McCormick Starts the Ultimate Revolution
Flamboyant Scot Dan McCormick took over as Cradley's new promoter and immediately pledged to bring the League Championship to Dudley Wood within three years.
The many Heathens fans had heard it all before and the trouble started even before the season began with John Boulger asking for a transfer and was subsequently allowed to return to his old happy hunting ground at Blackbird Road, Leicester.
So Dan talked Swedish Star and former World Champion Anders Michanek into joining the Heathens and also persuaded Bernie Persson to comeback.
To complete the squad he signed his "ace-in-the-hole", Bob Valentine.
Already supporters were beginning to believe that this team had the capabilities to win the League.
Michanek and Persson soon settled in scoring the points, however the rest of the team were so inconsistent, Steve Bastable was up and down, Bob Valentine was struggling a little as was Arthur Price. Bruce Cribb was no more than a good second-string and Dave Perks was far from happy with his machinery.
L to R. Anders Michanek, Bernt
Persson, Bob Valentine, Dave Perks, Steve Bastable Team Manager - Bob
Wasley, Arthur Price,
|Once again the team
found themselves at the bottom of the league table losing six of the first
nine matches. then the tide seemed to turn and the team won four matches in
However, new promoter Dan McCormick wanted more, Anders Michanek was sacked for missing too many matches and then after missing a match at Kings Lynn, Persson was also sent packing.
The team spent the rest of the season using guests and rider replacements.
The good news was that some good youngsters seemed to be coming through with James Moore, Richie Cauldwell, John Williams, John Hack and Doug Poole. Surprisingly the Heathens had their best ever season finishing 7th in the league.
Dan was voted "Administrator of the year", for his fresh approach to speedway, despite sacking his top two riders!
Some oddments during the season - At Swindon Anders scored more than the rest of the team put together with 20 out of the total of 37! Cradley won at Wolves in the league and Wolves won at Cradley....Bluey Valentine ace-in-the-hole got every score between 0 and 12 in league matches.
They reached the Final in both Inter-League and Midland Cup's missing out to Ipswich and Coventry respectively. Out of the KO Cup in the first round and lost the Dudley Wolves Trophy with a very depleted side, but then won the Sandwell Mail Triangular Trophy beating Birmingham and Wolves.
Dan McCormick also introduced a brand new Individual event
called the Golden Hammer which became one of the most prestigious events of
Riders Performance Chart
statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for BL matches only.
Final League Table
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