Cup Double, BL Runners-Up & World Champ Again!
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.
L to R. Phil Collins, Team Manager -
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
Riders Performance Chart
statistics taken from the Cradley Speedway database for BL matches only.
Final League Table
|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
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