Full name: Eric Boothroyd
Career Record with Cradley
World Finalist 1956(10th)
In 1984 he became Chairman of the British
Speedway Promoters Association
started his speedway career after buying his way out of the army in 1949. He
rode on some of the army tracks in Germany while he was attached to the Royal
Signals as a despatch rider and was asked to have a go at speedway Hanomag
Sports Ground. This was the sports ground of the Hanomag motor and tractor
building company before the war.|
Eric took to speedway right away and when he rode in the British Army of the Rhine Championship in September 1949 where the top prize was a trip to Wembley for a trial. He won his first three races then fell. Jimmy Gooch won the meeting and got the Wembley trial.
However Eric came back to England in November 1949 and got a trial with Les Marshall at Birmingham, he was promptly offered a contract with the Brummies. He attended the winter training session at Perry Barr and learned lots about track preparation etc.
Come 1950 Eric was offered out on loan to Third Division Tamworth then after three months joined Cradley in Division 2. Then in 1951 he moved back to Birmingham along with Alan Hunt.
He stayed with the Brummies until 1957. Then Eric moved to Bradford in partnership with Ron Clarke, Oliver Hart and Ron Mason taking over the Birmingham Fixtures but it failed, he joined Oxford in 1958 where he was appointed skipper then Leicester in 1959 but a mid season argument had him retiring when he was third in the averages.
Eric kept his speedway gear though he was working for Oxford motor cycle dealers Kings at their Halifax branch. Then Ted Flanagham asked him to join Oxford in 1960 but only rode in home meetings! It didn't fit in with his job for Kings so in 1962 he was offered the chance to lead the Middlesborough team and ended the season as their number one.
Provincial League racing was good for Eric and had three seasons there putting his hard earned cash into two greengrocery shops in Halifax and Middlesborough.
Offered places at Long Eaton and Sunderland he opted for Long Eaton but started to get hurt more often and packed it in. Then Reg Fearman opened Halifax and he couldn't refuse to ride for his home town club. He renewed his friendship with some of the Middlesborough team mates and had his first steps into promoting running a few open meetings in 1966.
Eric's other passion was flying and held a pilot's licence since 1962 he sold his greengrocers and bought a Beagle Pup for £6,000.