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Trevor Redmond

Trevor John Redmond

Born in Christchurch, New Zealand on the 16th June 1927
Died in Glastonbury, England on the 17th September 1997

Ask most speedway fans, aficionados or historians and their response will be “Trevor Redmond” he was a character, well yes he was but he was much more, an out and out speedway man performing as a talented determined rider and adventurous promoter for many years.

The earliest mention I can find about his speedway career is his riding speedway machines in 1949 at the Aranui track in Christchurch, as he was 22 years old by then so there is a largish chunk of his early life I am unaware of, however one would not have expected him to have been born with the riding skills he exhibited at the Christchurch track which was described as impressive, he must have learned his trade somewhere but unless someone can help we don’t know how or where.

1950 and he decided to widen his horizons and set off to seek a place on the team of a British track racing in the National League. He acquired a contract with the Aldershot team who were at the time in the National League division three. He was more than up to the standards required by that league scoring an average of over 9 points in his first season. Despite finishing his first season as one of the top riders in division 3 he resisted the temptation of moving up and stayed with the Aldershot team for a further season in 1951 achieving in this his second season in the UK an average points total of over 10 points.

It was obvious that with a score like that he could not remain with Aldershot in division 3 and unsurprisingly there was a scramble and a waving of cheque books from the division 1 promoter and team managers. The contest for his services was won by Wembley for what is said to be a fee of £1500. There are suggestions that other tracks were unhappy about the arrangement as Wembley was already the strongest team in the country and that may well have been the reason why Trevor was content to join the Wembley Lions as a reserve for the 1952 season.

1952 proved to be a great year for the young Trevor Redmond despite starting as a reserve he rode in 147 races for them and finished the season not only having attained an average of 7.5 but also a place in the World Final for that year, even though that was as a non-riding reserve it was a remarkable achievement for someone riding in their first year in division one.

The sparkling achievements of 1952 did not continue during 1953 as he only rode in 18 matches, 56 rides for the Lions, I don’t know if this was because of injury or because he was just unable to hold down a regular place in the team, he did however finish the season with an average points score of 6.14 not a bad score in your second year in the top league.

A place in the World Final, being the National Trophy winner and having a regular and successful team place with the Lions with an improving scoring rate, 7.86, this was Trevor’s year in 1954.

It was during this year that Wembley Lions lost their place at the top of the principal British league. It seems that as the long running achievements of Wembley began to fade those of Trevor Redmond were on the rise. It was around this time that Trevor became interested and involved in speedway from the promotional side both in the UK and, for some reason South Africa, he spent his winters there where he was instrumental in the advancement of the sport even being permitted to represent South Africa riding in international meeting, collecting in total 11 caps for South Africa and 17 for New Zealand, the country of his birth.

Although 1955/56 saw both the fortunes of Wembley and Trevor slip when it came to results on the track Trevor’s promotional ventures seem to be growing and by the time Wembley closed at the end of the 1956 season Trevor had decided to initiate withdrawing from riding to concentrate on the business side of speedway.

As his riding became less,
1957 Bradford NL – 4 matches – 19 rides – points adv. 5.26
1958 nothing recorded ***
1959 Swindon NL – 12 matches – 56 rides – points adv. 3.71
1960 Bristol PL – 17 matches – 76 rides – points adv. 11.16
1961 Wolverhampton PL – 1 match – 4 rides – points 11.00
1962 Neath PL – 21 matches – 87 rides – points adv. 9.43 ***
1963 St Austell PL – 25 matches – 102 rides – points adv. 7.53***
1964 Glasgow PL – 20 matches – 89 rides – points adv. 7.64 ***

*** his promotional interested increased.
1958 he promoted at St Austell, an open licence
1961 he also promoted open meetings in Shelbourne, Dublin
1962 opened a track in Neath, Wales, the team being called the Dragons, and he also rode for them. The team finished in second place, an amazing achievement,
1964 saw Neath sadly fold; Trevor Redmond took the St Austell team the Gulls into the Provincial league instead.
1964 he reopened the Glasgow team at the White Cite Stadium continuing to ride and promote.

During 1964 he final decided to retire from riding but not from promoting and continued with the Glasgow Tigers until the beginning of the 1967 season. 1970 and Trevor became once again involved with Wembley Stadium, being prominent in the reopening of speedway there.

He became involved as a member of the FIM and in the administration of international speedway, including the management of the New Zealand speedway team. He was also promoting motor racing in southern England, at a number of tracks including St Austell, Newton Abbot, Weymouth & Reading and perhaps unsurprising a couple of events at Wembley.

Yes, think you would call him a speedway character but think that those who describe thus were, I think, speaking on a more personal level.  

Jackie Hodkinson

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Our thanks to the John Somerville Collection for the use of the photos