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Bob Andrews

WIMBLEDON 1956

 
1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 Index
         
  Honours      
         
 
 

National League
First Division

 
    Matches

Won

Drawn Lost Points
  Wimbledon
Wembley
Birmingham
Norwich
Belle Vue
Poole
Bradford

24
24
24
24
24
24
24

17
14
12
10
11
9
6

1
1
1
4
1
2
0
6
9
11
10
12
13
18
35
29
25
24
23
20
12
   

Reserve for the first time in a league match
Monday 28 May 1956

     

WIMBLEDON COMPLETE DOUBLE

 
 

 

BRILLIANT OVERSEAS TRIO

   

 

1956 was another highly successful season for the brilliant all-round Wimbledon team. They won the National League Championship for the third year running and also added the National Trophy to their collection of honours. This was the fifth time in the history of the club that the National Trophy had come to Plough Lane, the last time being in 1953 when they defeated Wembley in the final.
  Once again the champions owed much to their three great overseas stars, Ronnie Moore, Barry Briggs and Peter Moore, who scored no less than 676 league points between them - much more than any other set of heat leaders.
  In all, the Dons rode in 38 matches, winning 26 and drawing one - at Birmingham. They completed a league double over every one of their rivals, a very impressive record.
  Biggest victory came when Bradford visited Plough Lane in the National Trophy, the Dons running up a 79-29 success and very nearly repeating the dose in the return at Bradford, winning this time by 70 points to 38.
  They received only two fairly big league defeats. Belle Vue gained a 47-36 win at Manchester in April, and Poole went one better with a 48-36 success late in May.
  However, the Dons did get one severe hiding. This took place in their final away league match at Birmingham, the Brummies showing their form to win by 56 points to 28. Only a few days before Wimbledon had secured their biggest league win against Birmingham by 61 points to 23, so revenge was secured.
 
Ronnie Moore, skipper of the team and New Zealand international star,had another great season, although he did not quite reach his peak form. Nevertheless, he finally headed the team's league averages and showed fine team riding tactics in many matches.
  In addition, it is interesting to note that in the four open meetings held at Wimbledon (including the World Championship round) Ronnie Moore swept the board.
  He started his run of success in the open meeting when he won the Gold Vase with a maximum score, with Barry Briggs second. Next success was in the inter-track best pairs competition, when, with Peter Moore as his partner, they defeated all opposition.
  Third came in the famous Laurels, Moore winning the final with Briggs again second. He also won the World Championship round with 14 points, this time Peter Moore taking second place with 13 points.
  All three stars, Ronnie, Peter Moore and Barry Briggs got into the World Championship final in which Ronnie Moore finished runner-up to Ove Fundin, with Briggs sharing fifth place and Peter Moore No.9.
 
Barry Briggs, put up some brilliant performances and actually scored more points than any other Wimbledon rider, but his tally of bonus points was much below that of Ronnie Moore with the result that the combined totals put Moore just ahead.
  After Ronnie Moore had won the British Match Race Championship in April, when beating Peter Craven and then losing it the next month to Brian Crutcher, Briggs became the next challenger, but was defeated. He had another chance in August but was again the loser, this time after a run-off.
  Perhaps the most improved rider was
Peter Moore. This Australian rider, who graduated to First Division racing from Long Eaton, rode brilliantly throughout the season. His team riding was a joy to watch and he collected no fewer than 32 bonus points. There is, perhaps, just one slight flaw in Peter's armour. He is inclined to give way under severe pressure. If he could only master this he could become a real champion.
  There is not a better man at getting away from the gate, which is a big asset, but he is not quite the same rider if he has to battle through from the rear. He often misses those slight openings which can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
  Ex-Harringay rider,
Ron How, started the season in great form and during the early period when he was a regular member of the side the Dons lost only two matches - at Belle Vue and Coventry. Unfortunately How broke a wrist when riding at Birmingham, and although he rode two days later against Wembley he had to go to hospital afterwards for an X-ray.
  Because of this unfortunate accident, How, was out of action for nearly two months and, as a result, an extensive trial was given to ex-California junior,
Bob Andrews. He showed distinct promise and looks like making the grade with more experience. 

Gil Goldfinch, another ex-California rider, was given every chance in the reserve berth but, unfortunately did not make the progress one expected with the result when How returned to the side only Andrews retained his place.
 
Tom Sweetman, another junior, also had plenty of second-half rides, but like Goldfinch did not make any improvement.
  Another rider who had an up-and-down season was ex-Harringay rider,
Alf Hagon. He took a long time to settle down and it was only around the middle of the season that he showed glimpes of his best form.
 
Cyril Maidment was consistent without being brilliant. Again he was expected to show greater improvement than he did. His main trouble is that he is inclined to be too erratic and throttle-happy. However, he is young and has plenty of time to develop into a good rider.
  Veteran
Cyril Brine again proved his worth to the team and he returned a number of very good performances. "Salty" as he is affectionately known to all his friends and supporters, had much to do with Wimbledon winning the National Trophy final against Belle Vue.
  In the first leg at Manchester, Wimbledon received a heavy defeat - 29 points - and their task in the return was not going to be easy. It needed every man to be in top form if the Dons were to pull it off. 

Brine gave his side a great start by team riding with Ronnie Moore in the opening heat to gain a maximum win. He was unplaced in his next ride but then took second place in his other three outings, in two of them following his partner home for maximum points.
  With a similar effort coming from Cyril Maidment, the Dons had actually taken the lead on aggregate with three heats to go, but in heat 17 Craven and Johnston scored a 4-2 against Brine, who tried hard to get to grips with Craven, with the result Wimbledon needed a 4-2 in the final heat to win.
  Craven jumped into the lead but brilliant riding by Ronnie Moore saw the Wimbledon star take over the initiative, and Peter Moore coming in third Wimbledon won the trophy by one point - 108 to 107 on aggregate.                                                                     

LEAGUE AVERAGES

                 Other Items
 
Wimbledon supporters would be annoyed if this review was finished without a word of thanks to team manager Ted Brine, and head mechanic Bert Dixon.
  Both these men did a grand job of work for the club and without them neither the team nor the stars could have put up the performances they did to bring further honours to Plough Lane.
  Ted Brine was of special asistance to the junior riders. He took a great interest in their progress and was always ready to give advice and encouragement.
  Bert Dixon's job of keeping the engines running at full pitch was done with his usual thoroughness, as results proved.
 
  Matches Points Bonus Total Averages

 

Ronnie Moore
Barry Briggs
Peter Moore
Ron How
Cyril Brine
Alf Hagon
Cyril Maidment
Bob Andrews
Gil Goldfinch
Tom Sweetman

24
24
24
16
24
24
24
13
18
1

236
248
192
118
114
91
82
30
18
1
24
10
32
9
7
17
16
10
5
0
260
258
224
127
121
108
98
40
23
1
10.8
10.7
9.3
7.9
5.0
4.5
4.0
3.0
1.2
1.0

 Promoter Ronnie Greene can look back with pride and satisfaction at the 1956 record of the club. Like most promoters he experienced plenty of bad luck with the weather, three meetings having to be postponed owing to flooding.
  However, with the new clubroom open and the traditional bright and cheery programmes on a Monday night, the crowds kept rolling in, and as an experiment of running a meeting on Boxing Day, December 26, commencing at 3 p.m.  Given favourable weather we believe this meeting will prove to be a great success, petrol rationing or no petrol rationing.
  Wimbledon are now keen to beat Wembley's five league championships in a row. With their present team there is no reason why they cannot do it.                                     

  taken from Speedway & Stockcar World
December  6 1956

 

Action from 56 season

  Taken from various newspaper cuttings of that first league match              Monday 28 May 1956  

 

.  .  . Out went How last Monday into the team came veteran Cyril Brine to blaze eight points; and into reserve went teenager Bobby Andrews. First time in a league match and Bobby weaved from last to comfortably first to win on his debut.

   

.  .  . For the match against Poole, Bob Andrews was drafted in as reserve for Wimbledon and, he too, won his first race as a Don. What's more, Bob did it from behind, beating Alan Kidd and Bert Roger.

  .  .  . But by far the best bit of encouragement for Wimbledon was the form of new reserve Bob Andrews. Brine had moved into the team to replace injured Ron How, Andrews replaced Brine. Then came out to win heat 4 from the back and take third (paid second) in his other ride. Andrews seems here to stay.
  WIMBLEDON (51) : B.Briggs 12, A Hagon, P Moore, C Brine 8, R Moore 7, B Andrews, C Maidment 4, G Goldfinch 0.
 

BOB ANDREWS
One day I received a phone call from former Aussie star Clem Mitchell, then talent scouting. " Hop down quick, I'm at Rye House, I've never seen such a Stylist first time out on a speed bike."
  He was right. The lad referred to - Bob Andrews - made a terrific impression on that first occasion when he paid 5 pounds a day to train at the Hoddersdon nursery on a borrowed bike.
  So we snapped him up, found his first machine, loaned him for experience to California in the Southern Area League and hey presto - it's 1956 - and he's a Don. A good one, too.

Taken from a programme, written by Ronnie Greene

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