1983

The Best Speedway Team - Ever?

Season Review

When your reserves achieve a combined league average over over 15.50 CMA, you know you must have an absolutely awesome team. At the end of the league campaign - where we were beaten just twice in 28 matches - the combined team average for this magnificent seven was almost 62.00 points; a figure that would make most current promoters weep.

Erik Gundersen led the way in the first post-Penhall season, proving himself as a completely worthy Number One.

Missing from the 1982 squad were Bruce Penhall who had signed an eight year contract with M.G.M. film studios, Jan Verner was refused a work permit by the Speedway Control Board and Andy Reid who returned to Glasgow.

team photo

L to R. Phil Collins, Team Manager Peter Adams, Erik Gundersen, Lance King, Simon Wigg,
front row Peter Ravn, Jan O Pedersen, Alan Grahame.

 Three English internationals stocked the top five: Simon Wigg, Alan Grahame & Phil Collins, along with the new American heart throb and latest young superstar, Lance King. At reserve were two Danes which some teams would have welcomed as heatleaders, Peter Ravn & future World Champ Jan O Pedersen. On this evidence alone, its certainly far from unreasonable to argue that this 1983 Heathens septet was quite possibly the best speedway team ever. 

programme 1983

Riders Performance Chart

1983 Cradley 'The Heathens'.

Rider
Matches
Rides
Points
Bonus
Total
Aver
E.Gundersen
27
111
277
16
293
10.56
S.Wigg
27
111
232
22
254
9.15
L.King
19
72
143
21
164
9.11
Al.Grahame
28
115
215
44
259
9.00
P.Collins
28
116
215
26
241
8.31
P.Ravn
28
92
162
26
188
8.17
J.O.Pedersen
18
55
80
22
102
7.42
S.Cross
9
27
29
11
40
5.92
A.Reid
1
2
1
0
1
2.00
D.Cheshire
1
3
0
0
0
0.00

 

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
CRADLEY
28
26
0
2
--
1389
795
52
Ipswich
28
22
1
5
--
1177
1007
45
Coventry
28
19
0
9
--
1189
992
38
Reading
28
17
1
11
--
1137
1044
34
Belle Vue
28
15
3
10
--
1092
1089
33
Wimbledon
28
15
1
12
--
1122
1059
31
Hackney
28
14
0
14
--
1072
1106
28
Kings Lynn
28
12
1
15
--
1088
1095
25
Birmingham
28
12
0
16
--
1114
1066
24
Sheffield
28
10
2
16
--
986
1197
22
Halifax
28
10
1
17
--
1033
1150
21
Leicester
28
9
2
17
--
1040
1142
20
Poole
28
9
0
19
--
1017
1164
18
Eastbourne
28
7
1
20
--
933
1249
15
Swindon
28
7
0
21
--
974
1208
15

K.O.Cup
Round 1 - 1st leg Hackney 35 Cradley 43
Lance King 12, Phil Collins 10, Alan Grahame 5, 
Erik Gundersen 5, Simon Wigg 5, Peter Ravn 4, 
Simon Cross 2.
Round 1 - 2nd leg Cradley 46 Hackney 32
Alan Grahame 12, (G)Billy Sanders 9, Phil Collins 8,
Jan O Pedersen 8, Simon Wigg 6, (G)Ian Barney 2,
(G)Andy Buck 1

Cradley win 89-75 on aggregate

Round 2 - 1st leg Cradley 53 Poole 25
Alan Grahame 12, Phil Collins 9, Simon Wigg 8,
Erik Gundersen 7, Peter Ravn 7, Lance King 6,
Jan O Pedersen 4.
Round 2 - 2nd leg Poole 35 Cradley 43
Simon Wigg 9, Erik Gundersen 8, Alan Grahame 7, 
Lance King 7, Jan O Pedersen 5, Phil Collins 4,
Peter Ravn 3.
Cradley win 96-60 on aggregate

Semi-Final 1st leg
Reading 32 Cradley 46
Erik Gundersen 11, Alan Grahame 9, (G)Bo Petersen 7,
Peter Ravn 6, Simon Wigg 5, Simon Cross 4, 
Phil Collins 4.
Semi-Final 2nd leg Cradley 47 Reading 31
Erik Gundersen 12, Simon Wigg 8, Phil Collins 8,
Alan Grahame 7, Peter Ravn 6, Jan O Pedersen 4,
Simon Cross 2.
Cradley win 91-63 on aggregate 

Final - 1st leg
Coventry 39 Cradley 39
Erik Gundersen 13, Simon Wigg 11, Phil Collins 8,
Alan Grahame 3, Peter Ravn 2, Jan O Pedersen 2,
Simon Cross dnr
Final - 2nd leg Cradley 47 Coventry 31
Erik Gundersen 13, Alan Grahame 9, Simon Wigg 7,
Peter Ravn 7, Phil Collins 6, Jan O Pedersen 5,

Cradley win the K.O.Cup 86-70 on aggregate


    League Cup

     Northern Section

Team P W D L F A Pts
Coventry 12 9 1 2 496 439 19
Belle Vue 12 8 0 4 498 438 16
Cradley 12 7 1 4 510 423 15
Halifax 12 5 0 7 447 488 10
Leicester 12 4 0 8 452 484 8
Sheffield 12 4 0 8 433 503 8
Birmingham 12 4 0 8 436 497 8


Southern Section

Team P W D L F A Pts
Wimbledon 14 11 0 3 582 510 22
Ipswich 14 9 0 5 558 532 18
Reading 14 8 0 6 573 519 16
Poole 14 8 0 6 564 527 16
Hackney 14 8 0 6 544 546 16
Kings Lynn  13 6 1 6 526 487 13
Eastbourne 14 2 1 11 479 613 5
Swindon 13 2 0 11 461 553 4


Play-offs Coventry 81 Ipswich 75
Belle Vue 85.5 Wimbledon 70.5

Final  Belle Vue 86 Coventry 70
(aggregate scores)


Midland Cup
Semi-Final 1st leg Cradley 60 Swindon 18
Alan Grahame 11, Erik Gundersen 10, Phil Collins 10,
Peter Ravn 10, Simon Wigg 10, Jan O Pedersen 9,
Simon Cross 0.
Semi-Final 2nd leg Swindon 38 Cradley 40
Simon Wigg 10, Erik Gundersen 10, Alan Grahame 10,
Peter Ravn 4, Simon Cross 2, Phil Collins 2,
Jan O Pedersen 2.
Cradley win 100-56 on aggregate

Final 1st leg
- Coventry 38 Cradley 40
Erik Gundersen 11, Simon Wigg 7, Alan Grahame 6,
Phil Collins 6, Peter Ravn 4, Simon Cross 3,
Jan O Pedersen 3.
Final 2nd leg - Cradley 56 Coventry 22
Lance King 11, Erik Gundersen 10, Alan Grahame 9,
Phil Collins 9, Peter Ravn 7, Simon Wigg 6,
Jan O Pedersen 4.

Cradley win the Cup 96-60 on aggregate.


Cradley started the season with the Premiership against last years League Champions Belle Vue losing 77-79 on aggregate against the 'Aces'

The International Meeting this year was a
3 team tournament - 
England 45 - Rest of the World 34 - Denmark 29

The annual Golden Hammer was won by Lance King.
-Golden Hammer-

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