1982

Cup Double, BL Runners-Up & World Champ Again!

Season Review

Team manager Pete Adams had some big changes in 1982, Dave Shields decided to stay in Australia and Bent Rasmussen stayed back home in Denmark.  John McNeil joined Weymouth.
Adams first signing was Bruce Penhall's protege Lance King he was joined by Andy Reid from Glasgow and Ian Gledhill from Mildenhall, but Ian failed to establish himself in the team and was loaned out to Oxford and replaced by Jan Verner from Swindon.
The Heathens carried on winning as before led by the brilliant Penhall.  Before the end of March they had beaten Ipswich home and away to become inaugural winners of the Premiership Trophy.  They lost only two matches in winning the League Cup Northern Region both against Coventry but again beat Ipswich home and away in the Final.  The Witches must have thought that the Heathens were their bogey team as Heathens beat them again home and away in the KO Cup a month later!
They went on to win the KO Cup beating Eastbourne in the semi-final and Belle Vue in the Final.

team photo

L to R. Phil Collins, Team Manager - Peter Adams, Wayne Jackson,
Ian Gledhill, Lance King,
front row: Alan Grahame, Erik Gundersen. on bike - Bruce Penhall, 
(photo by kind permission of Speedway Star & News)

By the middle of August the Heathens were again sitting on the top of the British League with 30 out of 34 points.  They were odds-on favourites to retain the championship with nearest rivals Belle Vue totalling 28 out of a possible 38 points. Then one disastrous weekend Cradley's title hopes were shattered, on Saturday August 14th they dropped two vital points at Coventry when Bruce Penhall crashed in the last heat.
The next day Penhall led the USA to their first ever World Team Cup win at White City.  That same night a phone call from Bruce informed Cradley that he was quitting the sport to concentrate on a film career in Holywood.  From that moment Cradley were knocked off course.  Adams introduced National League stars Simon Wigg, Steve Lawson and Ashley Pullen to cover for Penhall's absence but the plain fact was that once the World Champ had gone Cradley failed to win another match away from home.  Eventually finishing second to Belle Vue in the table.

Penhall went on to win his second World Championship in the Los Angeles Coliseum on August 28th, and then retired from speedway.  In just five years this blond, blue eyed darling of the speedway terraces had collected virtually all the individual and team awards that speedway had to offer from the supreme prize of Individual World Champion to share the World Team Cup, the World Best Pairs, British League Championship and National and regional cups.
However as the brilliant superstar moved on, another star emerged in young Erik Gundersen who reached the Intercontinental Final of the World Championship, scored 15 point maximums in both legs of the KO Cup Final and ended the season with a green sheet average of 10.72, which made him second in the table to controversial Yorkshire man Kenny Carter who won the Golden Hammer at Dudley Wood.

 


programme 1982

Riders Performance Chart

1982 Cradley 'The Heathens'.

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
E.Gundersen
25
106
280
4
284
10.72
B.Penhall
15
62
152
9
161
10.39
Al.Grahame
28
121
260
26
286
9.45
S.Wigg
4
16
29
3
32
8.00
P.Collins
27
115
184
36
220
7.65
L.King
23
95
133
27
160
6.74
S.Lawson
3
9
9
1
10
4.44
S.Cross
2
6
5
1
6
4.00
I.Gledhill
5
16
10
2
12
3.00
J.Verner
15
47
30
5
35
2.98
A.Reid
25
74
42
11
53
2.86
B.Barrett
2
7
4
1
5
2.86
W.Jackson
4
11
4
1
5
1.82

statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for BL matches only.


Final League Table

British League
Team PL W D L BP
For
Ag
Pts
Belle Vue
28
23
0
5
--
1224
957
46
CRADLEY
28
20
0
8
--
1208
972
40
Ipswich
28
16
2
10
--
1159.5
959.5
34
Coventry
28
16
2
10
--
1120
1061
34
Sheffield
28
14
3
11
--
1124
1059
31
Birmingham
28
13
1
14
--
1096
1084
27
Hackney
28
12
3
13
--
1058.5
1121.5
27
Swindon
28
13
1
14
--
1042
1140
27
Reading
28
12
2
14
--
1078
1103
26
Leicester
28
13
0
15
--
1061
1122
26
Wimbledon
28
12
2
14
--
1010.5
1171.5
26
Eastbourne
28
11
3
14
--
1099
1082
25
Halifax
28
10
1
17
--
1076
1104
21
Kings Lynn
28
9
3
16
--
1025
1156
21
Poole
28
3
3
22
--
978.5
1204.5
9

K.O.Cup
Round 1 - 1st leg Cradley 43 Sheffied 35
Bruce Penhall 12, Erik Gundersen 10, Alan Grahame 8,
Phil Collins 7, (G)Ari Kopenon 4, Simon Cross 2,
Ian Gledhill 0
Round 1 - 2nd leg Sheffield 42 Cradley 36
Bruce Penhall 12, Alan Grahame 7, Phil Collins 6,
Erik Gundersen 4, Lance King 4, Ian Gledhill 2,
Andy Reid 1 
Cradley win 79-77 on aggregate

Round 2 - 1st leg Ipswich 38.5 Cradley 39.5
Bruce Penhall 14, Erik Gundersen 14, Alan Grahame 9,
Lance King 1.5, Andy Reid 1. Phil Collins 0,
Jan Verner 0.
Round 2 - 2nd leg Cradley 41 Ipswich 37
Bruce Penhall 11, Alan Grahame 8, Erik Gundersen 8,
Phil Collins 7, Andy Reid 4, Lance King 3,
Jan Verner 0.
Cradley win 80.5-75.5 on aggregate

Semi-Final - 1st leg
Cradley 48 Eastbourne 30
Erik Gundersen 11, Alan Grahame 9, Lance King 9,
(G)Wayne Brown 6, (G)Kenny McKinna 6, Jan Verner 4, 
Andy Reid 3.
Semi-Final - 2nd leg Eastbourne 41 Cradley 36
Erik Gundersen 12, Lance King 10, Alan Grahame 5,
Steve Lawson 5, Andy Reid 3, Kevin Hawkins 1, 
Jan Verner 0.
Cradley win 84-71 on aggregate

Final - 1st leg
Cradley 46 Belle Vue 32
Erik Gundersen 15, Lance King 13, Phil Collins 7,
Simon Wigg 5, Andy Reid 3, Alan Grahame 3,
Wayne Jackson 0.
Final - 2nd leg Belle Vue 43 Cradley 35
Erik Gundersen 15, Lance King 8, Alan Grahame 8,
Simon Wigg 2, Phil Collins 1, Andy Reid 1,

Cradley win the K.O.Cup 81-75 on aggregate

  League Cup
 Section 'A'

Team P W D L F A Pts
Ipswich 14 12 0 2 602 486 24
Eastbourne 14 8 2 4 555 535 18
Wimbledon 14 8 1 5 560 531 17
Poole 14 6 0 8 542 549 12
Hackney 14 6 0 8 541 549 12
Reading 14 6 0 8 533 558 12
Kings Lynn 14 5 0 9 521 571 10
Swindon 14 3 1 10 508 583 7

Section 'B'

Team P W D L For Ag Pts
Cradley 14 8 2 2 510.5 424.5 18
Coventry 12 9 0 3 490.5 443.5 18
Belle Vue 12 6 2 4 485 451 14
Halifax 11 6 1 4 453 404 13
Birmingham 12 3 1 8 453 480 7
Leicester 11 3 1 7 400 457 7
Sheffield 12 2 1 9 400 532 5


Final - 1st leg Cradley 42 Ipswich 36
Bruce Penhall 11, Erik Gundersen 9, Alan Grahame 8,
Phil Collins 5, Simon Cross 5, Steve Lawson 2,
Andy Reid 2.
Final - 2nd leg Ipswich 37 Cradley 41
Bruce Penhall 13, Erik Gundersen 10, Alan Grahame 9,
Simon Wigg 6, Phil Collins 3, Jan Verner 0,
Andy Reid 0.

Cradley win the League Cup 83-71 on aggregate


Midland Cup
Semi-Final - 1st leg Cradley 49 Swindon 29
Alan Grahame 11, (G)Billy Sanders 10, Erik Gundersen 9,
Jan Verner 6, Phil Collins 5, Andy Reid 5,
(G)Wayne Brown 3.
Semi-Final - 2nd leg Swindon 24 Cradley 54
Erik Gundersen 12, (G)Shawn Moran 10, Lance King 9,
Phil Collins 9, Alan Grahame 8, Jan Verner 4,
Andy Reid 2.
Cradley win 103-53 on aggregate
Final - 1st leg
Cradley 43 Coventry 35
Erik Gundersen 15, Phil Collins 7, Simon Wigg 6,
Lance King 6, Alan Grahame 5, Andy Reid 4,
Bill Barrett dnr
Final - 2nd leg Coventry 44 Cradley 34
Erik Gundersen 9, Simon Wigg 7, Alan Grahame 5,
Lance King 5, Andy Reid 5, Phil Collins 3,

Coventry win 79-77 on aggregate.


Cradley started the season winning the Premiership against Ipswich 84-72

In September we hosted an International 4 team event - U.S.A 35 - England 28 - Denmark 27 - Australia 17

The Golden Hammer was won by Kenny Carter
Golden Hammer


Bruce Penhall succesfully defended his World Championship crown in front of his 'home' crowd in the vast Colisium in Los Angeles California and then promptly retired from speedway on the rostrum to pursue a Hollywood acting career.
He came - he saw and he conquered, the sports top prize defended, a share in the World Team Cup, World Best Pairs, British League Championship and all the National and Regional Cups.
He certainly left his mark!

Penhall  - World Speedway Champion - By Steve Johnson

Bruce Penhall profle
World Champ Bruce

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