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1923-1980 British Riders

Some summaries for the London Six Day Races held in the 20th Century

Riders from the British Isles with results for London only. Names in alphabetical order; taken from race programmes

John ASLIN

Skol61968Aslin

DNF 1968

b: 05-Feb-1940
d: 02-Jan-1999

1968 - “Twenty-eight years. Born Nottingham. Although a top roadman for several years, both as an amateur and professional, he has yet to show his obvious talents on the track and his selection has come as a surprise to many. He partnered Trevor Bull in the Skol Trials this year and now has the experienced Van Der Lans to assist him. Aslin is a past Tour of Britain stage winner, has ridden on the Continent and was runner-up in the 1968 British professional road championship.”

Pro: Falcon Cycles (1969-71)

Ian BANBURY

1979Banbury

11th 1979

1979 - “.. is a young rider with just two professional road racing seasons behind him. As an amateur Ian was a British champion and in 1976 he was a member of the pursuit team which won a bronze medal in the Montreal Olympics. He later won an amateur Sixday race on the Montreal track. He has just represented Britain in the recent world championships in Holland. During the summer road racing season he has been one of the country's most consistent competitors. Ian is from Hemel Hempstead and was born on 27th November 1957.”

Reginald (Reg) Albert BARNETT

BarnettReg1972

10th 1972
10th 1973
DNF 1971

1972 - “Born on 15th October 1945 Reg Barnett lives in Norwood, South London. He is basically a sprinter but has ridden with success in road events in Britain for the last three years. Last year he rode in the SKOL 6 for the first time and retired after a spill on the third day. We hope he will have better luck this time amd prove a crowd pleaser in the Sprint and Devil events. Reg is British sprint champion.”

Michael (Mick) BENNETT

Skol61977Bennett

8th 1977

1977 - “ .. is no stranger to the British public. As an amateur he gained many outstanding track victories including a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand, a silver medal at the world championships in 1973 and an Olympic bronze medal at both the Munich and the Montreal Games. Also a first-year professional, he recently had his first pro road race win and on the track at Leicester in August he became British Sprint champion. As an amateur he won several Six day events including Rotterdam, Antwerp and Cologne. Mick was born in Birmingham on 8th June 1949.”

David (Dave) Charles BONNER

 

11th 1967

b: 09-Dec-1942 Copthorne

Trevor George BULL

Skol61968Bull

7th 1969
9th 1968
10th 1970
10th 1973

b: 28-Dec-1944 Sutton Coldfield
d: 4-Apr-2009 Dudley

1968 - “Twenty-three years. Born Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire. The 1968 British professional sprint champion who rides his first big Six in this event. Is a first year professional and expected to go places. Was a top amateur international and a past bronze medallist in the Commonwealth Games and holder of two British track titles last year. His pairing with Baensch should be a good one for both men are strong and the combination of youth and experience is likely to produce some good performances.”

William Francis (Bill) BURL

BurlWilliam1937

DNF 1937

b: 06-Jan-1905 Paddington, London
m: Violet M Eaton 1931 Hendon
d: 05-Oct-1966 Richmond, Australia

He and Charlie HOLLAND were first British riders in the Tour de France (1937)

1937 - “.. has competed in amateur races in England for several years, and is looked upon as a first-class all-round rider. He is especially "handy" on a track, and in short distance road events. He rode in the Brooklands mass start race in 1934 and was the only rider to climb the test hill. He was placed second in the national tandem championships. He is one of the few riders who have ridden the "Wall of Death" This most promising rider, who has turned professional for this Six-day Race, is expected to give a very good showing.”

Maurice BURTON

1979Burton

6th 1979
6th 1980
10th 1978

Rode 56 pro Sixes. Retired after crashing in Buenos Aires Six Day 1984. Owner of de Ver cycles in Croydon.

1979 - “.. is our first coloured professional cyclist mid one of the small band of British riders who live and race on the continent, learning their trade the hard way. He left the amateur ranks in 1977 after representing Britain on several occasions, and made his home in Ghent. Last winter he competed in seven Six day events and his best placing, 4th in Montreal, is indicative of his progress. Maurice is from Catford and was born on 25th October 1955.”

Benny Allan CLARE

1939ClareB1

8th 1939

Listed as English but also reported as born 25-Dec-1915, Perth, Western Australia. Thought to be the same Benny Clare as the one who came 5th in the 1941 Sydney Six Day - then listed as Australian

see 1939 Riders

John CLAREY

Skol61968Clarey

10th 1969
DNS 1968

1968 - “Twenty-seven years. Born South London. Turned professional this year after a very successful amateur career which included stage wins in the Tour of Britain, a British track title, bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games and countless international appearances. Has startled the top roadmen in this country by his fine riding this season. Winner of the Bournemouth Three Day at Easter he went on to score a number of good road wins and was selected to ride the Tour de France where he finished with the 'Lantern Rouge' award after some good rides and minor prizes.” [Replaced at start by Jim MOORE]

Phil CORLEY

Skol61977Corley

DNF 1977

1977 - “ .. lives in Harpenden and has been a professional for two years. An accomplished road race rider, his many good results include third place in one of the world's longest races, London to Holyhead. As an amateur be rode many stage races including three Milk Races, the Peace Race and the Tour de I'Avenir. Phil lived in France for two seasons and had 11 road race wins there. His style and sprinting ability should make him a force to contend with on the small track. He trained for the SKOL 6 on the indoor track at Calshot. He was born on 17th April 1951 at Cricklewood.”

Sydney (Syd) Turner COZENS

1939CozensS1

1st 1934
DNF 1936
7th 1937
8th 1939

1937 “.. needs little introduction. He is 28 years old, and is one of England's few experienced six-day riders. As an amateur, Cozens was outstanding, having won the Grand Prix of Paris three times, the quarter-mile English Championship, and the quarter-mile standing start record. He has had victories in Paris, Naples, Oslo, Warsaw, Cologne as an amateur. He turned professional in 1931, and toured America and Australia, where he won 13 out of 16 big events, including the British Empire Professional Sprint Championship. In the last Six-day Race at Wembley he unfortunately met with an accident, which caused him to retire from the race. Partnered in the present race by Vroomen, a sound, experienced, strong rider, Cozens, with his sprinting abilities, should give a grand account of himself.

see 1939 Riders

Robin CROKER

Skol61977Croker

9th 1977

1977 - “ .. first competed internationally for Australia in the 1974 Commonwealth Games. He has now adopted his parents nationality and in 1975 settled in Hackney. Racing for Britain in the Montreal Olympic Games he was a member of the bronze medal-winning pursuit team. Last winter he. competed on many continental indoor tracks and from 130 starts he won 70 races. He turned professional this year and has won two circuit races. Robin was born in Melbourne on 10th May 1954.”

Nigel DEAN

1974DeanN1

5th 1980
7th 1975
8th 1974
8th 1978
DNF 1973

1974 - “ .. rode the SKOL 6 for the first time last year, was instantly at home on the small track and set out to topple the Six-day aces. Partnered by now retired crowd favourite Piet de Wit, they caused quite a few red faces and pulled off a good win in the handicap teams race. Injury forced him to retire on the last day. Teamed with Cees Stam he should do well this year. He was born on 29th September 1947 on the Isle of Man.”

Tony DOYLE

DoyleBook1w

8th 1980

1980 - “.. the world pursuit title holder. He represented Britain in the Moscow Olympics and took the step to the professional ranks immediately afterwards, winning the British 5kms Pursuit title and then going on to perform so well in the recent World Championships in Besancon. Tony now has his sights firmly set on a professional career on the winter tracks of Europe hopefully with a British partner. Certainly, with 18 Sixday events in Europe there is a great opportunity for a British team to establish themselves. In Udo Hempel he has an excellent teacher for his first big test. Tony is from East Molesey and was born on 19th May 1958.”

Winner 23 Sixes. World Pursuit Champion 1980, 1986. European Madison Champion 1984. MBE.

For the full story read - Tony Doyle: six day rider by Geoffrey Nicholson, Springfield Books 1992 ISBN 0947655360.
Out of print - check for used copies here

Tony GOWLAND

Skol61968Gowland

1st 1972
2nd 1970
2nd 1971
2nd 1975
3rd 1974
4th 1973
4th 1977
5th 1978
6th 1969
10th 1968

1968 - “Twenty-three years. Born North London. Young but very experienced rider. Turned professional this year and immediately made his mark in the bunches with a number of good wins and places. Winner of the Skol amateur Six last year and with a number of good rides in amateur Sixes abroad in the past he and Clarey make up the first-ever full full British team to ride a big Six in recent years.
1977 - Since he first rode in the SKOL 6 at Wembley in 1968, Tony has always risen to the occasion for this, Britain's top event. His fiery temperament has made him something of a Thursday child in British cycling and is never one to give best to the continentals on his own ground. Tony's tactical adaptability to the race-winning Madison chase has made him Britain's only serious 6 Day rider of the last decade. He won his first 6 Day in Montreal in 1971, partnered by Italy's Gianni Motta, then in 1972 the SKOL 6 with Patrick Sercu. Now, partnered by last winter's most successful 6 Day rider, Tony has a more than even chance of repeating that 1972 win. He lives in Bovingdon and was born at Wembley on 13th May 1945.”

see 1972 Interview | Cycling Archives | Wikipedia

Harry GRANT

GrantHarry1937

DNF 1936
DNF 1937

b: 1906 Colchester, Essex
d: Mar-1993 West Bergholt, near Colchester

1937 “.. made his debut in Six-day Races at Wembley last year but had to abandon the race on account of his partner, Cozens, having a serious fall. Harry is well known both in England and on the Continent. He won the English 50-mile Tandem-paced Championship in 1926. 1928, and 1931. He holds the world's hour professional motor-paced record under official regulations of the Unione Cycliste Internationale at 56 miles 928 yards. In France he won the 100-mile Motor-paced Race at the Parc des Princes Track, Paris, in September, 1935 in the record time of 2 hours 11 minutes 23 seconds. In June last year he made the record for 10 kilometres (6 1/4 miles) Motor-paced Pursuit Race at the Parc des Princes track in 7 minutes 7 4/5th seconds. Harry holds British records (amateur and professional) for motor-paced, and tandem races. As all amateur he made a name for himself as the winner of many open road trials on single and tandem, and on the track he has won many scratch and handicap events at all distances. Partnered in the Coronation Six-day Race by Jan Van Kempen, a fast sprinter and experienced Six-day Rider, Harry might prove one of the surprises of the Race.”

see Wikipedia

Ian HALLAM

1979Hallam

7th 1979
9th 1980
11th 1978

Awarded MBE
1979 - “.. is riding his second SKOL 6 and with Gunther Schumacher to guide him, should show a marked improvement this year. Ian is a double British title holder on the track, winning both the sprint and pursuit events at Leicester last month. He was a gold medallist in the 1974 Commonwealth Games and captained British pursuit teams to take bronze medals in both the 1972 Munich and 1976 Montreal Olympics. Ian, who now lives in Portsmouth, was born in Nottingham on 24th November 1948.”

George HALLS

 

9th 1967

Owner of bike shop until 2004

Steve HEFFERNAN

Skol61977Heffernan

8th 1977

1977 - “ .. has a big following at the outdoor Paddington track where he was a prolific winner as an amateur. He has won ten national championships on the track and was a gold medallist in the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand. He turned professional this year, has won two road races and also the individual pursuit championship at Leicester. In Venezuela he won the bronze medal at the same distance. He is working hard at his professional image and hopes to extend his racing ambitions to the continent. He was born in Uxbridge on 24th October 1952.”

Charles HELPS

1939HelpsC1

DNF 1939

see 1939 Riders

Norman HILL

Skol61968Hill

7th 1969
10th 1967
11th 1968

1968 - “Twenty-nine years. Born Beckenham, Kent. Began racing in 1956 and had a period of competition in Switzerland in 1961. Riding both indoors and outside there he spent four years 'mixing it' with the best of the Continentals and returned home to win the British sprint title in 1966. Rode the SKOL Six last year partnered with Belgian, Julian Verstrepen.”

Now manages Vancouver Velodrome? [Caution - there was also a different Norman Hill who rode Sixes in the the USA - Ed]

Albert HITCHEN

1969Hitchen

9th 1970
10th 1969

1969 - “ .. from Mirfield in Yorkshire is one of Britain’s most consistent riders. Partnered by Bill Lawrie the finished third in the British Madison Championship this year. Albert knows what to expect in the hard chases. He once lived and raced in Holland as a member of the same trade team as Peter Post. Is 31 years of age.”

Barry HOBAN

1979Hoban

4th 1972
5th 1974
7th 1971
10th 1979

1974 - “ .. Britain's leading professional was born at Wakefield on 5th February 1940. Barry seems to produce better results as he matures and his win in the one-day classic, Ghent - Wevelgem this summer when he beat Eddy Merckx, thrilled his fans. In recent years his stage winning exploits in the Tour de France have kept the British flag flying. The one event Barry has yet to win is a Six-day race.”
1979 - “.. though still competing at top level, has decided to retire at the end of this year. For many years he has been Britain's number one road rider and will be missed in the rough and tumble massed sprint finishes of the Tour de France, an event where he has won no less than 8 stages. He has won 2 of cycling's classics, Germany's Henninger Turm in 1966 and the tough Ghent Wevelgem race in 1974. He has also been placed in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours and the Tour of Luxembourg. This summer he came to England to win London-Bradford, alone and by a long margin, and also finished second in the national championships. No doubt when he now goes home to Ghent, Barry will take with him the memory of an appreciative farewell from SKOL 6 fans.”

Charlie HOLLAND

HollandCharles1

DNF 1937

b: 20-Sep-1908
d: 15-Dec-1989

1937 “Born at Aldridge, near Birmingham. 28 years ago, Holland is one of four racing cyclist brothers. He is undoubtedly the best all-round cyclist in England to-day, having won many road and track events. He has won races from all distances - quarter-mile to 12 hours. In 1932, he won the B.S.A. Gold Vase in the Bourneville Meeting - 10 miles, winning by a lap. In the same year, with the British Olympic team at Los Angeles, he finished sixth in the Olympic Games Road Race. In 1934, he was third in the World's Amateur Road Championships, held at Leipsiz. In 1936, a member of the British Olympic team in Berlin, lie was placed fifth in the Olympic Championship. He also won the "All-rounder" Championship of the Road last year. He has now turned professional to ride in this Six-day Race, and is partnered by Deneef a young but experienced Belgian rider.”

He and Bill BURL were first British riders in the Tour de France (1937) see wikipedia entry

Bill HOLMES

 

8th 1967

b: 14-Jan-1936

Winner: 1961 Milk Race
Pro: Falcon Cycles (1963-69)

Derek HUNT

HuntDerek1980

7th 1980

1980 - “.. has been a professional for just one month and has his sights firmly set on reaching the top in Europe's road and track events. For the last two years he has been based in south Holland and his successes this summer include four important roadracing wins, topped by the five-day Tour of Liege in Belgium. Last winter he won the Maastricht Sixday race for amateurs and was 2nd in Rotterdam. Derek was born at Hemel Hempstead on 19th August 1958.”

From Hemel Hempstead Cycling Club web site - “Derek took himself to Holland, settled for a time, won a professional contract and then rode the Skol six day race at Wembley before recently setting off for Australia”

Len JACKSON

JacksonLen1952

6th 1952

1952 - “This 26-year-old British rider is making is debut in “Six-day” racing. As am amateur was three times joint tandem champion of Great Britain, with Alan Bannister. Like Ricketts, turned professional last year, has been training at the Ghent track in Belgium, and only made his professional debut in this country this month. Has plenty of experience on small indoor tracks similar to Wembley. Was the outstanding rider in the amateur trials at Wembley in the private meeting after the Wembley “six” last year.”

Tony JAMES

JamesTony1980

11th 1980

1980 - “.. is Britain's newest professional rider having turned professional after riding in the recent World Points Race Championship in Besancon. In August Tony won the British Madison Championship to add to the many championships he has won in recent years. He is equally at home on either road or track and has won several important road events. He is known as the King of Crystal Palace because of the number of short circuit races he has won there this summer. He has international indoor track experience and two years ago he finished 2nd in the amateur Sixday race in Hanover. Tony is from Sydenham Hill and born on the 24th January 1955.”

Bronze Medal; Team Pursuit 1978 Commonwealth Games
Pro: Falcon Cycles ?

Bill LIVINGSTONE

1939LivingstoneB1

DNF 1939

see 1939 Riders

Paul MEDHURST

1979Medhurst

6th 1979
10th 1978

1979 - “.. is one of cycling's globetrotters. His family emigrated to New Zealand where he began bike racing and eventually represented that country in the Commonwealth Games. Returning to live in the UK in 1975, he won the national sprint championship and represented Britain in the Montreal Olympics. Since turning pro he has lived in Ghent, racing on the road in the summer and teaming with Maurice Burton on the indoor tracks during the winter. Paul was born at Scunthorpe on 12th September 1953.”

1st Launceston Six Day 1981
1st Melbourne Six Day 1981

Jim MOORE

 

DNF 1968

1968 - A last minute substitute for John Clarey; not included in programme.

1st Tom Simpson Memorial 1972 [Falcon Cycles]

Hugh William PORTER

1969Porter

4th 1969
5th 1970
6th 1971
9th 1972

1969 - “ .. from Wolverhampton has been keeping the Union Jack flying over Europe in the past couple of years. He was second in the world pursuit championships in 1967, won the title in 1968 and this year finished second to Ferdi Bracke. Last winter he gained a lot of experience in Sixday races. He has been given, for the SKOL Six, his most experienced team mate to date, Miel Severeyns. Hugh is 29 years old.”

1972 - “Wearing the Rainbow jersey of world champion is Hugh Porter of Wolverhampton, the title holder in the 5 kilometres individual pursuit. Hugh has been world champion at this distance three times and on Sunday night at the SKOL 6 we shall see him in a revenge match against his arch rival Ferdi Bracke. Hugh has yet to make his mark in Six-day racing but he has that chance now with Klaus Bugdahl, one of the world’s most experienced riders, as his partner. Hugh is 32 years old.”

Dave RICKETTS

RickettsDave1952

8th 1952

1952 - “Thirty-one-year-old “cockney” who is making his debut in “Six-day” events. Is probably the most experienced madison rider Britain has produced in recent years. Was a member of the British team which came third in the Olympics in 1948. Turned professional last year and made his debut in Spain when riding with Gillen. They were placed in all of their six races, winning an event in Majorca. Since last November has been training at Ghent in Belgium.”

Maurice SELBACH

 

7th 1923

b: 1890 Paris
d: 26-Sep-1935 London

see 1923 entry

Reg SMITH

1974SmithR1

8th 1973
9th 1974
9th 1975
10th 1972

1974 - “ .. from Bexleyheath was born on 6th June 1947 and is riding his third SKOL 6. Last year he performed well with Romain De Loof and learnt a great deal about the routine necessary for this difficult trade. He is an all-round cyclist with some good road racing results. Last winter he rode in one continental Six, Zurich, teamed with Nigel Dean. All this experience must show results this year.”

Frank SOUTHALL

SouthallFrank1937

DNF 1936
DNF 1937

b: 2-Jul-1904 Wandsworth, London
d: 1-Mar-1964 Hayling Island, Hampshire

1937 - “One of the best-known racing cyclists England has produced, Southall is partnered with Bill Burl as an English team. He won Cycling's Best All-Rounder Road Racing Competition for four years in succession (1930-1-2-3). He still holds more than 20 national track records, unpaced and tandem-paced. Included in these is the unpaced hour, one of his greatest rides. He covered 26 miles 838 yards in 1926, and this distance was not beaten by any other amateur cyclist in the world until 1935. On the road he has won every classic road event, including hill climbs, and has made competition records at 25, 30, 50, and 100 miles (bicycle and tandem). He is the present holder of seven national road records at distances ranging from 50 miles to 12 hours. Frank represented England in every World's championship and Olympic Games in which this country competed from 1925 to 1933, when he turned professional. Since then he has concentrated on road records, and has only once been seen on the track in competition, when lie easily defeated the German, Osmeller, at Herne Hill in 1934. He rode in the last Wembley Six Days, but a fall in the early stages prevented him from continuing.”

Walter (Wally) SUMMERS

SummersWalter1970

DNF 1951

b: 21-Dec-1914 Ryehope, Durham
d: 12-Sep-2007 Albuquerque, New Mexico
Professional cyclist 1946-1957. GB Motor-paced champion.
Emigrated to USA. Set all the US motor-paced pro records from 5 Km to 50 Km at Nurnburg, Germany in 1983 (aged 68!). Played “Grisly Dan” in a TV series [Grizzly Dan ?]. Raced until 2004. [These facts need to be checked! - Ed]

see Wikipedia (German)

SummerW1951However this medal (seen on eBay) does clearly commemorate a trip from England to Lapland and back made by Wally Summers, Rick Cockburn and Stevie Smith in 1951. It seems to be sponsored by Royal Enfield Cycles and John Bull Tyres.

<< Photo is from 1970

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