/12

GUNDERSEN NIGHT A HUGE SUCCESS

HUNDREDS of fans packed out the Venue Conference and Banqueting Suite in Dudley to welcome home triple world champion Erik Gundersen last night.
Gundersen, who made almost 600 appearances for Cradley, spoke about his career and how he won the biggest race of his life when fighting back from horrific injuries which ended his career in 1989.
He was given a standing ovation and on a hugely emotional night Gundersen’s daughter, Nanna, ended proceedings by taking to the stage to sing the Danish national anthem.
Said Gundersen: “This has been a very, very special night which I will never forget. All these people are my family, they will always be in my heart and I cannot thank them enough for making me, my wife Helle and daughter Nanna so welcome.  “I’m so pleased I did it and my thanks to everyone at the Dudley Heathens for organising the event. When they get their new track, I’ll be there to cut the ribbon at the starting gate!”
Gundersen was joined on stage by former Heathens colleagues Alan Grahame and Jan O. Pedersen along with Wolves legend Ronnie Correy and current Monmore star Nicolai Klindt, who was coached by him as a youngster. Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson, the Sky Sports Speedway presenter, hosted the evening.

 
 

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23/07/12

ISLE OF WIGHT ISLANDERS v DUDLEY HEATHENS, PREVIEW

TABLE-TOPPING Dudley Heathens put their perfect National League record on the line when they head to the Isle of Wight on Tuesday (7.30).
The Recycled Aggregate Services-backed side have won all eight of their league outings so far and already have one foot in the play-offs. But manager Will Pottinger insists his side will be taking nothing for granted when they make the journey across the Solent to what is expected to be the sunshine island!  He said: “It’s nice to go down there with a good weather forecast and it should be a good trip for the boys.  “We’re all buzzing right now and it’s nice to be back up to full strength after we went to Stoke without Adam Roynon and Ashley Morris and yet still came away with a win.”
Dan Greenwood has been rewarded for his fine form at reserve so far this season with promotion into the main body of the Heathens team with James White Williams moving to reserve.

ISLE OF WIGHT: Danny Warwick, Ben Hopwood, Kyle Hughes, Aaron Baseby, Mark Baseby, TBC, Paul Starke.

HEATHENS: Adam Roynon, Dan Greenwood, Tom Perry, Byron Bekker, Ashley Morris, Darryl Ritchings, James White Williams.

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25/07/12

ISLE OF WIGHT ISLANDERS 29  DUDLEY HEATHENS 61

DUDLEY Heathens underlined their National League title credentials with an emphatic 61-29 victory at the Isle of Wight on Tuesday.  It was a ninth straight league win for the rampant former Cradley club, and it came at a venue where many were expecting them to receive one of their toughest tests of the season.  But with skipper Adam Roynon again immaculate – and adding another track record to his growing collection – and the whole team chipping in with points, Heathens topped the 60-point mark for the second time on the road this season.
The only setback was a mechanical failure for Ashley Morris in Heat 4, but he recovered to win his second outing as a succession of advantages saw the Heathens race into a 31-11 lead after seven races – with both of the Islanders’ tactical rides going to waste with Danny Warwick and Mark Baseby trailing in third.  It took until Heat 8 for the home side to record a race win, that going to Ben Hopwood, and their sole advantage came in the next heat with a 4-2.  But Heathens were straight back in charge with Tom Perry and Byron Bekker carding the third of four 5-1s together, Roynon racing to his record-breaking Heat 11 win and also teaming up with Morris in Heat 13.
The 61-point total was completed by more maximum points from Bekker and Perry in Heat 15, as the Heathens opened up a six point lead at the top of the table.  Boss Will Pottinger said: “I’m delighted with that performance from the lads. Every one of them were superb, and Adam was in a different class and achieved another track record despite having a bike problem!  “Stoke and Mildenhall in August are going to be tough tests, but we can’t wait for those meetings now.”

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26/07/12

MASSIVE TWO DAYS FOR ROYNON


 

Anyone attending the British Final should keep their re-admission ticket and gain entry to the Hammer for 10 instead of the 12 price.  The club have also confirmed their ‘Kids for a Quid’ policy for the Hammer – and there will be face painting available for the youngsters.  Traditional Cradley pork sandwiches will be available and there will be an auction of the top three race jackets in the bar immediately after the event.

 

  HEATHENS skipper Adam Roynon is facing up to the biggest 48-hours of his career.
Roynon has been a revelation for the former Cradley club this season and has led them to the top of the table and they stand on the verge of the Cup Final. Now he is preparing for the British Final at Wolverhampton next Monday – and the following night, on the same track, he will start as one of the clear favourites as the Heathens stage the FAST Golden Hammer.  He said: "It's a massive meeting the Golden Hammer, and it is a privilege to be riding in it.  “I have also got the British Final here before that so I am a little nervous about that one. Hopefully I can get some big scalps in that British Final and it will set me up nicely to win the the Golden Hammer on Tuesday!  “Home track advantage will be very important for me. It is nice that I am riding this track because it is a quite tricky track to ride.  “So having the home meetings here for Dudley and riding here a bit away with Coventry is helping me a lot.  “Hopefully I can pull off a bit of an upset on Monday and then follow that up with a win in the Golden Hammer.”
The Hammer, which is a re-arranged date on Tuesday, is once again promoting the FAST message – Face, Arms, Speech, Time – in conjunction with Dudley Stroke Association.  It features all the Heathens riders plus former favourite Kyle Newman, Mildenhall’s Aussie sensation Cameron Heeps and new British Under 21 Champion Joe Haines.  Former winner Simon Lambert, who has just rejoined Stoke, also features and is determined to regain the title.


LINE-UP: Ashley Morris, Kyle Howarth, Joe Haines, Cameron Heeps, Adam Roynon, Dan Greenwood, Ashley Birks, Ben Reade, Todd Kurtz, Tom Perry, James White Williams, Simon Lambert, Darryl Ritchings, Byron Bekker, Kyle Newman, Jaimie Pickard.

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29/07/12

BRITISH FINAL PREVIEW

HEATHENS bosses are urging fans to turn out in force to support skipper Adam Roynon in Monday’s British Final at their adopted Wolverhampton home (7.30)  And as a special incentive to make it more affordable for supporters to take in both the British Final and the FAST Golden Hammer the following night, fans should keep their readmission ticket from Monday and gain admission to Tuesday’s Hammer for just 10.
Heathens duo Tom Perry and Ashley Morris have also been named as reserves for the British Final, which gives riders both the chance to become national champion and wildcard for the British Grand Prix at Cardiff.  Club coach Jan O. Pedersen said: “Adam deserves great credit for the progress he has made at all levels this season and hats off to the club management for actively encouraging Heathens fans to do both meetings if at all possible.  “It would be great to see a sea of green, red and white on the terraces at the British Final and then at our Golden Hammer on Tuesday. It’s a big couple of days.”
Tuesday’s FAST Golden Hammer, promoting the work of Dudley Stroke Association, has pulled in a top quality field with organisers booking British Under 21 Champion Joe Haines to challenge for the title.

Admission is 12 adults – or 10 for British Final readmission ticket holders - 7 concessions and just 1 for children.

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30/07/12

GOLDEN HAMMER PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens stage their prestige individual event at their adopted Wolverhampton home on Tuesday, July 31 (7.30).
And they’re hoping to see plenty of youngsters trackside as they offer their ‘kids for a quid’ promotion for the showpiece FAST Golden Hammer meeting which features 16 of the top National League stars.
The event is once again promoting the Face, Arm, Speech, Time message from Dudley Stroke Association – if you suspect a stroke, dial 999.
It features all the Heathens riders plus former favourite Kyle Newman, Aussie ace Cameron Heeps and British Under 21 Champion Joe Haines.
Heathens star Ashley Morris, however, is determined to add his name to the glittering list of champions on the historic roll of honour.
He said: “I have got as much chance as anyone really around Monmore. I will just go out there with some confidence and I should be alright.
“Obviously it’s going to be a tough meeting, you can’t relax at all and you have got to be on your game from heat one.
“Hopefully it all goes to plan on the night, but anything can happen and you just need everything to go well on that night.”
The Hammer, which is a re-arranged date on Tuesday, is once again promoting the FAST message – Face, Arms, Speech, Time – in conjunction with Dudley Stroke Association.
Anyone attending the British Final at Wolves tonight should keep their re-admission ticket and gain entry to the Hammer for 10 instead of the 12 price.
Traditional Cradley pork sandwiches will be available and there will be an auction of the top three race jackets in the bar immediately after the event.
LINE-UP: Ashley Morris, Brendan Johnson, Joe Haines, Cameron Heeps, Adam Roynon, Dan Greenwood, Ashley Birks, Ben Reade, Todd Kurtz, Tom Perry, James White Williams, Simon Lambert, Darryl Ritchings, Byron Bekker, Kyle Newman, Jaimie Pickard.

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01/08/12

MORRIS DISAPPOINTED

ASHLEY Morris admitted he was left annoyed by his last gasp disappointment in the FAST Golden Hammer at Monmore on Tuesday.  Morris was looking good to become the first Heathens rider to win the prestigious title since Billy Hamill in 1996 but he ran out of luck in his last outing.  18 year old Morris looked in blistering form early on – and after going from 3rd to 1st on the final lap of his penultimate ride, he was left needing to win his final heat to take the prestigious crown.
However, his steel shoe fell off on the start line, and although he did get it back on in time after some frantic efforts, he made a sluggish start and trailed at the back. With Morris struggling, former Heathens man Kyle Newman raced to the chequered flag to secure victory in the event.
Stoke men Simon Lambert and Ashley Birks then won their final rides, meaning Morris was relegated to 4th in the standings and missed out on a place on the rostrum. Morris said: "I am pretty annoyed to be honest. It was going really well up until that last ride.  "My steel shoe fell off on the start line, and that messed with my head. It made me panic a bit and it showed with that ride unfortunately.  “I am pleased with my performance tonight. I just kept my head down and stayed focused all meeting, but things just backfired a little in the last ride and that cost me."  Despite missing out on the top prize, Morris was awarded with the 'Most Exciting Rider of the Night Award' from club partners Motor Market, and he was delighted with his sublime heat 13 win which helped him to that award.  He said: "I just struggled out the gate again like I have been recently – I don’t know why that has been happening – but then I managed to get around Ashley Birks out of turn 2. Luckily Simon Lambert moved off the white line and I managed to just sneak passed on the last bend, so I was really happy with that one."
Morris is back in action for the Heathens next Tuesday, August 7, when they face Stoke in a big National League clash at Monmore.

Report: RICH JONES

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04/08/12

CONFIDENT ROYNON

HEATHENS skipper Adam Roynon says his side will go into Tuesday’s Monmore clash with fellow high-flyers Stoke in a confident mood (7.30).
The former Cradley club have so far carded a perfect nine wins from nine National League outings and are looking to maintain that record against a powerhouse Potters side.  Said Roynon: “Hopefully we can just keep strong together as a team, and push onto the end of the season by trying to keep banging in these big home wins and away wins that we are getting.  “We have a great team, and I am confident that we can keep doing well.”
Meanwhile Roynon admitted the occasion of the British Final last Monday was a distraction in his bid to win the FAST Golden Hammer the following night.  The Cumbrian scored nine-points in a meeting won by former Heathen Kyle Newman.  He said: “I did really want to win the Hammer, and I am disappointed that I couldn’t do that.  “To be honest though I don’t think my head was really in it after I put so much emphasis on the British Final on Monday. I am not really too sure how I am feeling about the Hammer, it was just one of those weird sort of days.”

Report: RICH JONES

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06/08/12

HEATHENS PUT PROUD RECORD ON THE LINE

DUDLEY Heathens face their biggest test of the National League season so far when in-form Stoke Potters visit Monmore on Tuesday (7.30).
The table-topping former Cradley club have won all nine league outings so far but they face a super confident Stoke side after their stunning win at title rivals Mildenhall on Sunday.  And they include Simon Lambert and Ashley Birks, who both finished on the rostrum in last week’s FAST Golden Hammer hosted by the Heathens.  Boss Will Pottinger said: “We know what a tough task this will be, Lambert and Birks are class acts, in effect they have two number one riders in their team.  “But I’m hoping our strength in depth will prove to be the decisive factor. We have Tom Perry and James White Williams at reserve so I would like to think we can do enough to claim all three points.”
Heathens are without Dan Greenwood who is unavailable because of a prior commitment which was arranged before he decided in a comeback after retirement. They will use the rider replacement facility with Byron Bekker, Darryl Ritchings, Tom Perry and James White Williams eligible to cover his four rides.
HEATHENS: Adam Roynon, Dan Greenwood R/R, Byron Bekker, Darryl Ritchings, Ashley Morris, Tom Perry, James White Williams.

STOKE: Simon Lambert, Adam Wrathall, Tony Atkin, Ross Walter, Ashley Birks, Liam Carr, Ben Reade.

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09/08/12

ISLE OF WIGHT ISLANDERS 15 DUDLEY HEATHENS 21

DUDLEY Heathens have been kept waiting for a place in the Knockout Cup Final - after their meeting at the Isle of Wight was abandoned due to fog!  The former Cradley club were 21-15 ahead after six races - a staggering 34 up on aggregate - when the meeting was called to a halt.  And because they hadn't reached the conclusion of 12 races, the rules state a result cannot be declared and Heathens are facing the prospect of another long trip to the island.
Boss Will Pottinger said: "It was the correct decision and it's just a shame we couldn't get through to Heat 12 which is the cut-off for a result.  "Obviously we were in a great position and it would be nice not to have to make the trip again, but we have already liased with the Islanders management with a view to a new date and hope we can make an announcement soon."
Heathens are next in action on Sunday, August 19, at title rivals Mildenhall with the return at Monmore on Tuesday, August 21 in what promises to be the match of the National League season.

Isle of Wight 15: Paul Starke 5, Ben Hopwood 3+1, Kyle Hughes 3, Adam Ellis 2, Brendan Johnson 2, Kyle Hughes 1. Mark Baseby R/R

Dudley 21: Adam Roynon 6, Ashley Morris 5, Tom Perry 3+1, James White Williams 3, Darryl Ritchings 3, Byron Bekker 1+1, Dan Greenwood R/R
 

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14/08/12

SUNDAY START TIME SETTLED

DUDLEY Heathens will go to Mildenhall this Sunday with a 4.30pm start – despite the British Speedway Promoters’ Association instructing the Suffolk side they must start at 3pm. Confusion surrounded the start time when it appeared the Fen Tigers were to revert to a 3pm start in order for Lewis Blackbird to ride for Leicester at 7.30.
That would also have enabled Heathens duo Adam Roynon and Ashley Morris to ride in both meetings as their Premier League club Workington are at Leicester.
Heathens Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We were led to believe by a member of the Mildenhall management that it would be a 3pm start so we liased with Workington and we agreed Adam and Ash could do both meetings. Now we are told that was never the case.  “We were then told only last week that Mildenhall would be starting at 4.30 and the club then asked the BSPA to rule on this. They agreed it should be 3pm.  “But we were also then advised there was an issue with stadium availability at 3pm because of an event the night before and, reluctantly, in the best interests of the sport, we have agreed to go with a badly depleted team. Rearranging the fixture would be a major problem.  “We can afford to take this one on the chin. Our target is to win our last three home meetings and claim maximum points and finish top of the table.  “As far as we are concerned, we just need to get Sunday out of the way and if we lose, we lose. I don’t want our supporters just thinking we rolled over under pressure from Mildenhall, if anything we are helping out after all the confusion. That’s Speedway, all we are really focusing on is our final three home league meetings. Anything we get at West Row would be a bonus.  “We have booked Gary Irving to cover for Adam and rider replacement will cover for Ashley. And what this has done is made next Tuesday’s home meeting against Mildenhall even more important! If we lose on Sunday we will be hungry for revenge on Tuesday.  “We need all our fans to come along on Tuesday and get right behind us. We want a really special atmosphere that night for the biggest night of the season which just got bigger after all this!”

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14/08/12

HEATHENS REACH CUP FINAL

HEATHENS are through to the National League Knockout Cup Final.
The former Cradley club have beaten the Isle of Wight by 34-points on aggregate after last Thursday’s 21-15 score in the away leg of the semi-final was allowed to stand.  The meeting was abandoned after six races because of fog and Islanders bosses have told the Speedway Control Bureau they wish to concede the tie.  Now they will face the winners of the Mildenhall v Stoke Semi-Final which will be decided next month.
Heathens Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We are naturally delighted to be going through to a major final and we will make it a very special occasion.  “Cradley had a fantastic record in the cup competitions and we want to keep that going.   “The Islanders are concerned about a lack of dates because of the bad weather and they conceded there was very little chance of turning the tie around.  “We did the work in the first leg and rode well in the return only for the fog to come down. Hopefully the final will be held in good conditions!”

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18/08/12

PERRY - 'AWESOME EXPERIENCE'

HEATHENS hero Tom Perry described his appearance in the World Under 21 Final as ‘an awesome experience’.  Perry, 19, is in only his third season of the shale sport after his talent was spotted by Heathens bosses on the Grass Track scene.  He was named as one of the two wildcards for the showpiece event and on a tricky Coventry track which had been hit by rain, he managed five points and scored in all of his rides.  And that score saw him finish ahead of highly-rated Poles Piotr Pawlicki and Tobiasz Musielak amongst others - and the Dudley star was delighted with his night.   He said: "It was an awesome experience, I really enjoyed it! The track was really patchy to start with which made things a little difficult but as soon as that sorted itself out it was really good.  "I scored in every race and it wasn't like I was gifted my points, I worked hard and I just tried to mix it with the lads. I came here not expecting anything like I said before. Nobody was expecting me to really do anything. Not that many people even know who I am really, so coming here not expecting to score and leaving with 5 after getting something in every race is very pleasing. I am delighted.   "I have raced against most of these riders before because I got to the semi-finals of the competition in Ukraine. They are all great riders. I mean you only have to look at that Bartosz Zmarzlik. He didn't win it but tonight he was unbelievable. He was throwing the bike around like it was a toy, it seemed easy for him! So to mixing it with riders like that is great.”
Fellow Dudley man Ashley Morris was also present at the event as a track reserve, but didn’t get a chance to ride.

Report: RICH JONES

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18/08/12

MILDENHALL v HEATHENS, PREVIEW

DEPLETED Heathens head to Mildenhall on Sunday where they will take only half of their usual side (4.30).
The top of the table National League clash has been decimated by the unavailability of riders.  Skipper Adam Roynon and in-form Ashley Morris are ruled out because of a clash of fixtures with their Premier League club Workington who ride at Leicester at 7.30.  Heathens were told the Mildenhall meeting would start at 3pm to enable them to do both meetings but this was changed 10-days ago.  And Tom Perry is unavailable because he is riding in the European Grass Track Championship.
Scunthorpe’s Gary Irving comes in for Roynon and the rider replacement facility will operate for Morris. Youngster Connor Dwyer, who is hoping for a National League contract in 2013, will stand in for Perry.  Boss Will Pottinger said: “We have to go there and do our best before bringing them back to Monmore on Tuesday when we will be back to full strength. I’m sure the lads will give it their best and it would be nice to take a point.”

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20/08/12

HEATHENS v MILDENHALL, PREVIEW

HEATHENS are back to full strength for Tuesday’s top of the table clash with rivals Mildenhall at Monmore Green (7.30).  The teams are level on points at the top of the National League and are widely predicted to meet again in the play-offs.
Skipper Adam Roynon returns to the Heathens side along with Ashley Morris and Tom Perry who all missed Sunday’s defeat at Mildenhall.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: “We were delighted to get Sunday’s meeting out of the way and it’s now time to focus on this, our biggest meeting of the season.  “We were badly depleted on Sunday but this is our opportunity to show what we can do with a full team. It should be a great meeting.  “And I believe whoever wins this meeting will go on and finish top of the league. Hopefully that will be us.”
A bumper crowd is expected for the showdown between two superb teams and whoever finishes top of the league will get first pick of opponents in the play-offs next month.

HEATHENS: Adam Roynon, Darryl Ritchings, Byron Bekker, Dan Greenwood, Ashley Morris, Tom Perry, James White Williams.

MILDENHALL: Gary Irving, Joe Jacobs, Stefan Nielsen, Daniel Halsey, Lewis Blackbird, Ryan Terry-Daley, Josh Bates.

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23/08/12

HEATHENS FANS IN BUMPER WEEKEND

HEATHENS will defend their National League Fours title at Stoke’s Loomer Road Stadium this Sunday (4pm).  And that means a hectic weekend of action for the fans as the club are taking four coaches to the British Grand Prix at Cardiff on Saturday before fans head up the M6 the next day.
The former Cradley club will be represented by Adam Roynon, Ashley Morris, Darryl Ritchings and Byron Bekker in the event with Tom Perry ruled out due to a prior Grass Track booking.
Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “It’s a bumper weekend for our supporters and we are determined to keep the Heathens success story going.  “The dream ticket for our fans will be a Greg Hancock win at Cardiff as he is very much a Heathens legend followed by a win at Stoke.”

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31/08/12

ROYNON TARGETS PLAY-OFF RETURN

HEATHENS skipper Adam Roynon has vowed to be back for the National League Play-Offs.
Roynon suffered a vertebrae injury when riding for Coventry in Thursday’s Elite League meeting at Swindon. He spent the night in hospital and has been detained as a precaution – but he’s already assured Heathens bosses he will be racing in the Play-Off Semi-Final at Monmore Green on Tuesday, September 25.
Club Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “Adam is extremely positive even though it’s not good news.  “He’s broken and crushed a vertebrae but there are lots of riders who have done that and got back on a bike quickly as long as there is no risk of further damage.  “I had a text message off Adam early this morning saying he’ll be back for the Play-Offs – I asked if he was sure and he said 100%.”
Heathens face Isle of Wight at Monmore on Tuesday in their final regular National League meeting and if they win they will finish top and have choice of opponents in the Play-Offs.
The club are likely to book a guest to replace Roynon after the Islanders pulled off a fine win against Mildenhall on Thursday.

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31/08/12

HEATHENS BOOK HOT - ASH

HEATHENS have booked Ashley Birks to replace the injured Adam Roynon in Tuesday’s National League clash with the Isle of Wight at Monmore (7.30).  It’s a meeting Heathens need to win to secure top spot for the second time in three seasons – and in doing so they will have choice of Play-Off opponents.
Roynon is awaiting further results of tests at hospital after suffering vertebrae damage in last night’s Elite League meeting between Swindon and Coventry.
Birks, who rides for Stoke, readily accepted the booking.  “There was a school of thought that we could have gone without a guest, but that would have shown a complete lack of respect to the Isle of Wight,” said Heathens chief Nigel Pearson.  “We cannot afford to slip up on Tuesday so we immediately approached Stoke and Ashley accepted the booking.”

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12/09/12

  DUDLEY Heathens have swooped to sign British Under 21 champion Joe Haines ahead of the National League play-offs.  Haines, who recently turned 21, has joined the former Cradley club as a temporary replacement for injured skipper Adam Roynon.
He currently rides for Premier League Sheffield on loan from Wolverhampton and has enjoyed a fine season with the South Yorkshire side. He won his second Under 21 title at Dudley’s Monmore Green track back in April.
Said Haines: “I’m delighted to have this opportunity but people will think I’m a glory hunter coming in for the play-offs!  “They’ve explained to me that I’m in as cover for Adam and I know that will be tough because he’s had a fantastic season. I really hope he recovers quickly but if not I’ll be there for the Heathens.  “And I know how serious they are, part of the deal states I can’t wear my Wolves racesuit because it would upset the fans. There must have been a massive rivalry there back in the day!  “I’ve had a long chat with Nigel Pearson (Heathens Chairman) about the club history and tradition and I am proud to have this opportunity.”
Haines has a National League average of 10.76 and will ride for the club in their play-off semi-final at Monmore on Tuesday, September 25.
The deadline for play-off qualification is now Wednesday, September 19 and as league leaders Heathens will have choice of opposition. They will announce who they have picked on the night of the deadline.

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19/09/12

PLAY-OFF NEWS

HEATHENS will face neighbours and rivals Stoke in the National League play-off semi finals over the next two Tuesdays.
The former Cradley club, who raced their home meetings at Stoke in 1996, will stage the first leg at Monmore Green next Tuesday, September 25.  And in a change of racenight for the Potters, Loomer Road will host the second and deciding leg on Tuesday, October 2.  Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “Once we made the decision to select Stoke as our opposition we started talking to Dave Tattum about potential dates.  “We went there in July to fill a gap in their fixture schedule and in return it was agreed that any play-off clash would be staged on nights where there are no clashes with Premier League fixtures.  “If we were to go to Stoke on a Saturday it may well have ruled Ashley Morris out because he would have been riding for Workington, but with two Tuesdays it means both sides can be at full strength which we feel is only fair to the fans.  “I’m sure Stoke will bring a few fans down to Monmore Wood next Tuesday and it goes without saying we will be taking cars, coaches and minibuses to Loomer Road for the return when hopefully we can celebrate a place in the play-off final for the first time in our history.”

FIXTURE PICTURE:

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 25: Dudley v Stoke, Play-off SF 1st Leg 7.30.

TUESDAY OCTOBER 2: Stoke v Dudley, Play-off SF 2nd Leg, 7.30.

TUESDAY OCTOBER 23: Dudley v Mildenhall, KOC Final, 7.30.

TBA: Mildenhall v Dudley, KOC Final.

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24/09/12

PLAY-OFF PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens have refused to increase admission prices for their eagerly awaited play-off semi-final with Stoke at Monmore on Tuesday (7.30).
And that means fans can back the former Cradley club in their race for the title for just 10 adults, 7 concessions and 2 children.
There is also an added bonus for supporters as the club will be staging the Les Pottinger Memorial Trophy – a one-off race featuring the top four Heathens riders on the night.
Coach Jan O. Pedersen said: “The boys got together last Monday and had a proper chat about things and they know what’s needed from them.
“We’ll be looking for a handy lead from this meeting in order to go to Stoke next Tuesday in good shape.
“And once again we’ll be looking towards our brilliant fans to really get behind us in big numbers.”
Season tickets are valid for the meeting with the return at Loomer Road – ironically home to the Heathens in 1996 – next Tuesday, October 2.
British Under-21 Champion Joe Haines makes his Heathens debut as injury replacement for Adam Roynon who still hopes to be back next month.
HEATHENS: Joe Haines, Dan Greenwood, Tom Perry, Byron Bekker, Ashley Morris, Darryl Rithings, James White Williams.
STOKE: Ashley Birks, Richard Andrews R/R, James Cockle, Ben Reade, Tony Atkin, Liam Rumsey, Liam Carr.

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27/09/12

STOKE RE-STAGING CONFIRMED

DUDLEY Heathens can confirm the home leg of their National League play-off semi-final against Stoke has been re-arranged for Tuesday, October 9.
It means the meeting, rained-off at Monmore Green earlier this week, becomes the second leg of the tie as Heathens travel to face the Potters at Loomer Road next Tuesday.  Club chairman Nigel Pearson said: “Running the two meetings on successive Tuesdays means ourselves and Stoke will both be able to field full-strength line-ups. “Obviously we hope as many of our supporters as possible will be able to make the trip up to Loomer Road next week and cheer the boys on, and then we’ll look to finish the job back at Monmore the following week.”
The aggregate winners will face either Mildenhall or the Isle of Wight in the Final, with that tie scheduled to be concluded next Tuesday.
Meanwhile dates are also confirmed for the Knockout Cup Final against Mildenhall. The first leg will be at West Row on Sunday October 7 (4.30pm start) with the return at Monmore on Tuesday October 23.
The teams will each be without one rider due to Premier League commitments in the first leg – Ashley Morris for the Heathens and Lewis Blackbird for the Fen Tigers. The rider replacement facility will therefore be in operation for both sides, with Morris and Blackbird then available for the return.

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06/10/12

MILDENHALL vs DUDLEY KO CUP FINAL 1st Leg

DUDLEY Heathens are back in action for the first time in over a month when they head to Mildenhall in the first leg of the National League Knockout Cup Final on Sunday (4.30).  Boss Will Pottinger says the priority will be for his side to keep the tie as close as possible for the second leg at Monmore Green on Tuesday, October 23.
Heathens are without Ashley Morris who is riding for his Premier League club Workington and Mildenhall have the same situation with Lewis Blackbird who is riding for Leicester. The rider replacement facility will be in operation for both.  Said Pottinger: “We’ve been to Mildenhall earlier this season and kept the scores close and that has to be the priority for us.  “We will go there with a positive attitude to try and win on the day but if not run them as close as possible.  “Mildenhall have been in great form and they will be tough – it should be a great final between us.”

MILDENHALL: Jason Garrity, Lewis Blackbird R/R, Joe Jacobs, Daniel Halsey, Stefan Nielsen, Ryan Terry Daley, Josh Bates.

HEATHENS: Joe Haines, Ashley Morris R/R, Byron Bekker, Dan Greenwood, Tom Perry, Darryl Ritchings, James White Williams.

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10/10/12

CLUB STATEMENT

DUDLEY Heathens are waiting for clarification from the sport’s governing body regarding the eligibility of Mildenhall reserve Josh Bates at last Sunday’s Knockout Cup Final 1st Leg.
Bates, who suffered a broken arm in August but has made a stunning recovery, notched 10+2 on his return to the Fen Tigers side.  Heathens have been accused of using ‘dirty tricks’ by Mildenhall promoter Kevin Jolly in Monday’s Cambridge News.

Now the Heathens management team have issued the following statement:  “It is quite clear we could have objected on the day to the use of Josh but that would not have been fair on the Mildenhall and Dudley fans who had paid to watch the meeting. Indeed, had we done that, than we could accept an accusation of dirty tricks.  “The situation, as we see it, is that the referee made a note of the Josh Bates issue on his report.  “It has been brought to our attention that Mildenhall were informed, in writing, by the British Speedway Promoters’ Association that Josh Bates could not be brought back into the side.  “Josh is also not in Mildenhall’s team declaration but still rode on Sunday. “And having replaced Josh with, first Aaron Baseby and then Gareth Isherwood, it is our understanding that the rules therefore prevent Josh’s return.  “We don’t necessarily agree with the rules and this is very harsh on Josh, but this is a structured league where rules are there in black and white.  “As stated previously by our chairman, if Josh’s inclusion was legal and above board then we have no problem with it. But it appears that is not the case and we await clarification from the BSPA.  “And we must stress we sincerely hope Josh achieves everything he can in the sport and Mildenhall were clearly the better team on the day.  “Whatever the outcome, we look forward to welcoming the Mildenhall management, riders and supporters to Monmore for the second leg on Tuesday, October 23 when we have a mountain to climb. And should Mildenhall be successful in lifting the cup, we will be the first to congratulate them.”
 

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10/10/12

STOKE vs DUDLEY PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens head to Stoke tonight looking to keep their National League title hopes alive.  Will Pottinger’s men have a one-point lead from last night’s dramatic home leg of the play-off semi final after a catalogue of bike failures and crashes.  And Pottinger says it’s ‘do or die’ for their season at Loomer Road tonight.  He said: “We need to at least try our very best and give it a good go because we don't want to be ending the season on a low note.  “Injuries, mechanical problems and not having enough meeting in the last few weeks have been some of the problems we have been facing, but we are just going to have to try our very best tomorrow because it's do or die.  “We have done well at Stoke in the past, and as long as everyone performs then we can get a result, I am pretty confident we can.  “We haven't ridden at home for five weeks I think, so it's a home meeting out the way and it's another meeting for the lads.  “The likes of Darryl, James and Dan have been struggling for meetings recently so hopefully getting some track time will be good and we will see the benefits at Stoke.  “We finished top of the league but it will mean nothing if we don't get to the final. It's do or die like I say.”
Heathens are without reserve James White Williams who has suffered suspected ankle ligament damage after a crash last night and Byron Bekker has knee and back injuries but is out of hospital.
The rider replacement facility will operate for Bekker and youngster Tom Fenwich replaces White Williams.

HEATHENS: Joe Haines, Byron Bekker R/R, Tom Perry, Dan Greenwood, Ashley Morris, Darryl Ritchings, Tom Fenwick.

Report: RICH JONES

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11/10/12

MASSIVE MONMORE NIGHT AHEAD

DUDLEY Heathens will host both the National League Grand Final and Knockout Cup Final on one night.
The former Cradley club will face Mildenhall in the second leg of the Knockout Cup Final on Tuesday, October 23 as part of a double header.
They could yet be facing Mildenhall in both meetings as the Fen Tigers hold a comfortable lead in the play off semi-final ahead of the second leg at the Isle of Wight next week.

Admission prices to be confirmed but are expected to be below 16 for 30 heats of racing.

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12/10/12

POTTINGER - ALWAYS CONFIDENT

WILL Pottinger insists he always had confidence in his Heathens side after they booked a Play-Off Final spot in dramatic style in mid-week.
Dudley travelled to Stoke with only a one point advantage from the home leg, and their title aspirations looked under serious threat.
Yet they fired to a 54-41 win to triumph 98-84 on aggregate - and Pottinger says he still had faith even before the trip to Stoke.  He said: "Of course it was concerning only taking a one point lead because we didn't make the most of our home track advantage.  "But I was always confident in the riders abilities. They have proved over the season they are good riders and you don't finish top of the league by mistake.  "We won here early in the season as well so I was quietly confident but you never know what will happen."
Pottinger left Loomer Road in jubilant mood like the many Heathens fans who made the short trip - and he praised the performance of the team.  "It was a good night and great to bounce back from a disappointing performance the night before," he said. "All the lads tried really hard and got the rewards.  "Joe (Haines) put in a really good performance to beat Ashley Birks twice which is a superb effort because Ashley is a fine rider, especially at this level.  "Still it is no good if nobody backs him up, and it was a good team performance. Darryl had six rides again and scored paid 12 which was very good, Ash and Tom both contributed well plus Dan Greenwood was good as well.  "Tommy Fenwick didn't score but he filled a gap we needed and he was unlucky not to get any points.  "We will wait and see who we get in the final, Mildenhall or the Isle of Wight.  "It is good to get a win under our belts and it should give us a bit of a boost ahead of the Play-Off Final and the KO Cup Final."

Report: RICH JONES

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12/10/12

CLUB STATEMENT

DUDLEY Heathens have been informed that the British Speedway Promoters' Association Management Committee have given the green light for the inclusion of talented youngster Josh Bates in Mildenhall's side at last Sunday's National League Knockout Cup Final.  The club never made an attempt to block the inclusion of the talented young British rider but simply asked the governing body to clarify the legal position as per the rulebook.
Heathens look forward to welcoming the Mildenhall riders, management and supporters to Monmore for the Knockout Cup Final on Tuesday, October 23 as part of a double header which also features the National League Grand Final.
 

Dudley Heathens Speedway will make no further comment on the issue.

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12/10/12

DOUBLE HEADER ADMISSION DETAILS

DUDLEY Heathens have announced value-for-money admission prices for their Grand Final double-header at Monmore on Tuesday, October 23.
The former Cradley club, who pulled off a brilliant play-off win at Stoke on Wednesday to reach the Grand Final, will face either Isle of Wight or Mildenhall at 7.30... Followed immediately by the second leg of the Knockout Cup Final against Mildenhall.
That means 30 races with the National League's two major prizes on the line - and admission will be just 15 adults, 10 concessions and children prices have been pegged at 2. A special commemorative souvenir programme will also be available.
Heathens Chairman Nigel Pearson said: "This has all the makings of an amazing night and there will be lots of tension and drama.  "People wrote us off in the play-offs after we only took a one-point lead to Stoke from the home leg on Tuesday - but these boys are made of tough stuff and our fans were amazing.  "October 23 will be the last Heathens action at Monmore this season - and we're sure the terraces will be absolutely packed."

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19/10/12

ROYNON READY TO RETURN

 
Adam Roynon

 

 

  HEATHENS have been handed a massive boost ahead of the biggest night in the modern era next Tuesday.
Skipper Adam Roynon, the best rider in the National League, has declared himself fit and ready to return to the side for the Grand Final 1st Leg with Mildenhall at Monmore Green next Tuesday, October 23.
The meeting forms part of a double-header with the 2nd leg of the Knockout Cup Final between the sides following immediately afterwards.  And the following night the sides meet again at West Row in the deciding leg of the National League title decider.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “It seems unlikely that Byron Bekker will be fit and he is such a key rider so that’s a blow.  “James White Williams is hoping to be on a bike this weekend to test his ankle injury and it’s fingers crossed with him.  “So for us to have our skipper and No.1 back and ready to help us is great news. Adam was gutted when we lost the first leg of the KOC Final and is determined to team up with the boys to push for the championship.  “Tuesday night will be a very special night. 30 heats of Speedway for 15 adults, 10 concessions and 2 children represents great value for money.  “We will also have a number of councillors from Dudley and Sandwell as our guests watching the action so we want to see the terraces packed.  “And we are also delighted to have Griffiths & Pegg Accountants as meeting sponsors, they’re based in Cradley Heath and want to come and see what all the fuss is about!”
The club have also produced a full colour souvenir programme for the night which includes interviews, one-off features, photographs and columns from the management as well as a look back at great days from the Cradley era. It’s 36 pages for 3.

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21/10/12

MEET THE MANAGEMENT


BOSSES of Dudley Heathens have called a meeting with supporters to get their views on the future direction of the club.
A Fans Forum will take place at Cradley Heath Liberal Club on Thursday, November 8 with club owners Nigel Pearson, Gary Patchett and Chris Van Straaten the guests on the panel.  Said Pearson: “There is a lot of debate over whether we should be looking to move up a level to the Premier League but I have to be cautious at this stage as it’s a massive step.  “The costs at that level are very concerning and only in the last week I have read horror stories about clubs like Workington and Edinburgh losing thousands of pounds.  “We need to get some feedback from supporters about where we want to go with this. Then we need to attend the AGM of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association and look at the structure of the sport for 2013.  “The fan base is there – but will it still be there if it costs 14 admission rather than 10?”

Admission is 2 and the event will start at 8pm prompt.

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21/10/12

COACH CALLS RIDERS FOR PRACTICE

HEATHENS coach Jan O. Pedersen has called a behind closed doors practice session for his riders ahead of Tuesday’s National League Grand Final at Monmore.  Pedersen, the 1991 world champion, is concerned about the gap in fixtures which he says caught them on the hop in the semi-final against Stoke almost a fortnight ago.  Now the club have paid to hire a track for team practice in a bid to iron out any problems ahead of the title decider with Mildenhall in the 1st Leg on Tuesday with the return the following night.
Said Pedersen: “It was obvious against Stoke that we paid the price for a lack of meetings as a team. We need to do practice and hit the ground running on what is a massive night on Tuesday.”
The Grand Final starts at 7.30 as part of a Monmore double header with the second leg of the Knockout Cup Final – also against Mildenhall - following immediately afterwards.  “The priority is for a handy lead in the Grand Final,” said Pedersen. “The we can defend it the following night at Mildenhall.”

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22/10/12

HEATHENS vs FEN TIGERS, PREVIEW

DAZZLER Darryl Ritchings aims to continue his stunning run of form when Dudley Heathens host their biggest night of the modern era at Monmore on Tuesday (7.30).
The former Cradley club host Mildenhall in the first leg of the National League Grand Final – followed immediately by the second leg of the Knockout Cup Final.
That’s 30 heats of speedway on a bumper night to bring the curtain down on a memorable season.
Influential No.1 Adam Roynon returns to the fold following a nasty back injury, and Ritchings has pinpointed his return as a possible turning point He said: “It's been going good for Dudley. All the team have rode well and we've had some great results.
 “We just need to see if we can finish it off well at the end and make sure we win the league. “I'd like to say we have what it takes to beat Mildenhall. We finished top of the league and we know we are capable of beating them, we just need to hope we all perform on the night.  “Having Adam (Roynon) back will be a big boost. He's come back and is already scoring big points elsewhere, so having him leading us against Mildenhall again would be great.  “I had a good semi-final against Stoke and I’m determined to do the same against Mildenhall.”
Heathens are hoping to take a handy lead from the first leg to Mildenhall for the return fixture on Wednesday when the title will be decided.

Admission for Tuesday’s double header is 15 adults, 10 concessions and 2 children. A 36 page full colour commemorative programme has been produced and costs 3.

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24/10/12

ROYNON GOES UNDER THE KNIFE

DUDLEY Heathens skipper Adam Roynon is set for surgery today on his broken leg.

Roynon, who led the former Cradley club to within a point of the National League title last night, has also sustained a broken shoulder.

It means Heathens have ended the season with Roynon in hospital, Byron Bekker awaiting an appointment for surgery to repair his damaged knee ligaments and Tom Perry nursing a broken scaphoid and thumb.


 

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25/10/12

OFFICIAL STATEMENT

DUDLEY Heathens are preparing an official complaint to be made to the Speedway Control Bureau regarding the circumstances behind the last heat decider in the National League Grand Final against Mildenhall at King's Lynn last night.
Club co-owner Gary Patchett has revealed how Fen Tigers co-promoter Chris Louis entered the officials box and discussed replays of the incident alongside SCB Referee Dave Robinson in the room next door.
Heathens skipper Adam Roynon, who suffered a broken leg and broken shoulder, was excluded after a clash with Mildenhall's Stefan Nielsen in a meeting which saw the Fen Tigers clinch the title against a badly depleted Heathens side by a point.
A clip of the discussion - which is illegal under the sport's rules - can be heard by clicking on the BBC iplayer as BBC WM covered the meeting - the link is at the end of this article.  Said Patchett: "Chris Louis entered the referee's box, which he is not allowed to do. The referee changed his decision and excluded our skipper Adam Roynon after earlier telling the Mildenhall manager he thought it was Stefan Nielsen's fault.  "Quite how the referee and Chris Louis can justify themselves I don't know. You've got a referee being coerced into changing his mind by a staging promoter in the race which decides the league title."
Speaking in tonight's Express & Star, Chris Louis said: "When Rob Henry (Mildenhall team manager) got on the phone to ask if a decision had been made, he (Robinson) said he thought it was Stefan's fault.  "There was a discussion; it was pretty brief."
You can hear the moment when Louis clearly influences the referee's decision in a face-to-face conversation by going to 2:50:00 and listening for approximately two minutes on the following programme:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00zhkjc

Dudley Heathens are preparing all evidence - including a witness statement - before submitting their protest.  The club acknowledge it is highly unlikely the outcome of the meetimng will be changed but cannot ignore the fact that a serious breach of regulations occured leading to the decision which, ultimately, decided the league title. We also owe it to our wonderful supporters to defend our position.

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06/11/12

FANS FORUM ON THURSDAY

DUDLEY supporters are reminded of an important Forum to be held this Thursday (Nov 8) to discuss the future direction of the club.

The event will take place at the Cradley Heath Liberal Club with owners Nigel Pearson, Gary Patchett and Chris Van Straaten on the panel.
A major item for discussion is the possibility of the Heathens making a bid to join the Premier League for 2013 ahead of the BSPA AGM next week.
Such a move would be a major step and Heathens bosses want to fully assess the mood of their fan-base before making any decisions.

Admission is 2 and the event will start at 8pm prompt.

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19/11/12

CLUB STATEMENT

DUDLEY Heathens bosses have revealed how the decision to remain at National League level for 2013 was made to protect the long term interests of the club.
Club partners Chris Van Straaten and Gary Patchett attended British Speedway’s AGM over the weekend representing their respective Elite League clubs Wolverhampton and Swindon.  And no application was made on behalf of the former Cradley club, who race at Wolverhampton’s Monmore Green, to move into the Premier League after weeks of detailed discussions, including a fans forum.  Club Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “The decision was made in the best interests of the club.  “We consulted other promoters, looked at the costs involved in running at the higher level and took on board the views of our wonderful fans.  “In the end we decided it was right to remain in the National League, working with British youngsters for the 2013 season.  “We have worked on this project for three seasons now and the ultimate aim has always been to find a piece of land to take the Heathens into their own home.  “We didn’t want to jeapordise that in what are very difficult economic times. As a management team we are committed to putting the club on their own track.  “And if we had our own track it would automatically bring in other sources of income. As it stands we rely on admission, programme sales and sponsorship, no other form of income is available to us.  “We are extremely proud of what has been achieved in three seasons and we look forward to continuing that work. We will be meeting this week to discuss team plans for the new season and we will also be discussing season ticket details.”

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21/11/12

PEARSON TAKES POSITIVES

NIGEL Pearson says positive vibes about a new track for Dudley Heathens contributed to their decision not to apply for Premier League membership last weekend.
The club chairman, who has been at the helm since the former Cradley outfit reformed in November 2009, says he understands the disappointment felt by many fans over the decision.  But he refuses to accept that he and managerial colleagues Gary Patchett and Chris Van Straaten ‘bottled it’ and lack ambition, as suggested by some fans on social media sites.  He said: “We have finally got positive feedback from Dudley Council and we are hopeful we can make significant progress over the next few months.  “If we felt there was no encouragement whatsoever where a new track is concerned we would have probably elected to go Premier and risk blowing everything knowing there was no hope for the future anyway.  “But we have some hope. The decision was made in the best interests of the club."

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22/11/12

CLEGG FIRST TO SIGN

TEENAGE sensation Max Clegg is the first signing for the 2013 Dudley Heathens.
Clegg, who turns 16 in April, made an impressive start to his competitive career during 2012 and achieved an average of 4.54.
He joins the former Cradley club with high hopes of improvement and was runner-up in last year's British Under 16 Championship when he was only 14.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: "Max had some excellent meetings for Scunthorpe and he has learnt his trade on their small training track so we fully expect him to settle in quickly at Monmore Green.  "He's got a very tidy style and claimed some notable scalps in his debut season at the age of 15. He gives us a very solid start to our team building which will result in a new-look side."
Heathens, meanwhile, will announce details of their season ticket prices for the 2013 season, over the weekend.

Photo by Jeff Higgot - sequella.co.uk

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MAX CAN'T WAIT

TALENTED teenage prospect Max Clegg admits he 'can’t wait' for the new season to come around after becoming the first Heathens 2013 signing.
The 15 year old – who comes in on a 4.54 average having ridden for Scunthorpe Saints over the 2nd half of 2012 – received the news after returning from school!  And he is looking forward to mastering the Monmore Wood track plus riding in front of the passionate Heathens faithful with the view to replicating the success of the 2012 side.  “I’m looking forward to it”, he said. “I was happy when I got told that Chris Van Straaten had rung up about me and I can’t wait.  “I wasn’t there but when I got home from school my Dad told me and I’m really happy about it.  “I like the track at Monmore. I rode there for Saints when we went down last season and I’ve done a couple second halves down there, so hopefully I will do well there next season.  “There’s always been a good crowd there when we’ve been down, so I’m looking forward to riding with a lot of people watching.  “I’ll just do as well as I can, try and put in the best performances I can and go from there.  “They (Dudley) just missed out last season, so it would be good if they could do as well again when I’m riding for them.”

Report: RICH JONES

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25/11/12

MORRIS TO LEAD HEATHENS

  DUDLEY Heathens will be led by Ashley Morris in 2013 – having taken the agonising decision to release Tom Perry from their team plans.
Heathens will go into the new National League season with Morris taking over as No.1 and captain after club bosses concluded their chances would be better served by building a line-up with greater all-round strength.
A team with Perry (9.88) and Morris (8.51) would account for approaching 50 per cent of the 40-point team building limit between just two riders, and this was felt to be too big a risk.  Club chairman Nigel Pearson said: “This has been the hardest decision imaginable for myself, Chris (Van Straaten) and Gary (Patchett) to take, but we all feel that to include both Ash and Tom would leave us just too top-heavy.  “Tom is simply paying the price for having too high an average, based entirely on his success in 2012, and that’s quite clearly unfair – but speedway has always been a numbers game, and he’s a victim of the system on this occasion.   “We will now do everything we can to get him fixed up with another National League club, and also hopefully in the Premier League too, and we have absolutely no intention of selling him.  “Hopefully a year away will see him continue his rapid development as a rider and we look forward to seeing him back in our colours in the future. He’ll certainly be in our plans if we’re in a position to move into the Premier League in 2014.
  “We all know how popular Tom is with the fans, and our intention is to invite him to race in the Golden Hammer and any other Open meetings that we stage.  “In the meantime, Ashley will be our No.1 and captain and we’re sure he’ll do a fine job for us. Ashley made good, steady progress again this year, his average certainly suits us better and he’s also hugely popular so we’re delighted to have the opportunity of working with him for a fourth season.  “It’s going to be something of a new-look team in 2013, including Max Clegg who is already on board, and negotiations are being concluded for another rider to be named later today.”

*HEATHENS are planning a further announcement at 9pm.

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25/11/12

 

RITCHINGS RELEASED

  HEATHENS have confirmed Darryl Ritchings won't be back with the club next year.
Club bosses are facing up to the agonising prospect of tearing apart the table-topping 2012 side and Ritchings is a casualty.
The Swindon-based youngster is set to join another National League club in the next few days.
Heathens co-owner Gary Patchett, who is also in charge of Elite League Swindon, said: "We told Darryl on Thursday he may not fit into our plans but in all honesty, with my Swindon hat on, I do believe this will be a blessing for Darryl.  "He's a great lad with a lovely family who love it at Monmore and he's got the track weighed up superbly - but a move to a different track won't be a bad thing.  "I can say my managerial colleagues, Chris Van Straaten and Nigel Pearson, agonised over this. It's an impossible situation for us all and there are more tough choices to come."

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25/11/12

DAN'S THE MAN FOR HEATHENS

 
DUDLEY Heathens have retained former British Under-15 Champion Dan Greenwood for the 2013 season.
Greenwood, 19, has also opened talks with club bosses about becoming a full asset after moving to Cradley from his Chesterfield base.
He achieved an impressive 5.90 average with the Heathens last season after starting on a three-point assessed figure.  And he is eyeing similar improvement in 2013 after being retained by the Heathens management. He said: “I’m over the moon that Dudley have chosen me to come back out of all the other boys. I'm sure it was a tough decision with all the riders who did well in 2012, but I’m delighted they want me there for next season and I’m looking forward to it.  “I’m aiming for an eight-point average at the end of the year and I want to be a heat leader. I think I'm capable of a lot more so I'm not really worried about starting on a higher average this year.”
Greenwood joins 15-year-old Max Clegg and new skipper Ashley Morris as confirmed starters in the revamped Heathens side.

 

 

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26/11/12

MORRIS ANTICIPATES EXCITING TIMES

  NEWLY appointed Dudley Heathens skipper Ashley Morris is relishing an “exciting year” for the club and himself in 2013.  Morris, 18, returns for his fourth season with the former Cradley club where he will take over as skipper and also inherit the No.1 race jacket – and he realises the size of the task.  Said Morris: “It’s going to be an exciting year. Obviously when I first joined Dudley I was just a reserve, but I’ve worked my way up to No.1 and captain for 2013 so it’s a massive season for me.  “I want to score what a No.1 is meant to score – being at No.5 was hard last year but I’m confident I’m ready to make the step up to No.1.”   The club management were faced with a tough decision between Morris and fellow fans favourite Tom Perry, and Morris admits he is gutted to see his team-mate leave in such fashion.  He remarked: “Obviously I’m looking forward to it; I’m just gutted about the situation at the moment.  “I just want people to understand that it wasn’t my decision between me and Tom.  “I got given an offer and I just had to take it really. I love riding for Dudley and I was excited by the prospect of being No.1 and captain – I just couldn’t turn it down.  “We’ve lost a lot of the lads and that’s a big shame because we had such a great team spirit last year. Hopefully all the lads will get different clubs in the National League and now we’ve just got to move on from there.  “Hopefully this year’s contingent at Dudley can be just as good on and off the track.”
Heathens experienced National League Grand Final heartache in 2012 – but Morris says his main aim is to take the title in 2013.  He added: “I’d absolutely love to be able to lead us to the title, and that has to be the main aim.  “I’ll just try and do my best all the time which is all I can do and hopefully the rest of the riders can do a fantastic job like last year’s team did.”

HEATHENS have reported a massive surge in season ticket applications over the weekend.

Fans are looking to take advantage of the reduced prices before December 31 and full details are available from www.dudleyheathens.co

Press release issued by RICH JONES

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29/11/12

HEATHENS SIGN BLACKBIRD

DUDLEY Heathens have swooped to sign Lewis Blackbird for the 2013 National League season.  And in an ironic twist, Blackbird joins the club from the Heathens’ arch-rivals Mildenhall, having captained the Fen Tigers to a string of trophies this year.
The 25-year-old, who is based in Ely and will be doubling-up with Leicester in the Premier League, made no secret of his desire to make the switch to Monmore, and Heathens bosses believe he is worth far more than his 7.01 average.  Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We were amazed to discover that Lewis was available, and in fact it was Lewis himself who got in touch to say how much he would like to ride for Dudley.  “At 7.01 we feel he’s on a bargain average and he could possibly put as much as two points onto that figure. Our intention is to build a team of riders who will improve their average, and Lewis fits that criteria.  “What has impressed me most is the enthusiasm he’s shown for joining us. I know it will surprise a few people and I’m sure it will add more spice to our clashes with Mildenhall, which can only be a good thing for us all. I’d like to welcome Lewis to the club, and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
*HEATHENS also wish to correct an inaccurate report on an unofficial website stating they have signed Ashley Birks.
The report is not true, and could not possibly be so because the Scunthorpe and Swindon rider is ineligible for the National League next season.
Dudley Heathens have no idea where the suggestion that he has joined us has come from, and advise supporters to keep in touch with official sources for accurate club information.
 

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05/12/12

HEATHENS SWOOP FOR DOUBLE CHAMP


photo by Tony Fowles
  DUDLEY Heathens are delighted to confirm the signing of double British Under 16 Champion Nathan Greaves for the 2013 season.
The former Cradley outfit, who finished runners-up in the National League last season, won the race for the Chesterfield-based youngster after interest from several other clubs.
Greaves will be 15 in February and won both the 250cc and 500cc British title last season – a year after winning the 250cc version at the age of 13 in 2011!  He said: “I had lots of things to consider but one of the reasons I went for Dudley was because of the Wolverhampton track. It’s a good track to learn on and hopefully I will get the place weighed up in competitive racing fairly quickly.  “I know all the lads in the Dudley team. Ashley will be a great skipper, Lewis Blackbird will be a good signing and Dan Greenwood is also from Chesterfield although he lives down in the Dudley area now.  “Max Clegg and me know each other well and he was another reason why I wanted to join Dudley, to be in the same team as him.  “I had options and I had to weigh everything up but I just feel Dudley is the best place for me to start my career.”
 
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson is keen to emphasise the club put no pressure on Greaves to join them.  He said: “Nathan had several options and I am delighted he has joined us. I am so looking forward to seeing two 15-year-old British lads at reserve for us.  “We haven’t broken the bank or anything like that. We are very fortunate at Dudley that we are able to call on some sponsorship, our Supporters Club HSSC raised over 2,000 for the riders from the 50/50 draw last season.  “We gave Nathan time to think about it and we only wanted him in our side if he was totally sure he wanted to ride for Dudley. I’d like to put on record my appreciation to those highly respected individuals who recommended he joins us. They know who they are.”

10/12/12

DUDLEY Heathens fans will be handed a Christmas signing next week.


The National League outfit, who are rebuilding their side, will unveil the sixth member of their 2013 team at the club’s Christmas Party on Friday, December 21.
And also on the night all five team members named so far – Ashley Morris and Dan Greenwood from last season plus new signings Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves and Lewis Blackbird – will be introduced to the fans and interviewed.  And club bosses have also confirmed the new 2013 Heathens race jacket will be unveiled on the night. A special jacket is being produced which will be signed by the riders and auctionedHeathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “Such is the interest in this club we always try and work with our friends in the media to make announcements regarding signings so we gain maximum impact.“But we cannot do any of this without our brilliant supporters and we want to give them a Christmas present by introducing another brand new signing for the club.“I’m sure the Liberal Club will be packed solid for what should be a great night and a good way for all the Heathens to start Christmas.”

 

Tickets are available for the event at the club’s online shop via the official club website www.dudleyheathens.co or by calling Heathens Speedway Supporters Club, who are hosting the evening alongside the club, on 07766 745681. Tickets are 6 HSSC members and 8 non-members.


22/12/12

HEATHENS LAND STARKE FOR 2013

DUDLEY Heathens have signed Malvern racer Paul Starke for the 2013 season.
Starke rode for the Isle of Wight last season but suffered with mechanical gremlins and only managed a 5.70 average.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger reckons Starke can make a mockery of his average.  He said: "Paul has it in him to challenge for the No.1 spot. He's a much better rider than his average suggests, he's a bargain signing I believe."
Starke himself is relishing the prospect of racing for one of the best supported teams in the country.  He said: "There’s no better feeling than knowing you have great backing from your supporters. I rode for Plymouth when they had 1,000 people every week and it makes the team desperate to win and to put on a show.  “I know from when I raced against Dudley last year that their supporters are fantastic and really get behind their team, so I am really looking forward to becoming a part of that atmosphere.”

Starke joins Lewis Blackbird, Ashley Morris, Dan Greenwood, Nathan Greaves and Max Clegg in the 2013 Heathens side with the final signing to be announced early in January.
 

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