Dudley Heathens Archive

2013

28/12/13

  POPULAR Cradley star Tom Perry will be one of the special guests at an evening with TV duo Kelvin Tatum and Nigel Pearson in February.

Perry, who is back with the Heathens after a season on loan at the Isle of Wight, will be on stage in the first half of the evening on Wednesday, February 26 at the Cleveland Arms, Stowheath Lane, Wolverhampton WV1 2QN.

Representatives from Wolverhampton and Birmingham are also expected to feature on a night of speedway chat ahead of the 2014 season.

Said Perry: "I'm really pleased to be invited along, it will be good to talk to Kelvin who was a fantastic rider and always has a good opinion on the sport.

"I'm really pleased to be back with Cradley and it's going to be a big season for me. Hopefully attending events like this will help me attract more sponsorship too."

Tatum and Pearson have presented Sky Sports' coverage of domestic speedway since 2008 and are also the voices behind the world feed for the Speedway Grand Prix and World Cup tournaments.

Tickets are available priced £5 from 01902 451021 or through the website
www.clevelandarms.com

27/12/13

HEATHENS IN ACTION ON SUNDAY

CRADLEY supporters have an early chance to see two members of their 2014 team in action – with both Tom Perry and Max Clegg racing at Coventry on Sunday.
The Brandon venue hosts the Christmas Cracker event, starting at midday, with a 21-heat programme scheduled.
Returning fans’ favourite Perry is named in the line-up for the main Individual section where he could have a maximum of six rides, and will go up against the likes of Josh Auty, Aaron Summers and Richard Lawson.
Clegg, meanwhile, will have three outings in a strong Midland Development League team event which features several National League regulars.  And Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson admits he will be taking careful note of the action with the club closing in on their line-up for next season.  Pearson said: “It will be great to see Tom and Max putting some laps in and I'm sure Cradley fans will be there in numbers.   “We wish Coventry well in their first winter meeting and we will also be keeping a keen eye on the development league standard with our own team in mind.”

Admission at Coventry on Sunday is £15 for all adults with under-16s free, and the action gets underway at midday.
 

24/12/13

HEATHENS PROGRAMME AWARD
Congratulations to all concerned with the publication, another great Christmas present from the Heathens.

The Dudley Heathens have won the 2013 best National League programme award for the third time in a row...
Second again this year behind Newcastle overall this time, but beating ALL Elite League Clubs.
The verdict of the Speedway Star Poll was: "Amazing little issue and with four more pages than last year.  A thoroughly excellent read that includes everything a fan could wish for."
 

 


24/12/13

HEATHENS DOUBLE SIGNING

CRADLEY have handed their loyal fans a double Christmas present with the signings of Paul Starke and Tom Perry for the defence of their National League title.  The pair will join new signing Steve Worrall and club asset Max Clegg in the 2014 Heathens side for what promises to be another exciting campaign.
Club bosses have also revealed they are set to hold talks with talented teenager Nathan Greaves early in January.
Chairman Nigel Pearson said: "We are absolutely thrilled to welcome both Starkey and Tom back to the club, it's great news for Christmas.  "Telling Tom we were releasing him last year was an awful situation but we have maintained a great relationship and we believe a move back to Cradley is now in the best interests of both himself and the club.  "Starkey has been a delight to deal with during his time with us and he took about 30 seconds to agree everything when our co-promoter Gary Patchett called him to invite him back.  "We look forward to finalising plans with Nathan in the new year and that leaves us just over six-points at reserve. We will be making a further announcement with two new signings in January."
Without Perry in their side, the Heathens romped to a clean sweep of National League honours in 2013.  But now he is back, Perry has his eyes set on repeating those achievements to earn his own National League winners' medal.
He added: "It's a bit aggravating that all the success came when I left.  "It was a great season for Cradley last year whereas things didn't go right for me at all.  "Hopefully this time things can be different for me and I can have a good year and the club can carry on winning trophies with me involved."

Starke, meanwhile, has revealed how he had been told he was out of the side last month.  "It looked as though I'd miss out and I was gutted," he said.   "But then things changed and I'm so pleased to be back. To be honest, if I couldn't ride for Cradley then I wouldn't have ridden for any other National League club."
 


13/12/13

SEASON REVIEW ON SALE NOW!
CLEAN Cut Sports are pleased to announce the release of “CHAMPIONS 2013” – the Official Season Review DVD of the Dudley Heathens.
Telling the full story of the 2013 season, it includes all the best races from both home and away, rider interviews, drama and controversy – this triple DVD is a must for any Heathens supporter this Christmas!

Priced at just £20, plus £2 P&P, and running to over 5 hours of action, it's your chance to re-live the fantastic 2013 season during the long winter nights.

The DVD is available to purchase from the Clean Cut Sports webshop here:   or by post from Clean Cut Sports, 52 Claverdon Road, Coventry, CV5 7HP
Tel: 02476 464647 - All major credit and debit cards accepted - P&P £2 per order  
www.cleancutsports.com


11/12/13

HEATHENS RE-THINK TEAM PLANS

CRADLEY Heathens have been forced into a rethink over their team building for 2014.
The reigning National League champions have had to pull the plug on plans to sign teenage hot shot Brady Kurtz - a fortnight after agreeing terms.  And as a consequence they have also released title winning hero Dan Greenwood after originally including him in their plans.  Club chairman Nigel Pearson said: "Brady was agreed a fortnight ago but we have received notification in writing that the British Speedway Promoters' Association have deemed him ineligible for the National League.  "As a consequence, we have spent all day number crunching and a very reluctant decision has been made to release Dan to accommodate our alternative plan which will be unveiled in due course.  "It's a setback, but Dan has been very philosophical and we will do everything we can to fix him up elsewhere. He is a true hero with us after what he achieved last season and he can always be proud of that."
Greenwood, meanwhile, insists there are no hard feelings with the club.  He said: "I understand how speedway works and the club need to build the best team they possibly can with the averages available.  "My hopes were high after I was told I was likely to be in but the change in circumstances with Brady Kurtz has also had a knock-on effect for myself which I'm gutted about but totally understand.  "I will keep in touch with all my friends and sponsors and also intend to attend the Christmas Party this Saturday to wish Heathens fans a Happy Christmas.  "I'd like to thank everyone at the club for making me so welcome and perhaps I will come back and ride for Cradley again in the future."
Cradley have Steve Worrall and Max Clegg on board for next season with talks expected to open with Tom Perry and Nathan Greaves soon.
 

10/12/13

NATIONAL LEAGUE STATEMENT

PLYMOUTH are new entrants to the 2014 National League – and the competition will also feature the return of one of speedway’s most iconic names.
The West Country club, who moved out of the third tier up to Premier League level in 2011, will operate two teams next season as they look to progress young British talent, confirming their intentions at Tuesday’s AGM.
Champions Dudley will be back to defend their title – but they will now be under their old name of Cradley, still racing home matches at their adopted Wolverhampton home.
The club was re-formed in 2010 from the ashes of the old Dudley Wood side, with the Dudley name used with the intention of securing land in the borough – a battle which Heathens bosses will continue.
Fellow stand-alone clubs Buxton, Kent, Mildenhall and Stoke all return from this season along with Coventry and King’s Lynn who continue to operate at National League level in addition to their top-flight racing. Meanwhile the door remains open to the Isle of Wight, with a deadline set of January 31, 2014 for them to join the league.

KEY POINTS:
NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton, Coventry, Cradley, Kent, King’s Lynn, Mildenhall, Plymouth, Stoke. Teams meet once home, once away. Top four to play-offs.
Points limit unchanged at 40.

NATIONAL TROPHY: Buxton, Kent, Mildenhall, Stoke. Teams meet once home, once away. Top two from mini-league to contest the Final.

NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP: All eight clubs have entered, draw to be made at a later date.

NATIONAL SHIELD: To be contested between National League Champions Cradley and 2013 runners-up King’s Lynn.

BRONZE HELMET: Match race to be contested by a member of both teams’ top three riders (nominated by team managers) at the first meeting of the season. Helmet will then continue to be staged at every subsequent meeting contested by the team who are the current holders.

Major event venues:
NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Rye House
NATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: Mildenhall
NATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry

National League co-ordinator Peter Morrish said: “This was a very successful meeting, everyone is positive about 2014 and we’re pleased to welcome Plymouth into the league.

“It’s been a good year and it’s especially pleasing to report how well-supported the major events were – they were the best for several years, and naturally we thank the supporters for that.

“With us having a British World Champion in Tai Woffinden it’s nice to reflect that he came through the Conference League [previous name of NL], and of course next year there will be many opportunities for National League youngsters in the top flight.

“It’s a great pity that the Isle of Wight are unable to declare for 2014 at this stage, but the door does remain open to them and we would be very happy to welcome them back.”


10/12/13

CHAIRMAN SPEAKS

HEATHENS Chairman Nigel Pearson has spoken exclusively to the website regarding the latest news at the club.  Pearson discusses the name change, the first signing for 2014 and the latest on stadium issues in the clip below.  Please click here to view the clip, with many thanks to Clean Cut Sports for the footage.
 

STEVE Worrall has joined Cradley as the first new signing for the 2014 season.
Worrall, brother of Belle Vue’s Elite League star Richie, has impressed on his visits to Monmore with visiting clubs.  Heathens bosses moved quickly to snap him up after gaining permission from parent club Scunthorpe.  He said: “Signing with the Heathens is great – it’s the club where everyone wants to be in the National League.  “I’d say every single rider at this level wants to be riding there because there is nowhere else with the track, the setup and the fans like they’ve got.  “Every week you know you’ll have however many hundreds of fans going crazy in the background which every rider wants, and I’m really happy I’ll be part of that this year.  “When you’re winning as well that obviously helps so hopefully we can have a good year just like the 2013 team did.”


10/12/13

HEATHENS BACK AS CRADLEY

CRADLEY Heath, one of the most famous names in world speedway, will defend the National League championship next season.
Heathens bosses have brought back the name to replace their Dudley identity and will continue to race at Wolverhampton throughout the 2014 campaign.
It means Cradley Heathens will ride in a competitive league for the first time since 1996 after replacing Dudley.
Management trio Nigel Pearson, Chris Van Straaten and Gary Patchett have also moved to assure fans it doesn’t mean the end of their search for a new home in the area.
Heathens were reformed for the 2010 season from the ashes of the old Dudley Wood club – and the Dudley name was used with the intention of securing land in the borough.
It’s a decision which is sure to go down well with supporters, the majority of which come from the old Dudley Wood days.
Cradley were one of the glamour clubs of the 80s when thousands of fans flocked to the stadium every Saturday.   But when the site was demolished for housing, after one season in exile at Stoke the club closed.
Club chairman Pearson said: “We are agreed as a management that this is the way forward.  “We used the name Dudley because we weren’t sure what the response would be, but it’s clear the majority of our fan base are from the Cradley days.  “There are also some fans who went to Cradley but have never come to support the Dudley Heathens because of the name – well now they have no excuse!  “We will continue at Monmore Green for 2014 and in the New Year we are expecting to sit down with landowners regarding a site which we believe can work for us in the Cradley and Dudley area.  “It’s fair to say we are entering a make-or-break year for the current management to secure a new site – if we don’t, then it will be down to the fans to decide whether they want Cradley to continue at Wolverhampton.  “As a management team our supporters can be assured we are doing everything in our power to have a successful team at the same time as pressing ahead with one last push for a new home.”


10/12/13

HEATHENS LAUNCH SEASON TICKETS

HEATHENS have launched their 2014 season tickets – just in time for Christmas!  Once again they’re expecting big demand with impressive value for money for holders.  The club have also confirmed they have pegged admission prices for another season.
Fans can purchase season tickets by accessing the club website www.cradleyheathens.co and printing off the application form.
In addition, there will be a season ticket sales night THIS THURSDAY, December 12, at Cradley Heath Liberal Club from 8pm.
Details are as follows:
 
SEASON TICKET PRICES
(Based on 12 meetings minimum)
 
UP TO AND INCLUDING JANUARY 31, 2014:
ADULTS £120
CONCESSIONS £85
CHILDREN £20
 
FROM FERBUARY 1, 2014:
ADULTS £130
CONCESSIONS £95
CHILDREN £25
 
2014 ADMISSION PRICES
ADULTS £11
CONCESSIONS £8
CHILDREN £2


 

06/12/13

CIVIC RECEPTION TIMINGS

  HEATHENS fans are welcome to meet the 2013 National League champions in Dudley on Tuesday.
The riders will be attending a civic reception outside Dudley Council House at 3pm – and they’d welcome fans showing the green, red and white to greet them.
They’re expected to meet around 2.30pm outside the council house, which is on Priory Road DY1 1HF and will be happy to sign autographs and have photographs taken.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “It would be nice to see a few supporters to give the lads a cheer as they make their way into the council house.
“Not since 1983 has something like this been afforded to the Heathens and it’s going to be a very proud moment.
“The riders will be happy to mix with supporters and sign autographs before going in to meet the mayor.”

05/12/13

HEATHENS HONOURED

MEMBERS of the triumphant Dudley Heathens 2013 team and management will be attending a civic reception next Tuesday, December 10.
Dudley’s Mayor, Councillor Alan Finch, will host the event in recognition of a stunning season which saw Heathens enjoy a clean sweep of National League honours.
Councillor Finch said: “We are looking forward to speaking to the riders who have been outstanding this season in winning the league and cup double.  “I was honoured to be a guest at the cup final home leg and was very impressed with the young Heathens.”
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson, who will attend on behalf of the management along with boss Will Pottinger and club president Colin Pratt, says the club are honoured.
He said: “I’d like to thank Councillor Finch for the interest he has shown in what the team achieved, it was truly remarkable.
“We are delighted and honoured to be invited to a civic reception in Dudley and something like this just reminds us of exactly what we did in 2013.”

30/11/13

DUO IN HEATHENS PLANS

CHAMPIONS Dudley Heathens have confirmed they are keen to use club assets Max Clegg and Tom Perry next season.
Both riders are hugely popular on the Monmore terraces and boss Will Pottinger says the duo would make a good starting point for team building.  "Max and Tom are owned by the club and, as such, I'm pretty sure we will be looking to include them, that's what I've told the owners I'd like to see happen," he said.  "It's a big season for both of them and I know there are a lot of our supporters who would be pleased to see them back. I have been looking at various permutations and will be talking to Nigel (Pearson), Chris (Van Straaten) and Gary (Patchett) again very soon."
Meanwhile, the club have also revealed they will be in attendance with the Mayor of Dudley on December 10 for a civic reception in honour of the club's stunning 2013 campaign when they pulled off the clean sweep.


27/11/13

HEATHENS AIM FOR TITLE DEFENCE

HEATHENS are set to remain at National League level for a fifth successive season.
And in 2014 they will have the added pressure of trying to make it back-to-back league titles.
Club bosses will attend the NL AGM on December 10 before finalising plans for the new season – and that includes season ticket sales.
The club have confirmed they will be looking to have season tickets on sale in time for Christmas but the number of meetings will determine the price.
Chairman Nigel Pearson said: "I know there are a lot of our supporters who would like to see us in the Premier League.  "There is no doubt in my mind that we would have applied if we had been able to complete negotiations for a new track of our own in the Cradley and Dudley area by now.   "But whilst we are riding at Wolverhampton, and there are some Cradley folk who refuse to come and support us there, it's too much of a gamble at this stage.  "If measures had been taken to reduce costs at Premier League level then we would have gone up, but the promoters in the PL are clearly happy with their product and that's absolutely fine. It's an entertaining league, in fact we had some of the best racing of the season on Sky last year from the Premier League and I wish the clubs well.  "Now we have to focus on developing youngsters once again as well as being competitive and challenging for honours which I think is what our supporters have come to expect.  "Once the AGM has been staged we can get down to our team building and also look at selling season tickets for Christmas."


16/11/13

HEATHENS AWARD NIGHT SUCCESS

  FANS packed out the Earls Suite at Brierley Hill's Copthorne Hotel to celebrate a record-breaking season for Dudley Heathens on Friday.
Over 400 supporters and guests raised the roof for the riders who enjoyed a record-breaking season with a clean sweep of National League honours.
World Champion Tai Woffinden made the journey from his Scunthorpe home to make the presentations and, despite old rivalry between the former Cradley club and Woffinden's club Wolverhampton, he was given a standing ovation.
There was an added piece of good news, too, when news came through from the British Speedway AGM that Dudley was named track of the year by referees votes.
Skipper Ashley Morris was named rider of the year after votes by fans through the club's website and he was handed the Ivor Hughes award by Woffinden.

 

The Wayne Garratt Memorial award for most improved rider went to 16-year-old Max Clegg and fellow teenager Nathan Greaves won most bonus points.
Club sponsor Dave Burns of Recycled Aggregates named Gareth Isherwood and Morris as recipients of a holiday as promised pre-season.  And the Max Cartwright Memorial award went to Clegg in memory of a lifelong supporter who passed away in February.
Heathens Chairman Nigel Pearson said: "It was everything we expected from the evening and I congratulate all our award winners, but more importantly congratulations to all the team and manager Will Pottinger for a stunning year.  "My thanks to Recycled Aggregates, also our friends at Motor Market in Cradley Heath and lifelong Heathens fan Ron Homer our club partners.  "Special thanks to Tai Woffinden who once again proved what a brilliant world champion he is by travelling all that way to present the awards. We are proud to have had the world champion at our awards night and he was knocked out by the ovation.  "Now we have to reflect on the season and start looking ahead to 2014 and we will have a clearer idea on the that after this weekend's British Speedway AGM."

14/11/13

AUCTION AND RAFFLE ON FRIDAY

FANS attending the Heathens presentation party on Friday will have a chance to get their hands on some unique memorabilia.
Part of the event will feature an auction with items under the hammer which are priceless to Dudley fans and those who were regulars in the magical Cradley days.
There will be a Heathens 2013 race jacket signed by the team available, an item which is sure to be in demand.
And the five world champions who represented Cradley Heath have signed a replica race jacket - American trio Bruce Penhall, Billy Hamill and Greg Hancock along with Danish stars Jan O. Pedersen and Erik Gundersen.
A raffle also offers some stunning prizes on what promises to be a massive night of celebration.

Please note this all-ticket event at Brierley Hill's Copthorne Hotel is a complete sellout and there will be no admission on the night.

Auction and raffle details are below:

AUCTION

Signed 2013 Heathens race jacket
Replica 1983 Cradley race jacket signed by the 5 world champions Pedersen, Gundersen, Hancock, Hamill and Penhall!
Replica 1981 Cradley race jacket signed by Bruce Penhall.
Team USA World Cup pit shirt.

RAFFLE

Signed and framed Heathens 2013 print
Golden Hammer race jacket signed by Billy Hamill
Grand Prix and World Cup DVD box set
Signed Tai Woffinden print
Wine / Chocolates


13/11/13

HEATHENS READY TO PARTY

  DUDLEY Heathens will bring the curtain down on a stunning season with their awards night in Brierley Hill on Friday.
And club chiefs are keen to stress the evening is a complete sellout in the Earls Suite at the Copthorne Hotel with over 400 people in attendance.
The National League champions, who also won the Knockout Cup, Fours, Pairs and Shield, will take to the stage to be presented with medals by world champion Tai Woffinden on what is sure to be an emotional night.
Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “This is going to be a very special evening and we are very pleased to be taking the event to the Copthorne Hotel, adjacent to the Merry Hill Centre.
“I feel sorry for those disappointed people who have missed out on a ticket, we did our best to update fans on ticket sales regularly.
 
“All seven riders will be in attendance and will receive their medals from Tai. There’s also the rider of the year award which has been voted for by supporters.”
The new brochure ‘Heathens 2013… the History Makers’ will be launched on the night. It features interviews with all the riders, stats and pictures over 32 pages for £5.
And fans have the opportunity to have their picture taken with the riders as the club have booked a studio photographer
Said Pearson: “I’ve seen the proofs of the brochure and it looks superb, I think fans will be buying more than one with Christmas around the corne “And the photographer impressed me at the Tai Woffinden evening inWolverhampton last week. He will have a backdrop, take pictures and print them on the spot and put them in a mount and protective bag. Fans then have the opportunity to get them signed by the lads.  “It’s a unique opportunity for our supporters to have a wonderful souvenir of what has been an unbelievable year.  “I’d urge fans to get there early if possible because we will be looking to make a prompt start at 8pm."

30/10/13

KINGS LYNN v DUDLEY POSTPONED - WATERLOGGED TRACK

THURSDAY night's final National League match of the season at the Norfolk Arena between King's Lynn and Dudley has been postponed because a waterlogged track. The meeting WILL NOT be re-staged.


29/10/13

FANS URGED TO BE EARLY

  FANS are urged to wrap up warm and arrive early for an emotional night of speedway at Wolverhampton tonight (7.30).
Dudley Heathens, one of the success stories of the sport, aim to complete a clean sweep of National League honours when they face Isle of Wight Islanders over two nights.  They host the Knockout Cup Final first leg at Monmore tonight with the return at Smallbrook tomorrow.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We’re delighted to welcome the mayor and lady mayoress of Dudley to present the league championship trophy to the team on parade.  “Then we have to focus on 15 races of action to try and build a good lead to take across the Solent tomorrow night. “We’ve got fireworks at the end of the night, it’s the last home action of the season and I’m sure there will be a brilliant atmosphere.
 
I’d urge fans of all ages, particularly those Cradley fans who haven’t tried the new Dudley era, to come along and have a great night.
 “It won’t be easy early on for our lads because it’s three weeks since we last raced in the Grand Final – and this is the first chance our fans have got to welcome them home as champions!”  Heathens have won the league, Fours, Pairs and Shield at National League level – the Knockout Cup would see them bag the lot.
In a fine gesture, the management have pegged admission prices for the Cup Final and season tickets are valid. Admission is £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children. A special commemorative full colour 40-page souvenir programme will be available for £3.

27/10/13

WORLD CHAMPION TO PRESENT PRIZES

NATIONAL League champions Dudley will be handed their medals by new World Champion Tai Woffinden.
British racer Woffinden, who has put the sport back on the map in the national media with his stunning title glory, has agreed to be special guest at the Heathens presentation night on Friday, November 15, at the Copthorne Hotel in Brierley Hill.  It’s a massive honour for the Heathens and their riders to have the World No.1 at what promises to be an emotional evening as Heathens supporters celebrate their first title in 30 years.
Dudley chairman Nigel Pearson said: “I’ve been talking to Tai about this for the past fortnight but we had to wait to ensure he was available.  “As a club we are thrilled to have the World Champion at our presentation.
 
What he has done for the sport is remarkable, appearing on BBC breakfast TV and radio, in the newspapers and generally putting the sport back in the shop window.  “It was always going to be a special night because of our massive success this season – but this just makes it even more special and Tai will be happy to sign autographs and have his picture taken.  “I’m sure our riders will be delighted to be handed their league winners medals by the new World Champion.”
The event has already sold 300 tickets and there are only 50 remaining available from the track shop at Dudley’s final home meeting of the season, the Knockout Cup Final against the Isle of Wight on Tuesday.

25/10/13

HEATHENS DATES CONFIRMED

  DUDLEY Heathens will have three meetings in as many days to round off their stunning season next week.

The National League champions will face Isle of Wight in the first leg of the Knockout Cup Final at Monmore Green on Tuesday – and the return leg has been arranged for 24-hours later, October 30.

The King’s Lynn meeting in the final National League fixture will now take place at the Norfolk Arena on Thursday, October 31.

25/10/13

MASSIVE NIGHT ON TUESDAY

DUDLEY aim to complete a magnificent clean sweep of National honours when they host the Knockout Cup Final on the biggest night of the modern Heathens era next Tuesday.  And boss Will Pottinger is desperate to see the league champions continue the old Cradley tradition of winning the cup after their amazing record of eight wins between 1979-89.
They will face Isle of Wight on what is sure to be an emotional night as it will be the first time the team have raced as league champions in front of their home support.  And they’ll be watched by Dudley’s Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Alan and Mrs Heather Finch, who will present the silverware.  Said Pottinger: “Next Tuesday is a massive night for the club in so many ways and we are expecting a big crowd.  “When you consider we have won the National Shield, Pairs, Fours and now the league title itself, the only thing missing is the Knockout Cup.  “We will go for it. All the lads are ready, we’ve had a couple of weeks since we won the league title and we would love to finish with the clean sweep.  “I’m sure the terraces will be packed at Monmore Green because the lads will have the league trophy to display which is great for everyone.  “But we can’t afford to celebrate too much because we have a job to do in the cup final. I want to ensure all the lads are fully focussed and we just want to see it through.”
Normal admission prices apply next Tuesday - £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children and a special 40-page souvenir programme will be produced for £3.
A date for the return leg at the Isle of Wight is currently under discussion.
Heathens have also revealed a high demand for tickets to their end of season celebration night which is to be held on Friday, November 15.
The event, which will feature presentations of medals to all the riders, takes place at the Copthorne Hotel, Level Street, Brierley Hill in the Earls Suite.
Over 300 tickets have already been snapped up and the event is expected to be a sellout. Tickets, priced £10, are available from the track shop on Tuesday or from the club website www.dudleyheathens.co at the shop section.


22/10/13

CUP FINAL LATEST

  HEATHENS are delighted to confirm Dudley’s Mayor will be special guest at their Knockout Cup Final with Mildenhall or Isle of Wight at Monmore next Tuesday.
The Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Alan and Mrs Heather Finch, will watch the meeting and then present the cup to the winning team.
Heathens, who are expecting a massive turnout as the team will be displaying the league championship trophy for the first time in a home meeting, are looking to complete a clean sweep of National League silverware.
If Mildenhall get past the Isle of Wight this Wednesday (or Thursday if rain intervenes) then Heathens will travel to West Row on Saturday for the first leg of the final with Tuesday’s return at Monmore the decider.
Dudley chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We are delighted the Mayor and Mayoress have been able to accept our invitation for what we will hope will be a very special evening. "I would urge all Heathens fans, from both the modern era and the Cradley era, to come down for a great night of celebration.”

17/10/13

HEATHENS ON FINAL COUNTDOWN

DUDLEY Heathens are expecting the biggest crowd since their relaunch when they celebrate the league title at the Knockout Cup Final on Tuesday, October 29.  The former Cradley club will face either Isle of Wight or old rivals Mildenhall at Monmore as they look to complete a clean sweep of National League honours.  Heathens won the National League title for the first time with back-to-back wins over King’s Lynn last week when over 300 fans travelled to Norfolk from the Dudley and Cradley area.  And the club are hoping fans who went to the old Dudley Wood on a regular basis but haven’t been to a Dudley meeting will come along and show their support for the brilliant achievement at the cup final.  Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “I’m well aware there are Cradley fans who haven’t been to a Heathens meeting since we reformed in 2010 for various reasons.  “There are some who won’t because it’s not Cradley – but I would say this is the next best thing.  “And there are some who refuse to come along because our home track is Wolverhampton, the home of the old enemy. I’d like to think these issues can be put to one side for one night to join with our brilliant fans who have backed us week in and week out.  “What these lads have achieved has been nothing short of brilliant – and they deserve all the praise going their way.  “For us to be crowned National League champions in addition to the Fours, Pairs and Shield is amazing – and the lads are going for the Knockout Cup to try and complete the clean sweep!  “Admission to our meetings is great value and I would urge all Cradley fans to come and give this team of young lads a massive reception. They are carrying the Heathens colours on their chest and they have done so with pride all season.”
Heathens will know their opponents for the Knockout Cup Final this week with the Isle of Wight and Mildenhall going to a semi-final replay.

Admission for the October 29 event has been pegged at £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children – a special cup final programme will be produced for £3.


16/10/13

KINGS LYNN LEAGUE DELAY

HEATHENS have seen their final league fixture of the season at King's Lynn put back by a week.
The new National League champions will return to Norfolk next Wednesday, October 23, to wrap up their regular programme after beating the Young Stars in last week's Grand Final.
This Wednesday's original staging (October 16) has been postponed because the King's Lynn track is waterlogged.

In Summary:

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 16:
NATIONAL LEAGUE: King's Lynn v Dudley OFF
RE-ARRANGED WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 23


10/10/13

TRIBUTE TO CHAMPIONS

 
HEATHENS Club partner and co-promoter Gary Patchett has paid tribute to everyone involved in securing the 2013 National League Title at King’s Lynn last night.
Gary said: “Obviously, first and foremost I must praise our fantastic team who have been absolutely outstanding all season. They have been superbly led form the front by captain Ashley Morris, who on a personal note only dropped two points over the two legs of the Final.   “All of the riders have shown tremendous professionalism and dedication to the cause that will serve them well in their professional careers that most, if not all, will undoubtedly achieve in the fullness of time. That we have retained the same seven riders that started the season is a testament to the telling contributions that each and every one of them have made during the course of the season, but we should not forget the efforts made by those who have guested for us when called upon.
“They have all been a pleasure to work with and I take great pride from the fact that we were able to assemble such a fantastic team for this season despite only being able to retain two riders from last year.
 “The title is just recognition for the work that so many people put in behind the scenes and I would like to take the opportunity to place my thanks on record here.   “Our Chairman, Nigel Pearson, fronts the club and is ably assisted by a Press Office that produces our matchday programme and website that are surely the envy of the sport.   “The riders have been indebted to the assistance and mechanical knowledge given to them by Graham (Jonah) Jones who I believe was very close to shedding a tear last night. Team Manager, Will Pottinger, puts his Heathens duties ahead of everything else and his passion for the club is there for all to see. A special mention too must go to Club President, Colin Pratt, who has a great Heathens heritage and has given Will great support during the course of the season.  “Without the continued support of Chris Van Straaten our club would be without a track. It’s as simple as that. I’m sure I speak for each and every Heathen when I send my very sincere thanks to him and all of his Monmore Wood staff that make the Heathens welcome. Having brought some overdue success to the Borough of Dudley in our fourth year of racing there could not now be a more appropriate time for the club to receive the recognition that we surely deserve and to finally secure a home that we can call our own.  “Credit must again be given to the efforts made by all the members of HSSC and CRASH during the dark years in the speedway wilderness to keep the memory of the club alive. Without that unstinting effort over a dozen or more years I doubt that we would even be sat here today all grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cats!  “Last but not least I must pay tribute to the fantastic support that we receive both home and away from the ‘Wood’. You are the only reason the club continues to thrive and you come in ever increasing numbers and support your team through thick and thin. I make no exception when I say that you are the most passionate supporters in the sport and that was never better demonstrated than last night at King’s Lynn when there must have been 400 travelling Heathens there to witness our historic victory.

“We ‘ommered um’ didn’t we?

10/10/13

BLACKBIRD DELIGHT

DUDLEY Heathens star Lewis Blackbird has won the National League title for the second year running.
After winning with Mildenhall Fen Tigers in 2012 Blackbird has helped the Heathens lift the title after they defeated King's Lynn Young Stars over the past two nights home and away to win the title for the first time since the Midland club reformed four years ago.
After clinching the trophy by 14 points on aggregate Blackbird was in jubilant mood.   He said: "It's been a great end to a fantastic season really. Coming into the side at the start of the season was a fresh challenge for me and no pressure was put on our shoulders but as the season progressed we got stronger as a team and we all started believing we could do something special.   "I know the side suffered heartache last season but we just got our heads down and got the job done against King's Lynn.   "I had a few hairy moments over the two legs but we pulled through in the end. We still have the cup to go for and it would be awesome if we could win that as well for all the supporters who have been absolutely brilliant all season."
 


07/10/13

GRAND FINAL TIME

DUDLEY boss Will Pottinger says his side need to build up a handy lead from the home leg of their National League Grand Final with King’s Lynn on Tuesday (7.30).  The sides will do battle for the league title on successive nights with the return at the Norfolk Arena on Wednesday.  Both sides are at full strength for the meetings with Heathens looking for as repeat of their Knockout Cup semi-final success over the Young Stars.  Said Pottinger: “I expect two good meetings and I’m sure there will be a terrific atmosphere at Monmore Green for the home leg.  “We will be looking for a lead to take to King’s Lynn. The bigger the lead we can get, the less pressure there will be on us going to Norfolk on Wednesday.  “But it won’t be easy, we know that. Lynn have a potential world champion of the future in Robert Lambert and he will want to do better than his last visit here.  “But all our boys are determined to do this. We lost out by one point last year and everyone at the club is desperate to see that put right.  “We are going to need all our fans in top form to help the lads. We all have a real hunger to succeed.”
Normal admission prices apply for the meeting but a special 40-page souvenir programme has been produced for £3.

DUDLEY: Lewis Blackbird, Dan Greenwood, Ashley Morris, Max Clegg, Paul Starke, Gareth Isherwood, Nathan Greaves.

KING’S LYNN: Robert Lambert, Darren Mallett, Lewis Rose, Jake Knight, Lewis Kerr, Josh Bailey, Shane Waldron.


05/10/13

HEATHENS DUO SUCCESSFUL

DAN Greenwood and Paul Starke were victorious in the Supporters' Pairs Trophy at Coventry on Friday.

The Heathens duo finished on 34 points, three clear of their nearest rivals Luke Priest and Shane Waldron after putting in a consistent performance.

Starke headed up the only 7-2 of the meeting in the pairing's third ride, as they got the better of Dan Halsey and Ryan Terry-Daley, whilst Greenwood had two superb wins in his last two outings, including winning a no-holds-barred battle with James Sarjeant in Heat 18.


03/10/13

HEATHENS PEG PRICES FOR FINAL

DUDLEY Heathens have revealed normal admission prices will apply for their National League Grand Final with King’s Lynn at Monmore on Tuesday (7.30).  Club chiefs have made the decision as a gesture of thanks to their big fan-base over the course of what has been a memorable season.
And they have also confirmed Heathens season tickets will be valid for the meeting, which is sure to attract at bumper crowd.  Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We are delighted to get our dates with King’s Lynn sorted out so quickly.  “We only have limited dates at Monmore because Wolverhampton stage their Banks’s Olympique on Tuesday October 22 and we have our Knockout Cup Final the following week.  “And I expect two tough meetings against the Young Stars. I know we beat them home and away in the Knockout Cup semi-final, but they will be desperate for revenge and we will need to be on our toes.  “As a management we all decided to keep admission prices at normal levels - £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children. We will, however, be producing a one-off souvenir Grand Final programme with extra pages for £3.”


03/10/13

CUT-PRICE COACH TO LYNN

DUDLEY Heathens have joined forces with Heathens Speedway Supporters Club (HSSC) to offer cut-price coach travel to King’s Lynn for the deciding leg of the National League Grand Final next Wednesday.  Coach bookings will be taken at the club shop during the home leg next Tuesday on a first come, first served basis – for just £5 per person. Payment must be made that night.  Dudley chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We have enjoyed a fabulous relationship with the fine people at HSSC down the years and worked together on various projects.  “This is another example of how much we value our supporters and we believe at £5 it represents great value for the trip to King’s Lynn and one of the biggest nights in the club’s history.  “Both ourselves and HSSC are contributing to the cost of the transport to enable supporters to make the journey.”


30/09/13

ISLE OF WIGHT ISLANDERS v DUDLEY HEATHENS, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens make the long trip to the Isle of Wight on Tuesday looking to secure their place in the National League Grand Final. The former Cradley club have a handy 28-point cushion after a stunning display at their Wolverhampton base in the home leg last Tuesday.  Dan Greenwood moves into the main body of the team after a fine run of form at reserve with Gareth Isherwood dropping down to join Nathan Greaves at reserve.  And hugely popular winter signing Lewis Blackbird moves into the No.1 spot with Paul Starke taking the No.5 race jacket.  Greenwood insists he isn’t worried about the prospect of moving back into the top five.  He said: “Things have been going well for me the last few weeks - the paid maximum against Isle of Wight was great and I just want to keep my form going now. “I had a slow start to the season but I've got my confidence back up now and I'm riding well again. “I don't necessarily think it's going to reserve that has helped me - I'm still getting the same sorts of rides against the same riders.”
The Islanders have once again booked Stoke ace Steve Worrall to cover for injured star Adam Ellis and former Heathens favourite Tom Perry has switched to No.3 in their side.

The winners will meet either Mildenhall or King’s Lynn in the Grand Final.


26/09/13

CUP FINAL DATE SET

DUDLEY have confirmed they will stage their home leg of the National League Knockout Cup Final at Monmore Green on Tuesday October 29.  The Heathens overcame King’s Lynn in the semi-final, grabbing a stunning 46-44 win at the Norfolk Arena on Wednesday, and will now face either the Isle of Wight or Mildenhall in the Final.
Club bosses have confirmed there will be no increase to admission prices for the Cup Final, as their side look to follow in the tradition of famous Cradley Heath KO Cup successes.  Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We are proud and honoured to reach the final for a second successive season.  “We will keep admission prices the same, no increase and season tickets are valid. We value our supporters and couldn't do any of this without them.”
Heathens are next in action at the Isle of Wight next Tuesday as they look to book a place in the National League Grand Final, taking a 28-point first leg lead into the meeting.


25/09/13

HEATHENS AIM FOR CUP FINAL

DUDLEY Heathens boss Will Pottinger is trying to forget about their 22-point cushion going into tonight’s Knockout Cup semi-final second leg at King’s Lynn.  Pottinger is desperate to see his side reach the final after an impressive display in the home leg a fortnight ago.  And they go into the meeting on the back of last night’s thumping 28-point win over the Isle of Wight in the first leg of their play-off semi-final.  He said: “I’m trying to forget about the lead we have, I’ll be telling the lads simply to go out there and try and get a result on the night, not just over the two legs.  “King’s Lynn will be hard, though. They’ve got some good riders and they will come at us from the start. We have to be ready for them.”
Heathens are unchanged from last night’s win which puts them on course for a second successive Grand Final appearance.

DUDLEY (at King’s Lynn, 7.30): Paul Starke, Gareth Isherwood, Ashley Morris, Max Clegg, Lewis Blackbird, Dan Greenwood, Nathan Greaves.


25/09/13

CLEGG PLEDGES FUTURE TO HEATHENS

POPULAR youngster Max Clegg was officially unveiled as a Dudley Heathens club asset prior to their play-off tie with Isle of Wight on Tuesday.
The 16 year old signed his contract on parade before the impressive 59-31 victory over the Islanders - much to the delight of a bumper crowd. The former Cradley club fought off interest from a host of other clubs to secure the signature of the highly-rated youngster, who has been in sensational form throughout 2013.
Clegg celebrated the news with a superb 7+2 point haul to help Heathens to victory, and he later revealed his delight at formally becoming a Dudley rider.  He said: "It's great to sign for a club like this - I've really enjoyed riding here this year so it's great to become an asset.  "I just want to thank the fans for all their support and the management for giving me this opportunity.
"It's a good move for me and hopefully I can have a good career here in the future.
 


24/09/13

PERRY BACK TONIGHT!

DUDLEY Heathens are refusing to discuss the future of Tom Perry until the end of the season.
Perry, a Heathens asset, is currently on loan with the Isle of Wight and will be up against his parent club at Monmore tonight in the first leg of the National League play-off semi-final.  The club are set to make a rider announcement at the start of tonight – but they’ve ruled out anything to do with Perry at this stage.  Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “I can confirm tonight’s news is not about Tom. It would be completely disrespectful to the Isle of Wight and the good people surrounding that club.  “Tom is an Isle of Wight rider and he will want to put on a good show against us. He’s a great lad and obviously we would have liked to have kept him this season, but we had to make some impossible calls.  “There are a lot of things to discuss during the winter but we won’t discuss anything with Tom until the season has ended.”
Heathens are at full strength but the Islanders are without Adam Ellis with a wrist injury. Steve Worrall of Stoke comes in as a replacement and they will use the rider replacement facility for the injured Ben Hopwood.  And fans attending tonight’s meeting will have the opportunity for a special treat from the club’s friends at the Urban Village Resort in Dudley.
Resort representatives Rhi and Cora will be handing out goodies from 6.30pm and free five-minute Indian massages will also be available!
Said Pearson: “We always look for ways to thank our fans for their brilliant support – and I cannot think of a better way to relax before a massive semi-final like this!”

DUDLEY: Paul Starke, Gareth Isherwood, Ashley Morris, Max Clegg, Lewis Blackbird, Dan Greenwood, Nathan Greaves.
ISLE OF WIGHT: Tom Perry, Ben Hopwood R/R, Brendan Johnson, Darryl Ritchings, Steve Worrall, Danny Stoneman, Chris Widman.


23/09/13

ALL TO BE REVEALED AT PLAY-OFF

DUDLEY Heathens will launch Tuesday’s National League play-off semi-final against the Isle of Wight with a rider announcement at Monmore Green (7.30).  A bumper crowd is expected with the Islanders including former Heathens favourites Tom Perry and Darryl Ritchings.  Club bosses are refusing to give anything away about the announcement, which will be made when the riders line up on parade.  Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “All we can say is that we feel confident it is a piece of news our fans will be delighted with.  “It should be a great night of racing and we will need to build up a good lead to take to the Island next week.  “Will Pottinger (team manager) will be telling the lads to forget about their two wins over the Islanders so far this season – we start level on Tuesday and it’s all about 30 races over two legs to decide who reaches the Grand Final.”
Heathens are at full strength but the Islanders are without Adam Ellis with a wrist injury. Steve Worrall of Stoke comes in as a replacement and they will use the rider replacement facility for the injured Ben Hopwood.  The inclusion of Heathens fans favourite Tom Perry in the Islanders side is sure to add interest to the meeting.

DUDLEY: Paul Starke, Gareth Isherwood, Ashley Morris, Max Clegg, Lewis Blackbird, Dan Greenwood, Nathan Greaves.

ISLE OF WIGHT: Tom Perry, Ben Hopwood R/R, Brendan Johnson, Darryl Ritchings, Steve Worrall, Danny Stoneman, Chris Widman.


23/09/13

GREAVES WINS YOUTH TITLE

HEATHENS youngster Nathan Greaves gave his confidence a timely boost ahead of the National League Play-Offs as he successfully defended his British Under 16 Championship title at Iwade.
Entering the sixth and final round of the series with a slender advantage, Greaves stormed to his third victory of the season to secure glory in the 500cc class. The 15 year old bagged eight points from his four qualifying rides before making a lightning start from gate two in the final to take victory ahead of Daniel Spiller and Connor Mountain.  It caps of a tremendous career for Greaves at junior level after he tasted success in both the 500cc and 250cc classes in 2012. He will now turn his attentions to the National League as he aims to help Dudley take victory against Isle of Wight in their Play-Off Semi-Final first leg at Monmore Green on Tuesday.
 

BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP Round 6, Iwade
500cc
1 Nathan Greaves
2 Daniel Spiller
3 Connor Mountain
  Final standings:
1 Nathan Greaves
2 Reece Downes
3 Connor Mountain

21/09/13

BLACKBIRD THIRD IN NLRC

HEATHENS star Lewis Blackbird continued his strong run of form to bag a third place finish in last night's National League Riders Championship at Rye House. Despite a strong line-up, Blackbird launched a serious assault for the title before eventually ending the night on 12 points - two behind eventual winner Steve Boxall and runner-up Lewis Kerr.  And although he was unable to edge what would have been a marvellous victory, Blackbird was fairly happy with his night's work.  He said:"Naturally, I came here to win but I'm pleased with a rostrum spot. The track was tough to ride and had plenty of dirt on which I think caught a few of the riders out as it's normally slick here.  "It's a tough meeting with all of the league's best riders here so you can't afford to make a mistake. I was a little unfortunate in my last ride as I was leading when it got stopped but fair play to Steve (Boxall) he was quick all night and deserved to win."
Dudley colleagues Ashley Morris and Paul Starke were also in action in the prestigious meeting - yet they both endured frustrating evenings. Skipper Morris was blighted by a fall and engine failure as he ended on four points, whilst Starke battled hard to add six but was unable to challenge for a rostrum spot.  The trio now turn their attentions to Tuesday night as the Heathens host Isle of Wight in the first leg of the National League Play-Offs.  And Blackbird knows it will again be a tough meeting for the side.   He added: "We are now at the business end of the season and we are at the stage where every race and point won will be vital.  "The boys have had a great season so far and we have to believe that we can turn anyone over in the matches we have left. We know the fans will be right behind us and hopefully if we all do our jobs we will get the results we want."

NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP, Rye House.
Steve Boxall 14 (after run-off), Lewis Kerr 14, Lewis Blackbird 12, Robert Lambert 11, Steve Worrall 11, Stefan Nielsen 9, Charles Wright 8, Ben Morley 6, Paul Starke 6, Tom Perry 5, Joe Jacobs 5, James Sarjeant 5, Liam Carr 4 Ashley Morris 4, Josh Bates 2, Jack Kingston 1 (reserve, 2 rides), Shane Waldron 1 (reserve, 3 rides), Adam Ellis 0 (1 ride)


21/09/13

HEARTBREAK FOR MORRIS

HEATHENS skipper Ashley Morris suffered last gasp heartache again as he finished second in the British Under 19 Championship at Coventry on Friday. The Dudley star romped to five victories out of five in the qualifying heats and looked well set to claim what would have been a historic victory.  Yet he was cruelly forced to settle for second at the death as Mildenhall No.1 Stefan Nielsen defended the title he snatched from Morris under similar circumstances twelve months ago.  Despite his disappointment, Morris will be aiming to put his frustration behind him on Saturday as he joins team-mates Lewis Blackbird and Paul Starke in the prestigious National League Riders Championship at Rye House.  Meanwhile, teenage duo Max Clegg and Nathan Greaves both put in solid performances against a strong field at Coventry.  Middle order man Clegg battled to seven points from his five rides, whilst Greaves notched a creditable two points as they both warm up for Tuesday's vital play-off clash with Isle of Wight.

BRITISH UNDER 19 FINAL, Coventry
1. Stefan Nielsen (Mildenhall)
2. Ashley Morris (Dudley/Workington)
3. Ben Morley (Kent)
4. Adam Ellis (Isle of Wight/Ipswich)

QUALIFYING SCORES: Ashley Morris 15, Adam Ellis 14, Stefan Nielsen 12, Ben Morley 10, Darryl Ritchings 10, Oliver Greenwood 10, Josh Bates 8, Max Clegg 7, James Shanes 5, Liam Carr 5, Ryan Terry-Daley 5, Nathan Stoneman 4, Connor Coles 3, Nathan Greaves 2, Adam Kirby 2, Daniel Spiller 2, Reserves: Reece Downes 2, Adam Portwood 0

 

20/09/13

ASH TARGETS DOUBLE

   
DUDLEY skipper Ashley Morris enters this weekend hungry for success in two showpiece individual meetings.
Morris will make the short trip to Coventry for the British Under-19 Final on Friday where he starts as one of the favourites – and he will also be involved in the National League Riders’ Championship at Rye House on Saturday. He said: “I know I'll be one of the favourites in the Under-19s but I can't let that affect me - it's a strong line-up and it's definitely going to be a tough one.  “I had a good meeting at Rye House in the Premier League a couple of weeks ago and I've done well at Coventry this season so I know I am OK with both tracks.”
FIXTURE UPDATE: Heathens will be hosting a meeting at Wolverhampton on Tuesday, October 8 – full details to be confirmed.  And the former Cradley club will now go to King’s Lynn for the second leg of their Knockout Cup semi-final next Wednesday, September 25. They hold a 22-point lead.
 

 


18/09/13

BIG NEWS AHEAD

DUDLEY Heathens are set to make an exciting rider announcement at next Tuesday’s National League play-off semi-final with the Isle of Wight at Monmore (7.30).  Full details will be revealed as the riders are introduced to supporters on parade ahead of the eagerly awaited first leg clash. The former Cradley club have already won the National Shield, Pairs and Fours titles and are in a good position to reach the Knockout Cup Final.They are desperate to reach the Grand Final for a second successive season after finishing top of the table for the third time in four seasons.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We can confirm we will be making an exciting rider announcement just before the play-off meeting with the Isle of Wight.  “That’s all I’m prepared to say on the matter at this stage but I am sure fans will be delighted with the news.  “It just adds interest to the meeting which should be keenly contested. We can’t afford to take the Islanders for granted and I’m sure it will be a good night of speedway.  “We will need a handy lead to take down to Smallbrook on October 1 and the league results between the sides, when we did the double over them, count for nothing now – we start level.”


15/09/13

HEATHENS PAST AND PRESENT RACE

HEATHENS fans will have a taste of the past and present in a special meeting at Wolverhampton on Monday (7.30).  Cradley legend Greg Hancock, who started his professional career at Dudley Wood in 1989, will make a rare appearance in the area for the Joe Hughes Invitational.  And he's joined by current Heathens star Lewis Blackbird, who has already helped the club to this season's National Shield, Pairs and Fours titles.
Hughes was a hugely popular figure throughout the sport both as a former rider and parts supplier.  Said Hancock: "It's such a cool meeting to have and I'm looking forward to taking part in it.  "Joe was a great influence on my career and I'm honoured to be riding in this meeting, especially as we are raising money for Cancer Research and new training facilities for youngsters.  "I'd urge anybody in the area to come along and support it, I'm sure it will be a great night."
It will be a big night for Dudley man Blackbird as he rubs shoulders with Hancock, former world champion Sam Ermolenko and current Grand Prix star Freddie Lindgren.


14/09/13

CUP DATE DELAYED - AGAIN!

DUDLEY'S Knockout Cup semi-final at King's Lynn has been postponed for a second time.  The sides were due to meet this Wednesday, but the Norfolk club have been forced to re-arrange their Elite League clash with Birmingham on this date.  Heathens chiefs are currently discussing a new date with their Young Stars counterparts with Wednesday week, September 25, a possibility.
Dudley hold a 22-point lead going into the second leg after a terrific display at Monmore last Tuesday.
It means they are next in action when they race the home leg of their play-off semi-final against the Isle of Wight at Monmore on Tuesday, September 24.


11/09/13

KINGS LYNN YOUNG STARS v DUDLEY HEATHENS - POSTPONED RAIN

TONIGHT’S scheduled Knockout Cup Semi-Final 2nd leg at King’s Lynn has been postponed because of a waterlogged track.
The meeting has been re-arranged for next Wednesday (September 18, 7.30pm) and will replace the National League fixture that was originally scheduled for that date.


09/09/13

DUDLEY HEATHENS v KINGS LYNN YOUNG STARS, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens face one of their biggest tests of the season when King’s Lynn visit Monmore Green in the Knockout Cup semi-final on Tuesday (7.30).  Will Pottinger’s side will be up against two of the hottest prospects in British Speedway with Robert Lambert making his first competitive appearance at the Wolverhampton track.  And Lewis Kerr, who piled up the points for Premier League Newcastle on Sunday, is also included in the Young Stars side.  Boss Will Pottinger said: “We’re looking forward to this and with the second leg at King’s Lynn on Wednesday I’m predicting two tough matches.  “We’re going to need our top three on form and the rest of the boys will need to do their job. There’s no doubt King’s Lynn are a powerful side at the moment.  “But we’ve had a great season so far and all the boys are looking forward to it. If we can make it through to the cup final it will be a great achievement after finishing top of the league too.”
Heathens are at full strength but the Young Stars have an injury doubt over Lewis Rose who hurt his back in the home win over Stoke last week. If he’s unavailable they will operate the rider replacement facility.


08/09/13

HEATHENS PICK ISLANDERS

DUDLEY Heathens will take on Isle of Wight over two consecutive Tuesdays in the National League play-off semi-finals.  After topping the National League table for the third time in four years, Heathens have opted to take on the Islanders for a place in the Grand Final after the Smallbrook side edged fourth spot ahead of Buxton on Sunday.  Now the former Cradley club will host the Islanders at Monmore Green in the first leg on Tuesday, September 24 before travelling to Ryde seven days later - October 1.  The two clashes between the sides earlier in the season both yielded Dudley victories - but with four former Heathens riders in the Isle of Wight ranks two exciting meetings are in prospect.  Heathens boss Will Pottinger is confident his side can get the job done over two legs to reach the Grand Final for a second successive season.  Said Pottinger: "We're looking forward to taking on Isle of Wight, and after doing well at their place earlier in the season are feeling pretty confident.  "We obviously beat them quite convincingly at home as well, so hopefully we can do the same again to book our place in the Final.  "We know those wins will count for nothing in the play-offs though, and we will have to be at our best to get the win over two legs."


07/09/13

MILDENHALL FEN TIGERS v DUDLEY HEATHENS, PREVIEW

Dudley Heathens head to bitter rivals Mildenhall on Sunday for their penultimate league clash of the season (4.30pm)
The former Cradley club are assured of top spot for the third time in four seasons but have never actually won the league itself.  And the face the team which pipped them to the title by one point on Sunday as they look to preserve their stunning record of only one league defeat all season.
Boss Will Pottingersaid:"Meetings with Mildenhall are always something special because of the rivalry between the clubs and we are looking forward to this Sunday.  "It should be a good meeting and valuable track time for the boys before our meetings with Kings Lynn this week."
Heathens face the Young Stars in the first leg of the Knockout Cup semi-final at Wolverhampton on Tuesday with the return at Norfolk Arena the following evening.
The league clash between the two sides will now take place on Wednesday week, September 18th also at the Norfolk Track.


03/09/13

DUDLEY HEATHENS v BUXTON HITMEN,PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens are aiming to complete a clean sweep of home wins when they face Buxton at Wolverhampton tonight (7.30).  The former Cradley outfit need to win by more than six points to secure a perfect home record before their Knockout Cup semi-final and play-off push.  Heathens have already beaten the Hitmen in the cup this season and will start the meeting as favourites.  And they're already assured of top spot in the National League table after Mildenhall's defeat on Sunday - ironically at the hands of Buxton.  Boss Will Pottinger said: "It's nice to be confirmed as league leaders but there is still a lot to do this season.  "We are treating Buxton with respect after their win over Mildenhall on Sunday and they will come to us in a confident mood.  "We are certainly taking nothing for granted and all the lads will know they have a job to do."
Paul Starke moves into the No.1 spot for the Heathens with Dan Greenwood moving to reserve and Max Clegg moving into the main body of the team.
Meanwhile Heathens have confirmed Tuesday, September 24 at Monmore Green as the home leg of their play-off semi-final.


29/08/13

COVENTRY STORM v DUDLEY HEATHENS

DUDLEY Heathens aim to extend their lead at the top of the National League table when they head to neighbours Coventry on Friday (7.30).
The meeting has been brought forward a week at Coventry’s request and Heathens are currently six points clear of Mildenhall with a meeting in hand ahead of the eagerly awaited local derby clash.  And boss Will Pottinger is delighted with the form of his riders going into the trip to Brandon.  He said: “The lads are riding well and have plenty of confidence and we are looking forward to the trip to Coventry.  “We were missing riders in our away trips to Buxton and Kent last weekend so it’s nice to be back to full strength. When we have our full 1-7 we really show our true colours.  “Coventry won’t be easy because they have some good riders in their team but we will go there once again looking for a point as the starting point in our ambitions. I’m sure it will be a good meeting.”
Heathens operate the rider-replacement facility for Gareth Isherwood, who is unable to get time off work for the fixture.

Heathens are next in action at their Wolverhampton home next Tuesday when they face Buxton in their final home National League fixture of the season before the play-offs.

COVENTRY: Joe Jacobs, Luke Crang, Robert Branford R/R, Oliver Greenwood, Lewis Kerr, Martin Knuckey, James Shanes.
DUDLEY: Lewis Blackbird, Dan Greenwood, Paul Starke, Gareth Isherwood R/R, Ashley Morris, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.


27/08/13

DUDLEY HEATHENS v ISLE OF WIGHT ISLANDERS, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens will be up against some familiar figures when they face Isle of Wight Islanders at Monmore Green on Tuesday (7.30).  The Smallbrook side include three former Heathens riders in what promises to be a superb night of racing.  Tom Perry and Darryl Ritchings were both part of last season's Dudley side which went agonisingly close to winning the National League title.  And Danny Stoneman was a firm favourite with supporters during a spell with the club in 2011.
Dudley chairman Nigel Pearson said: "After our defeat at Kent on Monday I know Will (Pottinger) and the boys are desperate to get back to winning ways.  "Tom Perry (pictured) remains a Dudley asset and it was an impossible decision we faced when we released him in the winter. I hope we get an opportunity to work together again in the future but I know he will want to come back and put one over us.  "Thankfully we are back at full strength which will be good after missing both Ashley Morris and Lewis Blackbird over the weekend."
Fans are reminded of the club's free admission offer for all youngsters under 16 to mark the closing stages of the summer holidays.

DUDLEY: Lewis Blackbird, Dan Greenwood, Paul Starke, Gareth Isherwood, Ashley Morris, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.
ISLE OF WIGHT: Tom Perry, Ben Hopwood R/R, Brendan Johnson, Darryl Ritchings, Adam Ellis, Danny Stoneman, Chris Widman.


26/08/13

KENT KINGS v DUDLEY HEATHENS, PREVIEW

NATIONAL League leaders Dudley Heathens aim to continue their unbeaten record when they pay their first ever visit to Kent Kings today (3pm).  The former Cradley club, who produced a backs-to-the-wall win at Buxton yesterday, will be without star man Lewis Blackbird who is needed by Premier League club Scunthorpe.
Heathens chiefs have decided to use the rider-replacement facility with every other team member available to take his four programmed rides. Boss Will Pottinger said: “We looked long and hard at who could cover for Lewis, but we decided to give his rides to our own guys.  “It means Ashley Morris and Paul Starke, two top riders in the National League, can take a ride each.  “We will go there in a confident mood and look to simply do our best and target at least a point from the meeting.”
Teenage ace Nathan Greaves has been passed fit to ride after crashing out of yesterday’s meeting.
Heathens are back at their Wolverhampton home on Tuesday when they face Isle of Wight Islanders and the club have announced free admission for children.

DUDLEY (at Kent today, 3pm): Lewis Blackbird R/R, Dan Greenwood, Paul Starke, Gareth Isherwood, Ashley Morris, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.


23/08/13

KIDS FOR FREE ON TUESDAY

DUDLEY Heathens are opening the doors for children to next Tuesday's National League clash with the Isle of Wight free of charge.   The league leaders are looking to maintain their perfect home record against an Islanders side who include former Heathens favourites Darryl Ritchings and Tom Perry.   And club bosses have decided to allow all children under 16 in for free to mark the end of the school summer holidays.  Chairman Nigel Pearson said: "We have a thriving children's club and a lot of youngsters enjoy watching the lads in action.  "We are always looking at ways of attracting a new generation of supporters so next Tuesday it's free admission for the youngsters."
Normal admission prices apply of £11 adults and £8 concessions. Programmes are £2.


 

23/08/13

BOXALL BACK FOR BUXTON TRIP

STEVE Boxall, one of the National League's top riders, will make another guest appearance for Dudley Heathens in their National League trip to Buxton on Sunday (3pm).  Boxall, who rides for Kent Kings, replaces the unavailable Ashley Morris who is riding for his Premier League club Workington - and Paul Starke has to ride for Berwick as Buxton is a re-arranged fixture. Rider replacement will operate.  Boss Will Pottinger said: "We've lost Starkey because this is rearranged and that's a major disappointment but I'm confident we can push for at least a point.  "We went there in the Knockout Cup and lost by four points when we had too many last places. If we can avoid that on Sunday we will be fine."
Heathens go to Kent on Monday without Lewis Blackbird who is riding for Scunthorpe and rider replacement will cover his programmed rides. Morris and Starke return for that fixture.

HEATHENS (at Buxton, Sunday 3pm): Lewis Blackbird, Dan Greenwood, Paul Starke R/R, Gareth Isherwood, Steve Boxall, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.


18/08/13

LEWIS PRAISES AWSOME FOURSOME

HEATHENS hero Lewis Blackbird has paid tribute to his team-mates after lifting the National League Fours title.  Blackbird won a dramatic last heat to land Dudley’s third piece of silverware after winning the Shield and Pairs titles earlier this season.  And he says it was a team effort – including the unlucky Gareth Isherwood who struggled after a bad crash.  Said Blackbird: "I've never won anything going down to a last heat decider like that so I was absolutely over the moon to win that race and get us the trophy.  "I think on paper we did look the strongest side, but we really made hard work of it.  "After falling in my first ride of the final I thought I'd blown it, but I was glad to get the chance to make amends and relieved we managed to get the job done.  "Ash (Morris) and Starkey were unbelievable, and it was a great day for all of us.  "Gareth (Isherwood) had a few problems having to ride my spare bike which is completely different to his, but good on him for battling through for the team.  "It's great to add another trophy after winning the Pairs with Ash earlier in the year.   "I'm feeling a bit of déjà vu after winning everything with Mildenhall last year, but we can't count our chickens yet - we've got to keep going and keep pushing for that league title."

Report: RICH JONES
 

14/08/13

HEATHENS CHASE FOURS GLORY

DUDLEY boss Will Pottinger insists his side are going for a hat-trick of National League successes this weekend.
Heathens make the short trip to Stoke for the National League Fours on Sunday where they line-up alongside the host club, Buxton and Kent in their semi-final. Start time is 3.30pm.
Pottinger has already seen his side beat Mildenhall in the National Shield and they also won the NL Pairs courtesy of Ashley Morris and Lewis Blackbird.  He said: “The top three were easy to pick to be honest. Ashley Morris, Lewis Blackbird and Paul Starke have been brilliant all season and the form they’ve shown makes us appear to have three number one riders in our side.  “Gareth Isherwood is a former Stoke rider and has scored well for them as a guest at Loomer Road, but he had a bad day at the office when he went there with us last week.  “When I told him he was in my plans for the Fours he was well and truly up for it so I’m sure he’ll provide good support to the lads.  “The tactics are to finish first and second as much as possible to get us in with a chance of winning the title. We’ve won it before and we’re going for it again.”

HEATHENS LINE-UP: Gareth Isherwood, Lewis Blackbird, Paul Starke, Ashley Morris.

GROUP A: KING'S LYNN, ISLE OF WIGHT, COVENTRY, MILDENHALL.
GROUP B: STOKE, DUDLEY, BUXTON, KENT.


13/08/13

ASH RULED OUT

HEATHENS will be without skipper Ashley Morris for tonight's National League derby clash with Stoke at Wolverhampton (7.30).
Morris is still suffering from a thumb injury sustained when the sides met at Loomer Road last week and needs to rest.  But he's told the club he will be back for the National League Fours Championship on Sunday as he is having physio this week.
He said: "It's still pretty uncomfortable and it was causing me problems when I was in the workshop. I'm having physio over the next few days and should be OK for the weekend."
Heathens will use the rider replacement facility as cover for Morris with all other team members eligible to take his four programmed rides.
 


12/08/13

DUDLEY HEATHENS v STOKE POTTERS, TUESDAY PREVIEW

  POPULAR youngster Max Clegg makes a welcome return to the Dudley Heathens side as they aim to keep their perfect National League record against Stoke at Monmore on Tuesday (7.30).
Clegg, 16, has been out for almost a month with an ankle injury but is ready to race again and pick up where he left off.  But the former Cradley club are sweating on the fitness of skipper Ashley Morris who will make a late decision because of the thumb injury sustained at Stoke a week ago.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: “It will be good to have Max back in the side, he’s been impossible to replace although I would like to thank the lads who came in for him and did their best.  “Stoke will be no pushover, we will treat them with great respect but obviously our target is to make it seven wins out of seven in our National League meetings.”

 

09/08/13

CLEGG AND GREAVES JOIN STARS OF '83

TEENAGE stars Max Clegg and Nathan Greaves will join up with the stars of yesteryear to commemorate the greatest ever Cradley Heath Speedway team. It’s 30 years since the Heathens swept all before them with their league and cup winning exploits of 1983.  And there’s a special celebration night featuring team members Alan Grahame and Jan O. Pedersen, plus team manager Peter Adams, on Friday August 23 at Cradley Heath Liberal Club.  Now it’s been confirmed that both Clegg and Greaves will be special guests on the night representing the current Dudley Heathens side who top the National League table.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We’re delighted both Max and Nathan will be there on the night, both really appreciate the tradition and history of this great club and the fact that they are travelling 100-miles to be with us shows how keen they are.  “It’s got a sense of past, present and future about it. We’re all looking forward to hearing great stories from that brilliant 1983 season, plus Max and Nathan will be available for autographs and pictures from the current day team – and they are most certainly stars of the future!  “Add to this the 80s music, raffle and auction and we’re got a great night in prospect!”
The evening will also see the launch of a limited edition Cradley 83 brochure – this includes interviews with Lance King and Phil Collins from Amercia, Peter Ravn in Denmark and skipper Erik Gundersen.  There’s also stunning pictures from resident Dudley Wood photographer John Hipkiss and the brochure will be available on the night for the special launch price of £5 – it will be £7 after that.

Tickets for the event are available from the Heathens track shop at Tuesday’s meeting with Stoke at Monmore – or from www.dudleyheathens.co and go to shop.


06/08/13

HEATHENS LEGENDS TO BE HONOURED

HEATHENS legends Alan Grahame and Jan O. Pedersen will be honoured for their contribution to the club at a special event later this month.
A celebration of the 1983 Cradley double winning side to commemorate the 30th anniversary is taking place at Cradley Heath Liberal Club on Friday, August 23.  And team manager from that season, Peter Adams, is also a special guest with his hilarious stories from a lifetime in the sport.
The current Dudley Heathens team will be invited along to the event, which will also feature 80s music and an auction including a signed 1983 replica Cradley race jacket signed by world champions Pedersen, Erik Gundersen, Billy Hamill and Greg Hancock.  And a limited edition souvenir brochure will be launched on the night with interviews with all the team, plus previously unseen photographs. Copies will be available for £5 on the night as a launch price with £7 the usual price.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “This is shaping up to be a good night and we have had a lot of interest in tickets.  “I’m sure there will be lots of great stories from Big Al and Jan O. and we are making a presentation to recognise their contributions to Cradley Heath Speedway.  “And anyone who has never heard Peter Adams speak at one of these events needs to be there – he’s hilarious!”
Tickets priced £10 are available from the online shop at dudleyheathens.co or from the track shop next Tuesday at the Stoke match.
Injured Gareth Isherwood is expected back for Tuesday’s meeting – and if skipper Ashley Morris needs more time out with his thumb injury they will operate the rider replacement facility.
Heathens are also hoping to have Max Clegg, their in-form reserve, back in the side after three weeks out with an ankle knock.


05/08/13

KING BOXALL IN FOR ISLAND VISIT

STEVE Boxall, one of the National League’s top performers, will ride for Dudley Heathens in Tuesday’s trip to the Isle of Wight (7pm).  The Kent Kings star will replace skipper Ashley Morris who is injured but would also have been unavailable as he was needed by Premier League Workington.  And the former Cradley club will use the rider replacement facility to cover for the injured Gareth Isherwood, who suffered rib damage in Sunday’s win at Stoke.  They’re already without in-form reserve Max Clegg who has an ankle injury but is hoping to be back against Stoke at Monmore next Tuesday. Danno Verge comes in as a guest replacement.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: “It’s a really tough meeting this one and we are going there with the aim of securing a point.  “We’re in a confident mood but with three of our regular lads missing it will be hard – we will go there and give it our very best.”

HEATHENS (at Isle of Wight, Tuesday, 7pm): Lewis Blackbird, Gareth Isherwood R/R, Steve Boxall, Dan Greenwood, Paul Starke, Danno Verge, Nathan Greaves.


05/08/13

INJURY UPDATE ASH & ISHY

HEATHENS duo Ashley Morris and Gareth Isherwood are expected to be back in action soon after withdrawing from Sunday’s win at Stoke with injury.  Morris has been given a big boost with the news that nothing is broken in his thumb or scaphoid after a crash in the remarkable win at Loomer Road.  And Isherwood has suffered bruising to the ribs and shoulder damage but has vowed to be back for next Tuesday’s return clash with the Potters at Wolverhampton.  Skipper Morris said: “There is the possibility I have damaged ligaments so it looks like I will need a couple of weeks off – but to be honest I will just keep seeing how and when I can grip the bike. “There is nothing I can do but rest and see how things go but I will be back as quickly as possible.” And Isherwood said: “I’ll be back next Tuesday. I’m feeling battered and bruised, but my bikes are in a bad way as well so any help I can get with them would be good.”

25/07/13

MAX BOOST FOR HEATHENS

MAX Clegg could be back in action for Dudley Heathens sooner than expected.
Clegg suffered a suspected fractured ankle in a crash a week ago at Redcar - but doctors have now revealed he has only suffered a small crack and he is able to put weight on it.  Now he is in contention to take his place in Tuesday's home meeting with Kent at Wolverhampton, but a final decision will be made on Monday morning.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: "This has come as a real boost to us and obviously to Max himself.  "We were looking at the possibility of two months out for Max but now he may even be riding on Tuesday. We will know more on Monday morning, but it's great news either way."

 

24/07/13

DOUBLE DATE FOR HEATHENS

DUDLEY Heathens are facing up to a hectic schedule on Sunday, August 4 - with two meetings in a day!
The former Cradley club will head to Buxton at 3pm where they will defend a 16-point lead in their Knockout Cup tie.  And immediately after the meeting they'll make the short trip to Stoke's Loomer Road - ironically the club's home in 1996 - for a National League clash at 7pm.
Chairman Nigel Pearson said: "It's going to be a demanding day for the riders and their machines and mechanics.  "But it means we go into the day with our Premier League boys all available, Ashley Morris, Lewis Blackbird and Paul Starke."
Pearson has also revealed how he's waiting for more news on Max Clegg after the youngster visits a specialist on Thursday.  "The initial diagnosis was a suspected fractured left ankle for Max," said Pearson.  "But it appears we won't know for sure until Thursday and I spoke to his Dad who said the boy is desperate to get back on his bike as quickly as possible. He just wants to race.  "We will have to keep our fingers crossed for a bit of good news on Thursday."


24/07/13

CRADLEY CELEBRATION NIGHT REMINDER

IT'S 30 years since Cradley Heath dominated British Speedway with a stunning league and cup double - and riders and management from the golden era will be back together next month.
Tickets are selling well for the Cradley 83 celebration night at Cradley Heath Liberal Club on Friday, August 23 - and they are restricted to only 150.
Team members Jan O Pedersen and Alan Grahame will be joined by manager Peter Adams, who led Heathens to
two British League titles, for a night of great memories plus 80s music.  And there's a replica 1983 Cradley race jacket signed by riders and no less that four Heathens World Champions - Erik Gundersen, Jan O Pedersen, Greg Hancock and Billy Hamill - available in the auction.
A stunning new 32-page brochure for collector's featuring interviews with Gundersen, Pedersen, Grahame, Phil Collins, Lance King, Peter Ravn and a special tribute to the late Simon Wigg will also be launched on the night.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: "It's going to be a great night and with the capacity restricted for this event I'd urge fans to get their ticket quickly."
Fans attending the night will also be given first news on the date and venue for the club's end of season presentation party which is sure to be sellout.
Tickets for the 1983 night are available from the online shop at dudleyheathens.co or from the track shop at Tuesday's home match v Kent.


 

19/07/13

CLEGG HURT

DUDLEY have been dealt an injury blow with the news that Max Clegg is set for a substantial spell on the sidelines due to an ankle injury.
The popular reserve suffered a fractured ankle following a crash whilst riding in the Midlands Development League last night - and with him set to be in plaster for six to eight weeks the club are now considering their options.
The determined teenager has proved one of the finds of the season in the National League, contributing big scores from the No.6 position to help Heathens to an excellent start to the campaign.  And Clegg is thinking positively as he aims to pick up where he left off when he returns.
He said: "I'm a bit gutted because I was going really well, and I've really been enjoying riding this year.  "There's not much I can do about it now so I suppose I've just got to live with it. Injuries are part of the sport and it happens to everyone at some point.  "I'll just try and think about getting back as soon as possible and making sure I carry on doing well when I come back."I want to finish the season strongly when I recover and keep scoring lots of points for the team."


 

16/07/13

IT'S HAMMER TIME!

DUDLEY promoter Gary Patchett is anticipating a close contest between some talented riders in tonight's F.A.S.T Golden Hammer at Monmore Green (7:30).  The club have assembled arguably the most competitive field to date since the meeting was resurrected back in 2010, with the likes of Kyle Newman, Brady Kurtz and Steve Worrall joining the current Heathens side in the strong line-up.  And Patchett is expecting a memorable evening in front of a bumper crowd.  He said: “It was pretty much our first choice line-up; it’s the sort of meeting that riders are queuing up to ride in and they don’t need any persuading.  “We’ve stuck by the ethos of the meeting in that its current and past Heathens riders plus former Champions with a couple of special invitations going out to the likes of Max Ruml and Brady Kurtz.  “It should be a great meeting, and that’s exactly what you want in individual meetings like that. You don’t want to look at a field of 16 riders and be able to pick out 5 or 6 that will be battling for the top three places.  “It genuinely looks like one of those meetings where anyone out of probably a dozen riders could take the trophy, so it should be a superb night of racing.  “The supporters have never let us down in this meeting before, and traditionally the Golden Hammer has proved to be the best crowd of the season for us.  “We’re holding it in the high part of the summer, and it promises to be a great evening in front of a bumper crowd as usual.”
Former Heathens riders Jon Armstrong and Tom Perry have unfortunately been forced to withdraw from the event. Armstrong is suffering from a suspected broken foot whilst Perry remains sidelined through a shoulder injury, and their places to to James Sarjeant and Luke Chessell respectively.
Fans are reminded that turnstiles open at 6pm and 1996 world champion Billy Hamill will be signing copies of the special eight-page supplement on his Cradley career which is free with the programme.

Normal admission prices apply - £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children – and as with the three previous stagings of the event, all Heathens season tickets are valid.

The 2013 F.A.S.T Golden Hammer is promoting the good work of Dudley Stroke Association through their F.A.S.T message - Face, Arms, Speech, Time - suspect a stroke? Dial 999.

Club partners Motor Market of Cradley Heath will also have a presence at the Hamill signing session and will offer a cash prize to the unluckiest rider and most entertaining rider of the night.

F.A.S.T GOLDEN HAMMER DRAW:
James Sarjeant (Coventry), Brady Kurtz (Unattached), Darryl Ritchings (IOW), Dan Greenwood (Dudley), Kyle Hughes (Stoke), Max Clegg (Dudley), Nathan Greaves (Dudley), Max Ruml (Unattached), Luke Chessell (Stoke), Rob Branford (Coventry), Lewis Blackbird (Dudley), Gareth Isherwood (Dudley), Ashley Morris (Dudley), Paul Starke (Dudley), Steve Worrall (King’s Lynn), Kyle Newman (Somerset). Reserve: Hayden Sims (Unattached)


15/07/13

HAMILL PRAISES HEATHENS FANS

CALIFORNIAN superstar Billy Hamill has paid tribute to Heathens fans ahead of his visit to Tuesday’s F.A.S.T Golden Hammer at Monmore (7.30).
Hamill, the 1996 world champion, makes his first visit to a Dudley Heathens event after they formed in 2010 – the year after he retired from racing.  He will be available to sign autographs from 6pm before taking his place in the pits to help American teenage ace Max Ruml in the meeting.  And he has fond memories of the old Dudley Wood days after starting his glittering career with Cradley in 1990.  He said: “The people lived for their speedway each week, they talked about it in the local pubs and wherever the riders went home or away they would be there in huge numbers giving us encouragement and cheering us on week in week out.  “They all knew their stuff as well and loved the local derbies againstWolverhampton. Those matches were tight affairs when we rode them home and away on a Bank Holiday.  “The terraces would be packed of fans and I couldn’t describe the buzz that used to give me as a rider. It always seemed to come down to a battle in the last race and Greg (Hancock) and I usually came out on top.”
Hamill is relishing the prospect of meeting up with his fans once again in the Black Country.  He said: “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, it’s going to be such a cool night and I’m looking forward to seeing the young guys racing too.”
Normal admission prices apply for the meeting with 16 riders and 20 heats – adults £11, concessions £8 and children £2. A special souvenir programme, including a special Hamill supplement with words and pictures from his Heathens career, will be available for £3.

The meeting will also feature a collection for Dudley Stroke Association – and all race jackets used on the night will be auctioned on ebay, apart from the top three which will be available in the lower bar after the meeting.

Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We are delighted to welcome Billy Hamill as guest of honour and we are once again pleased to be working with the good people of Dudley Stroke Association.  “I’d also like to thank our club partners, Motor Market in Cradley Heath, for their support of the event in particular the Billy Hamill appearance.  “With the weather forecast so good, I’m sure there will be a great atmosphere with people of all ages enjoying the racing.”


13/07/13

BLACKBIRD GUNNING FOR GLORY

HEATHENS golden boy Lewis Blackbird is gunning for a unique hat-trick in Tuesday's F.A.S.T Golden Hammer at Wolverhampton (7.30).  The former Mildenhall man has enjoyed a fairytale fortnight, winning the Gary Peterson Memorial Trophy and the LP Transport Trophy in successive weeks at Monmore.
Now Blackbird wants the Hammer to add to his collection, which also includes the National League Best Pairs title won with Ashley Morris.  Said Blackbird: "I'm looking forward to the Golden Hammer, and hopefully I can have another night the same as against Wolves.  "I'm riding really well in the National League this year and I think on my day I can beat anybody.  "It's a strong line-up with some experienced riders at this level, but I'm going really well around Monmore at the moment.  "I'll see how it goes - its only a few starts really!  "It sounds easy and I know it won't be that simple, but if I can get out the starts and avoid any bad rides I should do well."
 
 Fans are reminded that turnstiles open at 6pm and 1996 world champion Billy Hamill will be signing copies of the special eight-page supplement on his Cradley career which is free with the programme.

Normal admission prices apply - £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children – and as with the three previous stagings of the event, all Heathens season tickets are valid.

The 2013 F.A.S.T Golden Hammer is promoting the good work of Dudley Stroke Association through their F.A.S.T message - Face, Arms, Speech, Time - suspect a stroke? Dial 999.

Club partners Motor Market of Cradley Heath will also have a presence at the Hamill signing session and will offer a cash prize to the unluckiest rider and most entertaining rider of the night.

12/07/13

STARKE WARNING FOR PAUL'S RIVALS

  HEATHENS ace Paul Starke is gunning for glory in the prestigious FAST Golden Hammer at Monmore Green on Tuesday.
Starke has enjoyed a tremendous campaign since making the switch to Dudley over the winter, putting in numerous big scores from the No.3 race jacket.  He was in magnificent form last week as his 13+1 haul helped Dudley to a 54-39 victory over local rivals Wolverhampton. And he says that performance was only a warm-up for this week as he aims to fend off a strong field to take the Golden Hammer. Said Starke: "It was a good night for me and for the team in general against Wolves.  "Everything is going well for me this year - I feel a lot fitter and a lot better in myself.  "I've been seeing the benefits of that in my scores, and the big test is the Golden Hammer coming up.  "I was trying an engine I use for the Premier League to see if it would do the job for the Hammer. "I'd never used it at Monmore but it was an absolute rocket! I had plenty of speed and felt as good as I have done all season, and I'll be hoping that does the trick for me on Tuesday.
  "It's a tough line-up but I feel I'm riding well, and I'd like to think I'm capable of winning it.  "It'll definitely be difficult but I just need everything to come together on the night.  "If I can ride like last week I should be in with a chance, and it would be great to win such a big meeting."
Fans are reminded that turnstiles open at 6pm and 1996 world champion Billy Hamill will be signing copies of the special eight-page supplement on his Cradley career which is free with the programme.
Normal admission prices apply - £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children – and as with the three previous stagings of the event, all Heathens season tickets are valid.

The 2013 F.A.S.T Golden Hammer is promoting the good work of Dudley Stroke Association through their F.A.S.T message - Face, Arms, Speech, Time - suspect a stroke? Dial 999.

Club partners Motor Market of Cradley Heath will also have a presence at the Hamill signing session and will offer a cash prize to the unluckiest rider and most entertaining rider of the night.

11/07/13

HAMMER COUNTDOWN DAY 2

HEATHENS fans favourite Tom Perry is determined to take his place in the showpiece F.A.S.T Golden Hammer individual at Monmore next Tuesday (7.30).  Perry, who spent three seasons with the former Cradley side, is desperate to add the prestigious Hammer title to his CV and he knows he will have lots of support from the terraces. But his build-up had been hit by a shoulder injury which has forced him to miss some racing for the Isle of Wight recently. Now he will race in a Grass Track meeting on Sunday and is then expected to take his place in the big individual event on Tuesday.  Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “Tom is understandably desperate to ride in the meeting and we want him here.  “In fact, when we made the impossible choice between Tom and Ashley Morris last November, we agreed that whoever missed out in our team would immediately be offered a place in the Hammer.

“Tom readily accepted and we know how popular the lad is on the Dudley terraces. As I have stated many times before, we still feel Tom has a part to play for this club.
“We look forward to seeing him on Tuesday for what promises to be a great night of entertainment for everyone. ”Fans are reminded that turnstiles open at 6pm and 1996 world champion Billy Hamill will be signing copies of the special eight-page supplement on his Cradley career which is free with the programme.
Normal admission prices apply - £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children – and as with the three previous stagings of the event, all Heathens season tickets are valid.

The 2013 F.A.S.T Golden Hammer is promoting the good work of Dudley Stroke Association through their F.A.S.T message - Face, Arms, Speech, Time - suspect a stroke? Dial 999.

Club partners Motor Market of Cradley Heath will also have a presence at the Hamill signing session and will offer a cash prize to the unluckiest rider and most entertaining rider of the night.

HAMILL BACK FOR HAMMER

BILLY Hamill, the last Heathens rider to win the prestigious Golden Hammer, gets his first taste of the modern era as the club’s guest of honour at the event next Tuesday.  Hamill, the Californian legend and 1996 world champion, will meet fans and sign autographs by the entrance at Monmore Green from 6pm ahead of the showpiece meeting which features 14 of the top National League stars.  And to add further interest, exciting youngsters Brady Kurtz and Max Ruml will make their competitive British debut.
Hamill has fond memories of the meeting, which for the fourth successive season is promoting the work of Dudley Stroke Assocation, from the old Cradley days at their Dudley Wood Stadium.But it was at Stoke’s Loomer Road, where Heathens held home meetings in 1996, where he won his only Hammer title.
He said: “It was always the biggest meeting on the domestic calendar in England and one I never really had that much joy in at Dudley Wood if I’m honest. "The track at Loomer Road was a difficult one to ride and you had to be on the gas and be clever when trying to pass the guy in front.  “I think I topped the league averages that season and had a decent winning streak at home. The night went perfect for me and I had five decent rides and ended up top of the rostrum.
  “To go on and lift the World title the same season and become the only rider to win both in the same season was a great feat I guess looking back.”

Normal admission prices apply for the meeting with 16 riders and 20 heats – adults £11, concessions £8 and children £2. A special souvenir programme, including a special Hamill supplement with words and pictures from his Heathens career, will be available for £3.   The meeting will also feature a collection for Dudley Stroke Association – and all race jackets used on the night will be auctioned on ebay, apart from the top three which will be available in the lower bar after the meeting.  Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We are delighted to welcome Billy Hamill as guest of honour and we are once again pleased to be working with the good people of Dudley Stroke Association.  “I’d also like to thank our club partners, Motor Market in Cradley Heath, for their support of the event in particular the Billy Hamill appearance.  “With the weather forecast so good, I’m sure there will be a great atmosphere with people of all ages enjoying the racing.”


08/07/13

DUDLEY HEATHENS v WOLVES, MATCH PREVIEW

Will Pottinger is warning his Dudley side to expect a Wolves backlash when the rivals clash in the Les Pottinger Memorial meeting at Monmore on Tuesday (7.30pm)
The former Cradley club got the better of their hosts last Monday and Wolves boss Sam Ermolenko immediately laid down the challenge for a return. And after some frantic last minute planning the sides will now meet in a meeting which is held in memory of the former Cradley sponsor and promoter. And as a bonus for supporters, the top two scorers from both sides will go into a one-off race for the L.P.Transport Trophy.
Said Pottinger, who is the grandson of Les:"it's nice for my grandfather to be remembered every year and it's so nice for us to have a meeting in his memory, especially against Wolves.  "I know Sam is determined to lead his side to revenge and have a powerhouse team so it's going to be a really hard test for our boys. "But we're up for it and the boys are delighted to have an extra meeting to look forward to".
Meanwhile Heathens duo Ashley Morris and Lewis Blackbird will be available for autographs and pictures with their National Pairs trophies at the entrance to Monmore between 6.30 - 7.00pm.
Normal Dudley admission prices apply - £11.00 Adults, £8 concessions and £2.00 children.
Dudley season tickets also apply.
DUDLEY: Ashley Morris, Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.

WOLVES: Joe Haines, Damien Koppe, Kyle Newman, James Sarjeant, Rob Branford, Tom Wooley, Michael Neale.


03/07/13

OLD RIVALS CLASH AGAIN

HEATHENS and Wolves riders will do battle for an extra piece of silverware at Monmore Green next Tuesday, July 9.  The sides will clash in a revenge meeting after Dudley got the better of their rivals on Monday – and there’s an extra race for the LP Transport Trophy.
Wolves boss Sam Ermolenko offered Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson the challenge of a rematch after Dudley won 49-41 in the Gary Peterson meeting.  Now they’ll do it again in the Les Pottinger Memorial meeting, named after the former Cradley promoter, sponsor and fan.  And after the 15 races, the top two scorers from each team will go into a race-off.  Said Pearson: “We are delighted to honour the memory of Les Pottinger, this is just the type of meeting he would have loved.  “Heathens and Wolves, packed with young British talent, racing for local pride and putting on a great show for the fans.  “We are delighted to see the LP Transport Trophy up for grabs for the winner of the race-off and naturally I would like to see a Heathens rider win it!”

Admission prices are the same as all Dudley home meetings - £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children – and Heathens season tickets are valid.  “It’s an extra meeting for our season ticket holders to add value to their investment and the riders are always wanting more meetings, so it makes sense,” said Pearson.  “And Sam said he felt Wolves would have beaten us with a fully fit Tom Perry last Monday – well they’ve brought in our former rider Kyle Newman for Tuesday so let’s see.”


01/07/13

DUDLEY v WOLVES REMATCH

Dudley Heathens will face rivals Wolverhampton in a rematch at Monmore Green next Tueasday, July 9th.
The former Cradley club locked horns with their Monmore hosts on Monday night in the Gary Peterson Memorial Trophy and immediately challenged them to a return.
Now the teams will do battle in the Les Pottinger Memorial meeting over 15heats which will be Dudley's next home meeting.
And Heathens Chairman Nigel Pearson said: "we were happy to accept the invitation to race Wolverhampton this week but we immediately had a high demand for a return fixture which we have managed to pull off for next Tuesday.
"It will be the Les Pottinger Memorial Meeting and there will be an additional race after the 15 heats with the top two scorers from each side to win the L.P.Transport Trophy.
"It's another great night for everyone to enjoy and then, of course, the following week we stage the F.A.S.T. Golden Hammer, so it's an exciting time of the season."
Fans will also have the opportunity to celebrate the club's National League Pairs glory with winning duo Ashley Morris and Lewis Blackbird available for photographs with their trophies by the turnstiles at 6.30 until 7.30pm.


 

01/07/13

WOLVES v HEATHENS, PREVIEW

HEATHENS are back in action at Monmore Green on Monday when they take on historic rivals Wolverhampton in memory of former Wolves rider Gary Peterson (7.30pm).
The full Heathens team will be on-track for a 15-heat encounter for the BBC WM Trophy, whilst the Gary Peterson Memorial Trophy will be awarded to the winner of a second-half event.
An update to the Wolves team sees Damien Koppe replace the injured Lewis Rose, whilst former Heathens star Tom Perry will make a late decision on his fitness after being involved in the same crash as Rose at Rye House on Saturday.

Admission prices are £12 for adults, £8 for concessions, £2 for juniors, with under-11s free.

WOLVES: Joe Haines, Damien Koppe, Tom Perry or R/R, James Sarjeant, Rob Branford, Tom Woolley, Hayden Sims.

HEATHENS: Ashley Morris, Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves


30/06/13

HEATHENS TAKE PAIRS VICTORY

JUBILANT Dudley Heathens are celebrating National League Pairs victory after a dramatic afternoon at Mildenhall.
Ashley Morris and ex-Fen Tiger Lewis Blackbird were the men to take the top prize for the former Cradley club, who recovered from a disastrous start to the meeting to get things right just when it mattered.
And there was also an honorary Heathens hero, with Stoke’s Luke Priest producing a brilliant ride in the last race of the Final to defeat the Mildenhall duo and prevent the need for a nerve-jangling run-off between the Heathens and the Fen Tigers!
Heathens were under early pressure when Blackbird suffered mechanical failure at the start of Heat 1 of their group races, and then Morris charged through the tapes in their second outing to earn himself a 15-metre penalty – but he then rode a stormer to pass both Priest and Lee Smart to join Blackbird for a maximum-points race win.
Another maximum followed over the Isle of Wight to take the Heathens comfortably into the Final with Stoke, whilst a much tighter Group B saw the four clubs separated by just one point with Mildenhall and Kent edging out Coventry and Buxton.
Heathens made a dream start to the Final with a 7-2 over Stoke, but Mildenhall responded with a 6-3 over Kent, so the Heat 3 Dudley/Mildenhall clash looked crucial, and with the Fen Tigers’ impressive skipper Dan Halsey taking the lead Morris and Blackbird rode sensibly to keep Josh Bates at the back.
JUBILANT Dudley Heathens are celebrating National League Pairs victory after a dramatic afternoon at Mildenhall.
Ashley Morris and ex-Fen Tiger Lewis Blackbird were the men to take the top prize for the former Cradley club, who recovered from a disastrous start to the meeting to get things right just when it mattered. And there was also an honorary Heathens hero, with Stoke’s Luke Priest producing a brilliant ride in the last race of the Final to defeat the Mildenhall duo and prevent the need for a nerve-jangling run-off between the Heathens and the Fen Tigers!
Heathens were under early pressure when Blackbird suffered mechanical failure at the start of Heat 1 of their group races, and then Morris charged through the tapes in their second outing to earn himself a 15-metre penalty – but he then rode a stormer to pass both Priest and Lee Smart to join Blackbird for a maximum-points race win.
Another maximum followed over the Isle of Wight to take the Heathens comfortably into the Final with Stoke, whilst a much tighter Group B saw the four clubs separated by just one point with Mildenhall and Kent edging out Coventry and Buxton.
Heathens made a dream start to the Final with a 7-2 over Stoke, but Mildenhall responded with a 6-3 over Kent, so the Heat 3 Dudley/Mildenhall clash looked crucial, and with the Fen Tigers’ impressive skipper Dan Halsey taking the lead Morris and Blackbird rode sensibly to keep Josh Bates at the back.


29/06/13

HEATHENS IN PAIRS ACTION

HEATHENS are 'cautiously optimistic' about their chances of success in Sunday's National League Pairs Championship at Mildenhall (4.30)
The former Cradley club will be represented by skipper Ashley Morris and former Fen Tigers favourite Lewis Blackbird.  And boss Will Pottinger fully expects his duo to be in contention for the silverware.  He said: "I think we've got a chance in this meeting, both Ash and Lewis know how to ride the Mildenhall track.  "It was a tough choice when it came to selection because Paul Starke has been sensational for us, but Ash is skipper and Lewis is awesome around West Row.  "It should be a good meeting and I'm cautiously optimistic about our chances."

Heathens are back together as a team when they race Wolverhampton for the BBC WM Trophy at Monmore on Monday


26/06/13

SHEFFIELD v DUDLEY HEATHENS, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens will have former skipper Adam Roynon back in their side for the Ozchem Trophy trip to Sheffield on Thursday (7.45pm).
Roynon has, ironically, just signed for the Tigers in the Premier League but faces his new employers on this occasion as he stands in for regular Heathens skipper Ashley Morris, who is racing for Workington at Redcar.
Dudley are otherwise at full strength for another in a series of meetings at Premier League tracks which are giving vital experience to their talented youngsters, with previous trips to Redcar and Berwick proving successful.
The Ozchem Trophy is contested in honour of Darren and Sharon Boocock, who were tragically killed in a road accident five years ago.
Roynon said: “It is a bit strange I guess but I was booked to ride for Dudley before I signed for the Tigers so I’m glad to be able to represent them again.   “I had a great time as a Heathens rider and I’ll be giving them everything, I want to impress Sheffield fans!  “It’ll be good for me to have a competitive meeting at Owlerton before some vital fixtures coming up and it’ll be good to have some proper laps against good riders.”

Admission prices at Sheffield are:£12 adults, £10 concessions, £5 for children aged 12-15 with under-12s free.

SHEFFIELD: Joe Haines, Benji Compton, Ben Hopwood, Damien Koppe, Facundo Albin, Sean Phillips, Hayden Sims.

DUDLEY: Adam Roynon, Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke,


24/06/13

DUDLEY HEATHENS v MILDENHALL FEN TIGERS, PREVIEW

HEATHENS will face two of their former riders when bitter rivals Mildenhall visit Monmore in a National League clash on Tuesday (7.30).
Jon Armstrong, a firm favourite as skipper of the Heathens in 2011, is joined by James Sarjeant in the Fen Tigers side.  Sarjeant was one of the first riders signed by the club when they reformed in 2010.  And boss Will Pottinger is warning his riders to be on their guard when the West Row side arrive.  He said: “There is no doubt Sarje and Armo will be up for this and we need to hit the ground running.  “We’ve won both of our league meetings so far and we need to keep that going.  “We won’t accept anything less than a win by more than six to give us the maximum return.”
Heathens are at full strength for only the third time all season but the Fen Tigers are without Stefan Nielsen, Liam Rumsey and Nathan Stoneman with injury.

Coventry’s Sarjeant replaces Nielsen with youngsters Michael Neale and Danny Phillips stepping in at reserve

DUDLEY: Ashley Morris, Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.

MILDENHALL: James Sarjeant, Aaron Baseby, Josh Bates, Jon Armstrong, Dan Halsey, Michael Neale, Danny Phillips.


24/06/13

ROYNON'S SHEFFIELD DATE

 
ADAM Roynon will race for Dudley in Thursday’s Ozchem Trophy clash at Sheffield – and then join the South Yorkshire side for the rest of the season!

Roynon will make his second appearance of the year in the green, red and white in the eagerly awaited Owlerton clash before linking up with the steel city outfit.

Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We are delighted to see Adam fixed up with a Premier League club but we can confirm he will ride for us on Thursday. "I’m sure the Sheffield fans would like to go along to Owlerton and see their new signing in action and no doubt Adam himself will be desperate to score a lot of points for us.  “I think it’s been great that we’ve been able to give Adam a couple of meetings, he’s welcome at the Heathens any time after what he did for us over the last couple of seasons.”

 


21/06/13

BUXTON HITMEN v DUDLEY HEATHENS, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens face two meetings in three days which could help shape their season.
Will Pottinger’s side head to Buxton on Sunday for the second leg of their Knockout Cup tie, holding a 16-point lead.  And on Tuesday they are back at Wolverhampton for a home National League clash with bitter rivals Mildenhall.  It’s an important phase of the season for the former Cradley club and boss Pottinger is keen to see two wins from the meetings.  He said: “We will go to Buxton looking to win on the day, not just on aggregate.  “And then we face Mildenhall and we have to feel positive. They are a tough team to beat, we know that from past experience, but a good result at Buxton would then set us up for the home meeting on Tuesday.  “It will be nice to have all the boys back together, that hasn’t happened too much this season because of injuries and Premier League duties.”
Dan Greenwood and Gareth Isherwood return from injury after missing the home win over Coventry last week.

BUXTON: Charles Wright, Guest for Liam Carr, Jake Knight, Adam McKinna, Tony Atkin R/R, Tom Woolley, Matt Williamson.

DUDLEY: Ashley Morris, Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.


19/06/13

HEATHENS TURN UP DERBY HEAT

HEATHENS bosses have accused Wolverhampton of ‘running scared’ by appointing legendary figure Sam Ermolenko as manager for the clash between the sides on July 1.   And in a double-dig at their rivals, Dudley chairman Nigel Pearson believes Wolverhampton’s side is a measure of how desperate they are to win the Black Country battle.
The teams will clash in the Gary Peterson Memorial meeting at Monmore – a meeting which has already attracted plenty of interest throughout the region. It’s the first time teams representing the two clubs have met in serious competition since Heathens were reformed in 2010.  Said Pearson: “It’s a friendly rivalry, of course it is. We rely on Wolverhampton Speedway to allow us the use of their track, facilities and staff for home meetings and it is very much appreciated.  “But the appointment of Sam Ermolenko as team manager underlines how seriously they are taking this fixture. They must be running scared because of the great form we’ve been in.  “And for them to have two British Under 21 Champions in their side in Joe Haines and Rob Branford simply underlines how desperate they are to win the meeting.  “We will go into it looking for the win and no doubt the terraces will be packed with green, red and white. It should be a great night and we are pleased to play our part in a memorial meeting for Gary Peterson.”


19/06/13

HEATHENS DUO CONFIRMED

SKIPPER Ashley Morris and big winter signing Lewis Blackbird have got the nod to represent Dudley at the National League Pairs Championship on Sunday week, June 30 (4.30).  And that means another return to Mildenhall for Blackbird, who left West Row to join the Heathens in a high profile switch.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: “It’s harsh on Paul Starke because he’s been in great form, but I decided to go with our captain in Ash and also Lewis because of his knowledge and experience on the Mildenhall track.  “We will go there looking to win the meeting – but so will every other pairing!”


19/06/13

BUSY SPELL AHEAD

HEATHENS face a hectic spell of action – starting this Sunday when they go up for the cup!
The former Cradley club will defend a 16-point lead when they head to Buxton for their Knockout Cup tie at 3pm.  And on Tuesday they renew their rivalry with last year’s Grand Slam winners Mildenhall, who denied Heathens in the final of both the league and cup.
It’s sure to be a great night of racing at Monmore Green with Dudley back to full strength against a powerful Fen Tigers side who include former Heathens favourite Jon Armstrong.
Boss Will Pottinger said: “These are two big meetings for us and nothing less than two victories will do!”
Heathens also head to Sheffield in the Ozchem Trophy next Thursday, June 27.


17/06/13

EXCITING OMMER PLANS UNVEILED

  SOME of the best young riders in the world will take their place in Dudley’s prestigious F.A.S.T Golden Hammer at Wolverhampton next month.
An exciting line-up has been assembled by the former Cradley club who have also tempted Cradley legend Billy Hamill back to the Black Country to meet the fans on Tuesday, July 16.
Hamill will be alongside Californian youngster Max Ruml in the pits at the event after carrying out an autograph session from 6pm.
Brady Kurtz, brother of former National League star Todd, has also agreed to take his place in the field alongside all the current Heathens stars.
Also included in the event, which is held in association with Dudley Stroke Association, is reigning champion Kyle Newman, former Heathens skipper Jon Armstrong and hugely popular ex-Heathen Tom Perry.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “Full credit to Gary Patchett, our co-promoter, who has put this field together. It’s probably the most exciting line-up we’ve had in the four Hammers we have done.  “I’m looking forward to meeting up with Billy Hamill again and can’t wait to see the young riders Brady Kurtz and Max Ruml.  “I’m also delighted to welcome back Armo, Tom and Darryl Ritchings who always gave their best for this club.”
There will be a collection on the night for Dudley Stroke Association who are promoting the F.A.S.T message – face, arms, speech, time. If you suspect a stroke, dial 999.  And club partners Motor Market will have a presence at the Hamill autograph session after agreeing to join the event and offer a cash prize to the most unlucky and most exciting riders on the night.  But perhaps the biggest news of all is that Heathens bosses have booked the tradition Cradley Heath Pork Sandwich van – always a firm favourite on Hammer night! 
Normal admission prices apply for the meeting: £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children. A special souvenir programme, including an eight-page supplement on Hamill’s Cradley career with photos, will cost £3.  And the club have announced riders for the forthcoming F.A.S.T Golden Hammer at Monnmore on Tuesday, July 16.
Talented youngsters Brady Kurtz and Max Ruml, from Australia and California respectively, will feature alongside all the Heathens and reigning champion, former Dudley favourite Kyle Newman.
There is also a special guest appearance from legendary former world champion Billy Hamill, who rode for Cradley from 1990-1996. He will meet supporters and sign autographs from 6pm.

LINE-UP: Ashley Morris, Lewis Blackbird, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood, Gareth Isherwood, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves, Max Ruml, Brady Kurtz, Jon Armstrong, Kyle Newman, Robert Branford, Simon Lambert, Tom Perry, Darryl Ritchings, Kyle Hughes.

 

11/06/13

RITCHINGS STEPS IN

DUDLEY Heathens have been forced into a late team change ahead of tonight’s eagerly-awaited National League derby with Coventry at Wolverhampton (7.30).
The former Cradley club will be without in-form Gareth Isherwood who has suffered a back injury and he joins Dan Greenwood on the sidelines.  And the club have moved quickly to welcome back former favourite Darryl Ritchings to deputise for Greenwood with the rider replacement facility covering Isherwood’s rides.  Boss Will Pottinger said: “It’s a tough enough meeting with a full strength side, but this just makes it that bit harder.  “Hopefully we will have enough strength to see it through and we look forward to welcoming back Darryl. He did a great job for us over three seasons and it was hard to let him go, so it will be good to see him back in our colours.”

REVISED HEATHENS TEAM: Ashley Morris, Gareth Isherwood R/R, Paul Starke, Darryl Ritchings, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.

 

10/06/13

HEATHENS v COVENTRY, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens are expecting a tough local derby clash with Coventry at Monmore on Tuesday (7.30).  The visitors have made several changes to their side since Heathens brushed them aside in the early season Travel Plus Trophy.  And Dudley boss Will Pottinger is warning his riders to be on their guard against the high-flying Storm side with National League points up for grabs.  He said: “This is a very different Coventry side to the one we beat early on this season.  “They are going to come to us with some confidence but we’re feeling good after our cup win over Buxton last week.  “It will be good to have Lewis Blackbird back, he’s been brilliant for us so far this season and he will be looking for another big score.”
Blackbird returns after missing last week for personal reasons but Dan Greenwood is out with a shoulder injury aggravated in last week’s win.
Greenwood was desperate to ride but physio over the weekend has failed to clear the problem.

Coventry include Ryan Terry-Daley in place of the unavailable Tommy Fenwick at reserve.

DUDLEY: Ashley Morris, Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood R/R, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.

COVENTRY: Joe Jacobs, Martin Knuckey, Robert Branford, Brendan Johnson, James Sarjeant, Ryan Terry-Daley, Luke Crang.


10/06/13

DUDLEY-WOLVES BATTLE IS BACK

ONE of Speedway’s greatest ever rivalries will be renewed when Wolves and Heathens lock horns once again next month.
Memories of the old Dudley-Wolves Trophy days will come flooding back when a young Wolves side face National League Dudley Heathens at Monmore Green on Monday, July 1.
The fixture is in memory of Gary Peterson, a talented young rider who lost his life on track at Monmore in 1975 and the teams will be racing for the BBC WM Trophy.  It promises to be an exciting night of racing as Heathens currently use Monmore as their home track and will be looking to put one over their hosts.  The meeting will be a traditional 15 heat team clash followed by an old fashioned ‘rider of the night’ second half for the Gary Peterson Memorial Shield.
Wolverhampton promoter Chris Van Straaten said: “We believe this meeting is an appropriate way to remember Gary Peterson and both clubs are extremely excited by the prospect.”
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “This is a great idea and we are only too pleased to take part in the meeting. But naturally we want to beat Wolves!”
Admission for the event, supported by Joe Hughes International, is: Adults £12, Concessions £8, Juniors £2 and all children 11 and under FREE.


09/06/13

HAMILL SET TO RETURN

  BILLY Hamill is on his way back to the Black Country to spend a night with his adoring fans at the FAST Golden Hammer.

The Californian, who was one of the most popular riders ever to wear Cradley colours, will be guest of honour when Dudley Heathens host the FAST Golden Hammer at Wolverhampton on Tuesday, July 16.
Hamill won the world title in 1996, ironically the same season he won his one and only Hammer crown when Heathens were riding at Stoke.  And speaking from his Californian home in the early hours of Saturday morning, Hamill was excited about meeting the thousands of fans once again.  "I'm just so looking forward to seeing everyone again," said Hamill. "I'm following the Dudley Heathens from here in California on the website and the way the supporters are getting behind those young kids is superb.  "I've heard about the young boys at reserve, Max Clegg and Nathan Greaves, and I look forward to meeting up with them at the Hammer.  "My time at Cradley shaped my adult life. My memories of Dudley Wood are special and I really wish the Dudley guys well in what they are trying to do.  "I know what wonderful support is there, they were awesome to me throughout my career and I can't wait to see everyone."
Fans will have the chance to meet Hamill for pictures and autographs before the meeting and he will also address the crowd during the interval.
The meeting is once again promoted in association with Dudley Stroke Association who are promoting their FAST message - Face, Arms, Speech, Time, if a stroke is suspected dial 999.
It promises to be another memorable night with the entire Heathens team in action along with the best of the National League.

06/06/13

HANCOCK BACK FOR ONE NIGHT

CRADLEY legend Greg Hancock has sent his well wishes to Heathens in their battle for a new track as he prepares to make a one-off return to the West Midlands later this year.
Double World Champion Hancock will ride in the Joe Hughes Invitational at Monmore Green on September 16 to honour former rider and equipment supplier Hughes, who sadly died last year.
43 year old Hancock started his career with Heathens back in 1989 and remained with the club until their closure in 1996.  And he is thrilled to be returning to the club's modern day base for a meeting which will raise funds for Cancer Research UK and Junior Speedway development.  Said Hancock: “Obviously I’ll be back in the Midlands which is where I spent a good few years with Cradley, and it’ll be really nice to meet up with a few people I remember from my time there.  “The club was closed for a long time and they never gave up hope – and I really hope they get their own stadium again soon.  “For now they are riding at Wolverhampton, and I’m sure there will be plenty of Heathens fans there for Joe’s meeting which will be great.”
 

04/06/13

CRADLEY '83 CELEBRATION NIGHT

  IT’S 30 years since Cradley Heathens swept the floor with their opponents in one of the most stunning seasons in their proud history.  And two members of that team, plus team boss Peter Adams, will be back together for one night only to celebrate one of the greatest teams the sport has ever seen.
Jan O. Pedersen started his career with the Dudley Wood side in 1983 and Alan Grahame, ‘Big Al’ as he is affectionately known, made almost 800 appearances for the club in a glittering career.  Both will be on stage alongside Adams, the most successful team manager in British Speedway history who led Cradley to British League titles in 1981 and 83.
The special event, which has only 150 tickets available, takes place at Cradley Heath Liberal Club, High Street, Cradley Heath on Friday, August 23.
There will also be an auction of a replica 1983 race jacket signed by team members Pedersen, Grahame, Erik Gundersen and Simon Cross. It’s also signed by Adams and Cradley legend Greg Hancock. Billy Hamill is also expected to sign it meaning four Cradley World Champions will appear on the race jacket. And to round the night off there will be a disco featuring music from that golden year, 1983. And a special commemorative souvenir brochure will be launched on the night. ‘Class of 83 – Cradley Heathens’ will be a unique publication featuring interviews with team members, including Lance King in USA and Peter Ravn in Australia, plus many unseen pictures from Dudley Wood snapper John Hipkiss.

Normal price will be £7 but anyone attending the Liberal Club event can purchase one for £5 and have it signed by the guests.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “I was a season ticket holder at Cradley in 83 and every member of that team was my hero. “This will be a great night, Peter Adams has some good stories to tell from his time at Cradley and Jan O. and Big Al were delighted to accept the invitation.  “Once again this is a joint project with HSSC and we are delighted to continue our work together.”
Tickets are expected to be snapped up quickly and are available for £10 from the Dudley Heathens track shop or the online store
www.dudleyheathens.co

04/06/13

TWO MORE PREMIER TRIPS

DUDLEY Heathens have agreed to visit two more Premier League tracks – and former skipper Adam Roynon will be back with the club for both!
Heathens will head to Berwick’s Shielfield Park on Saturday week, June 15, for an inter-league challenge (7pm).
And the former Cradley side have agreed a re-arranged date with Sheffield to visit Owlerton on Thursday, June 27, in the Ozchem Trophy.
Skipper Ashley Morris is unavailable as he is riding for Premier League Workington so Roynon will deputise in both meetings.
Roynon is currently looking for team places at both Elite and Premier League level after mounting his latest comeback from injury.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “I’m delighted to welcome Royno back for two meetings.
“And we thank our friends at both Berwick and Sheffield for giving our team more opportunities to expand our fixture list. We look forward to visiting both venues.”


04/06/13

RACEDAY UPDATE

DUDLEY Heathens want to turn tonight’s Knockout Cup clash with Buxton at Wolverhampton into a ‘shorts and shades’ party (7.30).
The former Cradley club have instructed their riders to arrive in summer attire to celebrate the British summer weather – and they want to see the same on the terraces.
Club chairman Nigel Pearson says a bumper crowd is once again expected as Heathens look to overcome the absence of key man Lewis Blackbird to take a big lead to Derbyshire for the return on June 23.  He said: “Weather like this puts everyone in a great mood and we want a feel-good factor on the terraces tonight. We are also telling our riders we want to see them in summer attire!  “We want to see as many fans as possible in shorts and shades, but bring a jacket for when the sun goes down!  “Hopefully our six-man team can do enough to build up a big lead for the second leg.”

Admission for tonight’s Monmore Green clash is £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children.

And everyone who buys a programme will be handed a free limited edition team poster which the riders will be happy to sign.


03/06/13

HEATHENS v BUXTON, PREVIEW

HEATHENS welcome back Dan Greenwood for their re-arranged KO Cup tie against Buxton at Monmore on Tuesday (7.30).
Greenwood, 19, missed last Thursday's trip to Redcar with a shoulder injury but he will take his place in the Dudley middle-order against the Hitmen.  But the side are without in-form Lewis Blackbird due to a prior commitment, meaning rider replacement will operate in his place.  And chairman Nigel Pearson is confident the six-man side can take a substantial lead to the second leg at Buxton on June 23.  He said: “I had a long chat with Dan on Friday and he is determined to be back.   “He was the only person I know who was pleased to see Tuesday rained off, and we are looking forward to having him back in the side this week.  “The only downside of the re-arrangement is that we are without Lewis Blackbird due to prior commitments which is no doubt a blow.  “I'm confident the rest of the boys can step up to cover has absence so we can take a substantial lead to Buxton for the second leg.”
Meanwhile every supporter buying a programme on Tuesday will be handed a free Heathens team poster.

HEATHENS: Ashley Morris, Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood, Lewis Blackbird R/R, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.

BUXTON: Charles Wright, Tyler Govier, Ryan Blacklock, Adam McKinna, Tony Atkin, Tom Woolley, Matt Williamson.


30/05/13

REDCAR v DUDLEY HEATHENS, PREVIEW

HEATHENS head to Teesside for their first ever trip to the South Tees Motorsport Park against Redcar on Thursday (7.30).
The meeting is for the Julie Lewis Memorial Trophy in memory of a hugely popular lady who served speedway in the region so well.  And in an interesting twist, the former Cradley club welcome back Tom Perry as a guest replacement for the unavailable Lewis Blackbird.
Perry is currently on loan to the Isle of Wight but will wear Heathens colours once again for the special meeting.
Dan Greenwood will see a specialist on the day of the meeting regarding his shoulder injury with the rider replacement facility available to cover his absence.  Boss Will Pottinger said: “It’s a shame Lewis is unavailable but we’re pleased to have Tom back in the side for the night.  “We never wanted to lose Tom, he was just a victim of the points limit, and I know he’s as pleased as we are that he can ride for us in this meeting.  “It’s another fixture for the lads which we’re pleased about and I’m personally looking forward to my first visit to what I’m told is a superb race track.


28/05/13

HEATHENS v BUXTON, POSTPONED RAIN

DUDLEY Heathens will be back at Wolverhampton next Tuesday, June 4 – but tonight’s meeting with Buxton is off.
The former Cradley club have taken the early decision to pull the plug on the Knockout Cup tie and have invited the Hitmen back to fill next week’s date.  Chairman Nigel Pearson said: “We have taken the early decision to avoid inconvenience to as many people as possible.  “The track is extremely wet and with every forecast we have looked at we have no chance. We thank Wolverhampton and Ladbrokes for quickly agreeing to make next Tuesday available and can now confirm their National League Knockout Cup tie with Buxton will go ahead at Monmore next Tuesday, June 4.

The Hitmen management have agreed to the date which has been hastily arranged after the postponement of tonight’s meeting.


27/05/13

DUDLEY HEATHENS v BUXTON HITMEN KO CUP, PREVIEW

WILL Pottinger is warning his side to cut out mistakes which cost them points when they face Buxton in Tuesday's Knockout Cup tie at Wolverhampton (7.30).
Heathens made hard work of the track last week as they dropped points in their win over King's Lynn and boss Pottinger wants to build up a big lead for the return in Derbyshire next month.
Dudley are at full strength for the meeting although they have a fitness doubt over Dan Greenwood who has a shoulder injury and will need a late fitness test.  Said Pottinger: "We know we made mistakes last week, we seemed to struggle with the track early on but we got there in the end.  "We need to make it count from the start against Buxton. We want to take a substantial lead to their place for the return but they have some good riders in their side so it won't be easy."


22/05/13

SHEFFIELD v HEATHENS, PREVIEW

HEATHENS are sweating on the fitness of British Under 16 champion Nathan Greaves for their trip to Sheffield on Thursday (7.45).
Greaves, 15, crashed out of Tuesday’s National League win over King’s Lynn and suffered damage to his knuckle.  He will make a late decision on whether to race at the pacy Owlerton bowl, which is one of the fastest tracks in the sport.  Boss Will Pottinger said: “We have a rider on stand-by in case Nathan doesn’t make it but the lad is desperate to ride if at all possible.  “It was a dreadful crash and we’re just pleased he wasn’t more seriously hurt. We aren’t putting any pressure on him.  “It’s good for the boys to be going to Sheffield, it’s a great track and a superb venue and it all means extra laps for us too.  “The fixture list has been empty in May until Tuesday and this is a valuable extra fixture for us.”
Sheffield include four members of their Premier League team, including former Heathen Joe Haines and spectacular Argentinian Facundo Albin.
The meeting is for the Ozchem Trophy in memory of Darren Boocock who had strong links with both Sheffield and Cradley.
Admission prices are £12 adults, £10 concessions, £5 12-16 and Under 12s free.

SHEFFIELD: Joe Haines, Jordan Tyrer, Jake Knight, Damien Koppe, Facundo Albin, Matt Williamson, Hayden Sims.

HEATHENS: Ashley Morris, Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.


21/05/13

DUDLEY HEATHENS 56 - KINGS LYNN YOUNG STARS 36

DUDLEY Heathens kicked off their National League season in ideal fashion with a 56-36 triumph over Kings Lynn at Monmore Wood.
Heathens certainly did not have things all their own way against a depleted Young Stars side, with three 5-1s in the closing stages required to ensure they took all three league points.  A string of falls in the early stages prevented the home side from opening up any substantial advantage - and they were also forced to contend most of the meeting with just five riders after Nathan Greaves suffered a hand injury in a Heat 4 horror smash.  But Lewis Blackbird continued his inspired form with an effortless maximum to lead the side to victory, whilst Ashley Morris was also unbeaten with the exception of a Heat 10 exclusion.
Gareth Isherwood dropped just one point in the middle order following a classy display, whilst reserve Max Clegg bagged a hard-fought 11+1 on a busy night.
No.4 Dan Greenwood also recovered from a tough start to notch vital race wins in his final two rides to ensure Dudley kicked off their league campaign with a victory.  And team boss Will Pottinger was pleased to see his side eventually emerge victorious after a difficult night. He said: "Overall I suppose you look at the level of the victory and you have to be happy, but it was a bit too close for comfort at times during the meeting.  "There are definitely things to work on, but we are pleased to take all three points in the end."


20/05/13

HEATHENS v KINGS LYNN, PREVIEW

DUDLEY Heathens are gunning for all three points when they launch their National League season against King’s Lynn at Wolverhampton on Tuesday (7.30).  The former Cradley club are unbeaten from four meetings in other competitions this season – including the National Shield which they won for a third successive season  It’s the start of a busier fortnight for Will Pottinger’s men as they head to Sheffield on Thursday in the Ozchem Trophy and have two meetings lined up next week.
Skipper Ashley Morris, who missed the win over Mildenhall last month, is raring to go.  He said: “I had to miss the Shield win over Mildenhall so it will be great to be back against King’s Lynn.  “I love riding for Dudley, I know what it means to the supporters and we will be going for all three points on Tuesday.”
Heathens will be without Paul Starke who is unavailable due to his Premier League meeting with Berwick.  And King’s Lynn are also without Lewis Kerr who rides for Newcastle in the Premier League – they will use the rider replacement facility.

DUDLEY: Ashley Morris, Paul Starke R/R, Gareth Isherwood, Dan Greenwood, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.

KING’S LYNN: Brendan Johnson, Lewis Kerr R/R, Shane Hazelden, Shane Waldron, Scott Campos, Chris Widman, Lewis Rose.


12/05/13

HEATHENS HEAD TO OWLERTON

HEATHENS will head to one of British Speedway's fastest tracks when they face Sheffield at Owlerton on Thursday, May 23.
The former Cradley club will be at full strength for the inter-league clash in memory of Darren Boocock, who worked closely with Heathens legend Greg Hancock in the early stages of his career.
Sheffield will include Joe Haines, Facundo Albin, Jake Knight and Damien Koppe in their side along with three National League youngsters.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: "We are very excited about going to Sheffield. Owlerton Stadium is one of the best venues British Speedway has to offer and it's an honour for us to go there.  "Darren was a great character, very popular in the Cradley pits and he had strong links with both clubs."We don't like big gaps in the fixture list so this, along with our trip to Redcar the following week, fits the bill perfectly."
Heathens are next in action on Tuesday, May 21 , at Monmore when they face King's Lynn in their opening National League fixture of the season.


10/05/13

HEATHENS HEAD TO REDCAR

DUDLEY Heathens will make the trip to Teesside at the end of the month for a special meeting at Redcar.
Heathens will race for the Julie Lewis Memorial Trophy at the South Tees Motorsport Park on Thursday, May 30.
It’s a move which manager Will Pottinger is delighted about as he has expressed concern about a gap in the fixture list.  He said: “I’m excited about this challenge and we would like to thank Redcar for the invitation to take the Heathens up there.  “I personally have never been to Redcar so I am looking forward to taking the team there.”
Heathens are next in action at their adopted Wolverhampton home on Tuesday week, May 21, when they face King’s Lynn in their opening National League clash of the season.


08/05/13

STARKE TO DOUBLE UP

  HEATHENS have given permission for Premier League Berwick to use Paul Starke.
Starke, 22, has been a revelation for the former Cradley club in the early stages of the season and he will double-up with the Bandits when his Heathens fixtures allow.
It's an opportunity Dudley co-promoter Gary Patchett says couldn't be turned down.
He said: "Starkey has done well for us and he's always wanted a PL spot. We are delighted for the lad.  "It means we have three riders currently doubling-up with the Premier League and that shows we, as a club, are doing something right.  "It also shows our teenagers what can be achieved by riding for this great club."
Heathens are next in action on Tuesday, May 21, when they face King's Lynn at Monmore Green in their opening National League meeting of the season.

30/04/13

HEATHENS READY TO FACE 'ARMO'

HEATHENS are bracing themselves for the return of former skipper Jon Armstrong to Monmore Green tonight (7.30).
‘Armo’ has rejoined Mildenhall this season but remains a Dudley asset and boss Will Pottinger is warning his riders to expect a fired-up former favourite.  He said: “Armo is a great guy and still very popular with our supporters so from that point of view it will be good to see him.  “But he will be a threat to us and I have no doubt he will be up for the challenge. He would like to put one over his old club, that’s natural for any sportsman.  “His scores show he has lost none of his sharpness and he will be a dangerous opponent tonight.”
Heathens hold a four-point lead from the first leg of the National Shield which they are trying to win for a third successive season.

 


26/04/13

BRANFORD ANSWERS HEATHENS CALL

DUDLEY Heathens have booked newly crowned British Under 21 champion Rob Branford for their National Shield showdown with great rivals Mildenhall at Monmore on Tuesday (7.30).
The former Cradley club are without skipper Ashley Morris who is riding in the Premier League with Workington.  And club bosses have made their move after watching Branford take the national crown at Wolverhampton on Tuesday night - just hours after he signed for Coventry.
Boss Will Pottinger said: "We looked at a number of options for this and we took our time because we felt we needed someone on form.  "Obviously Rob is going to be confident and we all agreed he is the man for the job.  "We have a four-point lead going into the meeting after we won at Mildenhall but that doesn't mean we're going to just roll them over - this will be a great match."


 

22/04/13

BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL, PREVIEW

HEATHENS skipper Ashley Morris will face up to former favourite Tom Perry in Tuesday’s British Under-21 Final at Monmore – and he’s put the record straight over suggestions of a rift between the two.
Morris, 19, scored a maximum in Dudley’s home win over Coventry last week and is one of the favourites for the title.
But he’s also keen to emphasise how Perry and him are good pals.  “There has been a lot of mischief making by people about Tom and me, but we’re good mates,” said Morris.  “We get on great and there was no need for anyone else to poke their nose in. Having said that, we will want to beat each other on Tuesday!  “It should be a good meeting. Obviously with it being at Monmore there will be a bit of track advantage, but riders like Tom will know what they’re doing here too.  “I’ll definitely be looking to make the most of the home track advantage. As long as I can make some gates and ride sensibly I should have enough speed around Monmore to stay ahead, so I should be alright.  “Having the Dudley fans behind me will be great and I’m sure they will be giving loads of support like they always do.”
Heathens are hosting the event on behalf of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association – and they’ve taken the decision to peg admission prices at normal National League level.
Admission is £11 adults, £8 concessions, £2 children and the souvenir programme will cost £3.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “As a club we are extremely honoured to be staging this major national event for a second successive season.  “And the decision to peg admission prices underlines our commitment to providing supporters with value for money.”

Dudley Heathens season tickets are not valid for this meeting.

LINE-UP: Jason Garrity (Rye House), Shane Hazelden (King’s Lynn Young Stars), Robert Branford (Coventry), Darryl Ritchings (Isle of Wight), Ashley Morris (Workington/Dudley), Max Clegg (Dudley), Ben Morley (Kent), Josh Bates (Scunthorpe/Mildenhall), Stefan Nielsen (Somerset/Mildenhall), Kyle Howarth (Poole/Workington), Matt Williamson (Buxton), Tom Perry (Somerset/Isle of Wight), Danny Stoneman (Isle of Wight), James Sarjeant (Coventry Storm), Dan Greenwood (Dudley), Joe Jacobs (Glasgow/Coventry Storm). Reserves: Liam Carr (Unattached).


 

20/04/13

POTTINGER DELIGHTED WITH WIN

HEATHENS team boss Will Pottinger was a happy man after seeing his side win for the third time in 2013.
A 46-44 away victory at Coventry saw them lift the Travel Plus Trophy - and Pottinger was delighted.
He said: "I'm really happy that we managed to get another win on the board.  "It was a pity we couldn't sustain our lead when we were eight points up, but Lewis and Starkey did a great job in heat 15 after making a brilliant start.  "It was a good team effort where all the lads made an impact at some stage. "Some of them had difficult nights with bike problems and falls but it's good experience for them all before the start of the league season.
"Some silverware is good to be going home with, and hopefully we can add the National League Shield in our next meeting against Mildenhall."


19/04/13

ATKIN STANDS IN

HEATHENS skipper Ashley Morris has been called into tonight's British Semi-Final at Edinburgh and will miss the Travel Plus Trophy clash with Coventry (8pm).
It's a superb opportunity for the 19-year-old to gain more valuable experience at a high level of racing.
The former Cradley club have booked Buxton's popular racer Tony Atkin to deputise as a guest.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: "Ash is delighted to get the chance to race in such an important meeting but sad about missing our meeting.  "We would like to take this opportunity to thank Tony Atkin for stepping in at short notice for us."
Heathens hold a 60-35 first leg lead after a solid all-round display at Monmore last week.


18/04/13

COVENTRY STORM v DUDLEY HEATHENS, PREVIEW

HEATHENS boss Will Pottinger insists his side will start Friday's Travel Plus Trophy match at Coventry with a clean slate (8pm).
The former Cradley club are in a comfortable 60-35 lead from the first leg at Monmore last week - but Pottinger is taking nothing for granted.  He said: "We were delighted with the result and performance from the first leg and the nice thing is everyone looks capable of winning races.  "The two boys at reserve, Max Clegg and Nathan Greaves, have a combined age of 31 but they already look very assured and confident.  "But we will treat Friday's meeting as though we start at 0-0. That's what I will be telling the riders.  "It will be a great experience for them to ride at such a big venue like Brandon and I'm sure we will enjoy ourselves, along with our supporters."

Coventry are without Oliver Greenwood after suffering a badly broken wrist last weekend and his place is taken by former Buxton man Robert Branford.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger has named an unchanged side from the one which beat Mildenhall and Coventry in the space of three days.

COVENTRY: Joe Jacobs, Richard Franklin, Robert Branford, Brendan Johnson, James Sarjeant, Trevor Heath, Martin Knuckey.

DUDLEY: Ashley Morris, Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.


17/04/13

PEARSON POSITIVE ON COUNCIL TALKS

  NIGEL Pearson has held positive talks with Dudley Council leader David Sparks about the search for a new track.
And the Heathens chairman has moved to quash suggestions that Councillor Sparks is against the return of the club to the borough following the closure of Dudley Wood Stadium in 1995.
Pearson told SPEEDWAY STAR magazine: "We finally got together last Tuesday, before our opening home meeting against Coventry.  "I have to say the meeting was extremely positive. Councillor Sparks went to great lengths to assure me he was not against us, in fact he appreciated the benefits we can take to the borough.  "There were some suggestions which he knocked back and others which he left open to more discussion. I found him to be a very straight talker and we shook hands and agreed to speak again once we have done some more work on a couple of projects.  "We had a fantastic crowd against Coventry last Tuesday, on a similar level to our first night of the modern era in 2010, but there are still a number of fans who won't support us. It's their choice because they're missing out on a great night.  "They are of the belief that they won't support us at Wolverhampton and they won't support us as long as we are called Dudley. The feedback I get is that they would support us on our own track with the Cradley name.  "I'd guess there are another 750 Cradley fans out there who won't come at the moment but a new track would change all that.   "That said, I'd like to put on record our sincere appreciation of the support we are getting now. Our fans are brilliant."

17/04/13

MORRIS GOING FOR UNDER-21 GLORY

ASHLEY Morris insists he won’t let the pressure get to him when he takes his place in next Tuesday’s British Under-21 Final at Monmore.
The meeting, which also includes Heathens colleagues Max Clegg and Dan Greenwood, is sure to pull in a bumper crowd with a national title on the line.
It also sees the return of fans favourite Tom Perry, who was controversially released by the former Cradley club during the winter, and Darryl Ritchings.  Said Morris: “It should be a good meeting. Obviously with it being at Monmore there will be a bit of track advantage, but riders like Tom will know what they’re doing here too.  “I’ll definitely be looking to make the most of the home track advantage. As long as I can make some gates and ride sensibly I should have enough speed around Monmore to stay ahead, so I should be alright.  “Having the Dudley fans behind me will be great and I’m sure they will be giving loads of support like they always do. “I suppose with the meeting being at my home track you could say there is a little bit of added pressure, but I’ll just do my own thing and not worry about anything else. “I’ll stay focused on the job that I’ve got to do and won’t let any pressure bother me.”
Heathens are hosting the event on behalf of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association – and they’ve taken the decision to peg admission prices at normal National League level.
Admission is £11 adults, £8 concessions, £2 children and the souvenir programme will cost £3.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “As a club we are extremely honoured to be staging this major national event for a second successive season.
 

“And the decision to peg admission prices underlines our commitment to providing supporters with value for money. “We had a good turnout for this meeting last season and after the excellent turnout for our opener with Coventry we’re confident of more of the same.  “Obviously it would be great to see Ashley win it, but Kyle Howarth is riding superbly right now and he has been impressive for Elite League Poole.  ”And of course we have Tom Perry, who is still a massive favourite with Heathens fans, coming back for the first time since he left us in the winter along with Darryl Ritchings, another popular former Heathen.  “It’s a great line-up and I’m certain there will be some great racing.”

Dudley Heathens season tickets are not valid for this meeting.

LINE-UP: Jason Garrity (Rye House), Shane Hazelden (King’s Lynn Young Stars), Robert Branford (Unattached), Darryl Ritchings (Isle of Wight), Ashley Morris (Workington/Dudley), Max Clegg (Dudley), Ben Morley (Kent), Josh Bates (Scunthorpe/Mildenhall), Stefan Nielsen (Somerset/Mildenhall), Kyle Howarth (Poole/Workington), Matt Williamson (Buxton), Tom Perry (Somerset/Isle of Wight), Danny Stoneman (Isle of Wight), James Sarjeant (Coventry Storm), Dan Greenwood (Dudley), Joe Jacobs (Glasgow/Coventry Storm). Reserves: Liam Carr (Unattached).

11/04/13

UNDER 21 ADMISSION PRICES FROZEN

  DUDLEY Heathens have revealed there will be no increase in admission prices for the prestigious British Under-21 Final at Monmore Green on Tuesday, April 23.
The meeting, which features Heathens stars Ashley Morris, Dan Greenwood and Max Clegg, is held on behalf of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association.
Admission is £11 adults, £8 concessions, £2 children and the souvenir programme will cost £3.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “As a club we are extremely honoured to be staging this major national event for a second successive season.  “And the decision to peg admission prices underlines our commitment to providing supporters with value for money.  “We had a good turnout for this meeting last season and after the excellent turnout for our opener with Coventry we’re confident of more of the same.  “Obviously it would be great to see Ashley win it, but Kyle Howarth is riding superbly right now and he has been impressive for Elite League Poole.  “And of course we have Tom Perry, who is still a massive favourite with Heathens fans, coming back for the first time since he left us in the winter along with Darryl Ritchings, another popular former Heathen.  “It’s a great line-up and I’m certain there will be some great racing.”

 
Dudley Heathens season tickets are not valid for this meeting.

LINE-UP: Jason Garrity (Rye House), Oliver Greenwood (Coventry Storm), Robert Branford (Unattached), Darryl Ritchings (Isle of Wight), Ashley Morris (Workington/Dudley), Max Clegg (Dudley), Ben Morley (Kent), Josh Bates (Scunthorpe/Mildenhall), Stefan Nielsen (Somerset/Mildenhall), Kyle Howarth (Poole/Workington), Matt Williamson (Buxton), Tom Perry (Somerset/Isle of Wight), Danny Stoneman (Isle of Wight), James Sarjeant (Coventry Storm), Dan Greenwood (Dudley), Joe Jacobs (Glasgow/Coventry Storm). Reserves: Shane Hazelden (King’s Lynn Young Stars), Liam Carr (Unattached).

 

09/04/13

DUDLEY HEATHENS v COVENTRY STORM, PREVIEW

HEATHENS are expecting a bumper opening night crowd for their Travel Plus Trophy tie with Coventry at Monmore Green on Tuesday (7.30).
The former Cradley club are looking to build on their stunning National Shield win at Mildenhall on Sunday by building up a handy first leg lead against the Storm to take to Brandon for the return on April 19.  And boss Will Pottinger wants fans to welcome the club’s fine new signings with open arms.  He said: “It’s a big night for the new lads but when they see our fans on the terraces they will realise just how many people are willing them to succeed.  “We are really pleased with the win at Mildenhall but this is a new test for us because Coventry have riders with experience of the Monmore track, so we’re expecting a very tough test.”
Coventry are new to the National League and include former Heathens riders Richard Franklin – who had two seasons at Monmore – Brendan Johnson and James Sarjeant.
They’ve also signed Joe Jacobs as the new No.1 and he was a team-mate of Blackbird in the title winning Mildenhall team last season.

Admission prices for tonight are £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children. Programmes are £2.


05/04/13

NO PRESSURE IN SHIELD CLASH

HEATHENS chief Nigel Pearson insists there is no pressure on the new-look team as they prepare to go to Mildenhall in the National Shield on Sunday (4.30).
The former Cradley club, who missed out on the league title by a point to the Fen Tigers last October, have rebuilt their side and hand a debut to five riders at West Row.  And five of the starters are teenagers, including British Under 16 champion Nathan Greaves at reserve.
Chairman Pearson said: “This is the toughest of starts for Will Pottinger and his riders, but we have told them there is absolutely no pressure.  “Last season we went for it. This season we are going for it again but we are putting more emphasis on seeing young riders progress along with the more experienced guys like Paul Starke and Lewis Blackbird, who makes a quick return to Mildenhall.  “I want to see all the guys enjoying themselves. We need to manage expectations, and all we ask as a management team is that they give their best and strive to improve as the season progresses."
MILDENHALL: Stefan Nielsen, Aaron Baseby, Josh Bates, Jon Armstrong, Daniel Halsey, Liam Rumsey, Nathan Stoneman.

DUDLEY: Ashley Morris, Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.


03/04/13

HEATHENS IN TRAINING

DUDLEY Heathens warmed up for the new speedway season by booking an afternoon training session at Leicester.
The former Cradley club, who race home meetings at Wolverhampton, head to Mildenhall on Sunday in the first leg of the National Shield.  And they host their first home meeting at Monmore next Tuesday, April 9, against National League newcomers Coventry in the Travel Plus Trophy.
They were joined at the East Midlands venue by former rider Graham Jones, who has worked closely with star riders Peter Karlsson and Freddie Lindgren in recent seasons.
Heathens boss Will Pottinger said: "It was a very enjoyable afternoon and all the lads got in some valuable practice.  "We would like to thank the Leicester management for their co-operation and also Graham Jones for giving up his time to come and offer help and advice to the boys."
Heathens also welcomed former favourite Tom Perry to practice as a guest of the club.
Perry will spend the 2013 season on loan to the Isle of Wight after missing out on a Dudley place because of his high average.
Club chairman Nigel Pearson said: "Tom is a great lad and we intend to work with him in the future.  "I was happy to accommodate him around our team at Leicester and we both confirmed he will ride in the FAST Golden Hammer at Monmore in July. He wants that Hammer in a big way!"

Heathens official club photographer JOHN HIPKISS was also in attendance to capture some of the scenes. His photo's can be seen here.


30/03/13

ADAM ROYNON - BEST WISHES

DUDLEY Heathens would like to send their best wishes to former skipper Adam Roynon after his crash at Coventry last night.
Adam is in hospital with head injuries after his spill in the Bees' clash with neighbours Birmingham.
He's reported to be in a comfortable condition after having a brain scan and Heathens are awaiting further updates.
Chairman Nigel Pearson said: "Adam has always been a delight to have around and I was gutted when I heard this news, he's a talented rider who has no luck.  "Not only is he a talented rider but anyone who knows him will tell you what a smashing lad he is too. It puts everything in perspective when something like this happens.  "I'm sure all Heathens supporters will join me in wishing 'Royno' all the very best for a full recovery."
 

25/03/13

HEATHENS LOOKING TO GET ON TRACK

  DUDLEY Heathens bosses are desperately looking to find some track time for the team after their practice at Wolverhampton was postponed.
All the Heathens riders were due to take their place at Monmore as part of Wolverhampton’s press and practice session but this has now been cancelled thanks to snow and freezing temperatures.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “This weather is awful. It means we face the realistic prospect of no track time before going to Mildenhall on Sunday week in the Shield.  “I’m talking to our team manager, Will Pottinger, and we are looking for a track we can rent for a day to see if we can get the lads some laps.”
Heathens open their home campaign against Coventry in the Travel Plus Trophy at Monmore on Tuesday, April 9.

21/03/13

COVENTRY STORM v HEATHENS, PREVIEW

HEATHENS hand debuts to five new signings when they head to Coventry for the first leg of the Travel Plus Trophy on Friday (8pm).
Only Ashley Morris and Dan Greenwood have retained their place from last season as the former Cradley club go with a revamped team.
Lewis Blackbird, Paul Starke, Gareth Isherwood, Nathan Greaves and Max Clegg all make their first start for the side.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: "Everybody remembers the great days of the 1980s when it was Erik Gundersen against Tommy Knudsen, it was fantastic and the crowds at Brandon and Dudley Wood were brilliant.  “I’d like to congratulate Mick Horton and his colleagues on introducing National League speedway at Coventry, and I sincerely wish them all the very best. Any opportunity to give young British riders more competitive track time has got to be welcomed.  “Our Supporters Club are taking a coach from Cradley, and I know of many fans who will be taking the car to Brandon on Friday night.  “We hope we’ll have a great atmosphere for the meeting, and hopefully both sides will enjoy good fortune throughout the season.”

The return leg at Monmore takes place on Tuesday, April 9.

COVENTRY: Joe Jacobs, Richard Franklin, Oliver Greenwood, Brendan Johnson, James Sarjeant (c), Trevor Heath, Martin Knuckey.

DUDLEY: Ashley Morris (c), Gareth Isherwood, Paul Starke, Dan Greenwood, Lewis Blackbird, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves.


16/03/13

TWO HEATHENS PROGRESS

HEATHENS duo Dan Greenwood and Max Clegg have qualified from the British Under-21 semi-final - joining Ashley Morris in the Final at Monmore Green next month.

The meeting was cut short at heat 16 due to the curfew but the result stands:-

BRITISH UNDER-21 SEMI-FINAL, Plymouth
Danny Stoneman 10, Oliver Greenwood 10, Darryl Ritchings 10, Dan Greenwood 8, Josh Bates 8, Max Clegg 8, Matt Williamson 7 (all qualify for British U21 Final), Shane Hazelden 7, Liam Carr 4, Richard Andrews 3, Adam Ellis 3, Brendan Johnson 2, Brandon Freemantle 2, Tyler Govier 2, Michael Neale (res) 2, David Abraham (res) 2, Martin Knuckey 0, Nathan Greaves 0.


16/03/13

GREAVES ON UNDER 21 TRAIL

NATHAN Greaves says he has no expectations ahead of the British Under 21 Championship Semi-Final at Plymouth tonight (7pm).
Heathens new-boy Greaves got his first track time of 2013 with some practice laps at Birmingham's Press and Practice day on Wednesday.
The 15 year old is now raring to go - and he admits the prospect of racing in the Final hosted by Heathens on April 23 provides and added incentive at St Boniface Arena.  He said: "It was definitely crucial that I got in some laps before the British Under 21 Semi-Final at Plymouth.  "If I’d gone into that meeting without riding at all I would have come out having not done as well as I’d like to, but luckily I’ve got some practice in and I’m just pleased to have got back on a bike.  "I’m a bit nervous about the meeting with it being my first of the season, but I’ll just go there and see what happens.  "I haven’t really got any expectations for the meeting. It’ll my first meeting at this level, so I’ll just try my best, ride my hardest and see how it goes.  "Knowing the Final is at Dudley will give me a bit of a boost - it would be great to get through to the Final to ride in front of my home fans."
Fellow Heathens riders Max Clegg and Dan Greenwood join Greaves in Saturday's Semi-Final along with former Dudley men Darryl Ritchings and Danny Stoneman.

LINE-UP: Brendan Johnson (Coventry Storm), Martin Knuckey (Coventry Storm), Nathan Greaves (Dudley), Darryl Ritchings (Isle of Wight), Brandon Freemantle (Isle of Wight), Richard Andrews (unattached), Liam Carr (unattached), Danny Stoneman (Isle of Wight), Adam Ellis (Ipswich/Isle of Wight), Tyler Govier (Buxton), Oliver Greenwood (Coventry Storm), Dan Greenwood (Dudley), Matt Williamson (Buxton), Shane Hazelden (King’s Lynn Young Stars), Josh Bates (Scunthorpe/Mildenhall), Max Clegg (Dudley). Reserves: Michael Neale and David Abraham


15/03/13

HEATHENS HOPING FOR COUNCIL TALKS

DUDLEY Heathens bosses have expressed their surprise at comments made by Dudley Council leader, Councillor David Sparks, in Thursday’s Express & Star.
The former Cradley club, who are desperate to step up their search for a new home as they prepare for a fourth successive season at Wolverhampton’s Monmore Green track, have had several meetings with Dudley Council officers.  And yet Councillor Sparks said: “I’m very eager to have talks and hear the club’s suggestions and they only have to make contact with my office at the council.”
Heathens co-promoter Gary Patchett said: “In October 2012 myself and our chairman Nigel Pearson met former council leader Les Jones, where the Castle Gate site was discussed.  “However, since Councillor Sparks took office a year ago, we have had meetings with his officers and repeatedly asked for a meeting with him. This has not been possible for whatever reason, I’m not sure.  “Having seen his comments, I must express my surprise but also hope we can now find a way forward to meet and discuss what Dudley Council’s attitude is towards the potential return of one of the biggest names in the sport to the area. We have 1,000 fans regularly travelling to Wolverhampton for home matches – that could be doubled in our own track within Dudley Borough.”
Wolverhampton promoter Chris Van Straaten, who is also part of the Heathens management, was the man responsible for bringing the sport back to Teesside and he has offered to use this experience should a site be identified.
Dudley Heathens look forward to meeting with Councillor Sparks in an attempt to take the project forward.

12/03/13

JAN O LEAVES HEATHENS

  HEATHENS bosses have paid tribute to 1991 world champion Jan O. Pedersen after he rejected their offer to stay with the club.
Pedersen, who helped inspire the former Cradley outfit to the top of the National League table last year as team coach, announced his departure on Facebook.
Club Chairman Nigel Pearson said: "It's disappointing news but we fully understand and respect Jan O's decision.  "We offered him the same terms as last season but it appears those terms are no longer acceptable. We are not in a position to offer anyone a full-time role, no club within British Speedway employs a full-time manager or coach and we are no different.  "Jan O. has said he needs to find something else and we have to respect that, but as I stated recently we would love to accommodate him even if he had a full-time role elsewhere. 
 "He is a true Heathens legend and a fantastic coach and mentor. He was one of my favourite riders when I was a supporter on the terraces but he's also a great guy.  "On behalf of myself, Chris Van Straaten and Gary Patchett, I would like to offer sincere good wishes to Jan O and he is always a welcome guest. I hope we get the chance to work together again in the future."

08/02/13

GREENWOOD LOOKS AHEAD

  HEATHENS youngster Dan Greenwood has given the new-look team his seal of approval ahead of the new season.
Greenwood, 19, is one of only two survivors after club chiefs ripped up the table-topping 2012 team to get under the 40-point team building limit.  And he believes they’ve got it right with a combination of raw talent and established National League experience.  He said: “It should be a good side. There is a lot of room for development; hopefully everyone can settle in quickly and we will all chip in with some points.  “I’m sure Ash (Morris) will make a great captain. He’s got a tough job taking over from Adam (Roynon) but I’m sure he can do the job.  “It was tough to lose by only a point last year, so I’m sure me and Ash will be coming back with the rest of the lads to put that behind us and try to win it this time around.” 
And Greenwood has vowed to repay the faith put in him by the management.  He said: “It was obviously a tough decision for the management when it came to team building this year, but I’m glad they chose me. 
 “I’m sure I can improve on last year’s average. Whether I start as a heat leader or second string I want to be a heat leader by the end of year.  “It might be a bit tougher starting in the main body, but I think I was capable of starting there last year.  “With my average I was able to start at reserve but I think I was certainly able to hold my own when I moved up to No.2 and I am sure I can hold my own again in 2013 be it at No.2, 3 or 4. “I’ve not had any regrets about coming back to the sport or anything after three years out. I have come back with a lot more passion for the sport. “Maybe the only regret is that maybe a few people that I have been racing against before have a three year advantage over me. I just want to make that back as quickly as I can and hopefully I can carry on doing that at Dudley.”
Tickets are selling fast for the season launch party at Cradley Heath Liberal Club on Friday, March 1.
All the 2013 Heathens will be introduced on stage and presented with their race jackets. There will be plenty of photographic and autograph opportunities and there will also be a disco afterwards with club presenter Ian Jones.
The event, which includes a raffle and auction, is expected to be a complete sellout. Tickets are available from the online club shop at dudleyheathens.co or by calling HSSC on 07766 745681.
Tickets are £3 HSSC members and £5 non-members with all money raised going to the riders direct.

 

21/01/13

DUDLEY Heathens have revealed dates for two showpiece individual speedway events this year.
The former Cradley club, who will again race home meetings at Wolverhampton in 2013, have been awarded the British Under 21 Final on April 23.  And they have also confirmed they will once again be staging the Golden Hammer individual meeting on Tuesday, July 16, in association with Dudley Stroke Association.
Club chairman Nigel Pearson says both dates are sure to pull in bumper crowds.  “Since we relaunched in 2010 we have never had a home winner in the Golden Hammer, I would love to see that change,” he said.  “And it would be fantastic if we could provide the British Under 21 champion on our home track.  “We staged the British Under 21 Final for the first time last year and made a success of it, so we’re delighted to see it back.  “And we’re very pleased to continue our relationship with the good people of Dudley Stroke Association through the Golden Hammer.
“I’m sure both meetings will pull in big crowds and hopefully the weather will be on our side!”


14/01/13

TRAVEL PLUS TROPHY AT STAKE

HEATHENS and Coventry will be racing for early season silverware when they clash in March and April.
The tie has gained added spice with Travel Plus Tours backing the meetings at Brandon on Friday, March 22, with the return leg at Wolverhampton on Tuesday, April 9.
The two rivals will do battle for the Travel Plus Trophy with Suffolk-based businessman James Easter using the meetings to promote his numerous Grand Prix and World Cup trips.  Nigel Pearson said: “It’s a fantastic way for both Coventry and ourselves to start the season and we are thrilled to have James Easter and Travel Plus on board.  “It now means we are racing for the 2013 Travel Plus Trophy and gives both sets of riders a little edge to go for it.  “I fully expect both meetings to be full of exciting racing and it’s an opportunity for our fans to see our new-look team in action for the first time.”
The team will also be together at a special meet the riders night at Cradley Heath Liberal Club on Friday, March 1.
The event, which includes a disco, raffle and auction is expected to be a complete sellout. Tickets are available from the online club shop at dudleyheathens.co or by calling HSSC on 07766 745681.

Tickets are £3 HSSC members and £5 non-members with all money raised going to the riders direct


11/01/13

SEASON OPENS WITH DERBY DATE

  DUDLEY Heathens will launch their 2013 season against National League newcomers Coventry.
The sides will meet at Brandon on Friday, March 22 with the return at Monmore Green on Tuesday, April 9 – the first home meeting of the season for the former Cradley club.
The Challenge meetings will bring memories flooding back of the great clashes between Cradley and Coventry in the Dudley Wood days and are expected to attract bumper crowds.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson said: “What a way to start the season! We’re delighted to provide the opposition for the exciting launch of National League racing at Coventry and we wish Mick Horton and his management team every success with the project.  “I’m sure there will be plenty of Heathens fans heading to Brandon on March 22 because that will be the first time this new-look Heathens team will be racing together. 
“And I have no doubt fans will be desperate to see Heathens v Coventry in our first home meeting on April 9. There will be some terrific racing in both meetings and it’s a fabulous way for the curtain to go up on 2013.”
The full Heathens team will be on hand to meet fans at the season launch party on Friday, March 1.
The event, which includes a disco, raffle and auction, takes place at Cradley Heath Liberal Club and is expected to be a complete sellout. Tickets will go on sale next week.

09/01/13

ISHERWOOD COMPLETES HEATHENS

DUDLEY Heathens have completed their 2013 team plans with the signing of Manchester racer Gareth Isherwood.
Isherwood, 24, joins the club on loan from Stoke after making a comeback from serious injury in a brief spell with Mildenhall last season.  He joins skipper Ashley Morris, Lewis Blackbird, Dan Greenwood, Paul Starke, Max Clegg and Nathan Greaves in a revamped Heathens side for the new season which will start at Monmore on Tuesday, April 9. Said Isherwood: “It’s an ideal move really. It’s a big club with a good setup, plus it’s not too far away for me being based in Manchester.  “I rode for Stoke in 2011 and then at the end of the season I broke my back riding at Mildenhall.  “It took me a while to recover from that but then I came back at the end of last season to ride for Mildenhall to basically get my name back out there.  “It was because they were having some injury problems and my average fitted in well, but it went pretty well and luckily I have managed to get this spot with Heathens for 2013.  “Driving from Manchester to Mildenhall for meetings was a long way to travel, but it’s certainly paid off.”

Report: RICH JONES
 

PHOTO - STOKE SPEEDWAY


07/01/13

HEATHENS GRANT ARMSTRONG PERMISSION

  DUDLEY Heathens have granted permission for Mildenhall to take former skipper Jon Armstrong on loan for the 2013 season.
Armstrong was a firm favourite with Heathens fans during his time with the club and was a fine captain during a tough 2011 campaign.
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson says the management are delighted to see 'Armo' back in action.
"On behalf of the management team I would like to wish Armo every success," he said.
"He has always been a delight to deal with and I was disappointed when he didn't continue riding last season, he has a lot to offer to younger riders and I'm sure Mildenhall will quickly see the benefit of that.
"Armo is a great guy and this will add further interest, if any was needed, to our meetings with Mildenhall next season. We are looking forward to it!"

04/01/13

TEAM BACKER CONTINUES

DUDLEY Heathens will once again carry the identity of a successful Black Country business throughout the 2013 campaign.
Oldbury based Recycled Aggregate Services, who joined the club mid-way through last season, will again support the former Cradley club.  And Dave Burns, owner of the business, has revealed how he loves the passion for the club.  "It's the passion of the supporters which really grips you," said Burns. "Just like the old Cradley days.  "And I love seeing the young riders give it their all. They never know when they're beaten and we are proud to be supporting the club."
Heathens chairman Nigel Pearson is delighted to have the company on board.  He said: "Dave Burns is full of enthusiasm, he's a great character who is always good company.  "He doesn't do any of this for the attention but he was amazed by the exposure his logo had by appearing on our race jacket."
 


03/01/13

HEATHENS FANS SMASH CLUB RECORD

DUDLEY Heathens have smashed the club record for season ticket sales.
The former Cradley club have already sold more than last year with three months still remaining before the tapes go up on the new season.
Fans have taken advantage of the early bird offer in big numbers – and club chairman Nigel Pearson is amazed by the loyalty of supporters.  “It's truly amazing, the support we are getting,” he said. “Looking at the numbers, we have already sold more than last season and that's a true measure of how excited the fans are about our new-look team.  “Naturally a lot of people were very down a couple of months ago after all the injuries and the fact we lost out on the league title by a point.  “We have had to release some great lads from our plans and those decisions were horrible for us to make. Even Chris Van Straaten and Gary Patchett, with all their Elite League experience, said it was one of the toughest decisions they have known.  “But all our focus is now on 2013 and we want to push forward in a positive manner with some exciting young riders to watch in our team colours.  “We will open our home season on Tuesday, April 9, at Wolverhampton and we are looking forward to some fantastic fixtures against the likes of Mildenhall and Coventry - not to mention Isle of Wight, who have half of our 2012 team on board!”
Heathens have confirmed admission prices for the 2013 season will be £11 adults, £8 concessions and £2 children aged 15 and under. Admission is free for infants aged 5 and under.

Season tickets are still available at £120 adults, £80 concessions and £10 children.

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