Co-King's Lynn Stars promoter selects his dream Lynn XI
King’s Lynn co-promoter Dale Allitt picks his dream Stars one-to-seven speedway team.
Allitt’s selection includes five World Champions and a British youngster who is tipped to take a world title.
1. Mark Loram.
The only British speedway rider who was a World Champion (2000) around that era, the Malta-born ace came to Lynn in 1990 and finished with Arena-Essex after starring for many clubs.
Allitt, said: “He is one of my all-time favourite riders. I loved watching him race. He was a fantastic rider to watch, with a style.
“In my opinion he deserved to win the world title. Mark came to King’s Lynn quite early in his career, like some of the riders later in this list.
“He was a joy to watch and it didn’t matter if he didn’t make the gate because he would probably pass anyway! A great entertainer, a great rider and a decent bloke.”
2. Henrik (Henka) Gustafsson.
One of many Scandinavians to star over here, Lynn was his first UK club as a 20-year-old in 1990.
“Won the 1993 World Pairs Championship with Tony Rickardsson (see below).
“Another favourite who had the style; had the look; always looked the part in a race suit before the days of kevlars,” Allitt added.
“We were fortunate we got to see him at King’s Lynn and he has got to be in there.
“A world-class rider who didn’t quite win the title: I think he was fourth in the World Final in 1993.”
3. Michael Lee.
Won his sole world title in 1980 whilst being a King’s Lynn rider and his talent probably deserved more.
“One of East Anglia’s greats who also starred for Poole and Boston.
Allitt remarked: “He was a little bit before my time who came to prominence with Boston, I was eight or nine when he won the world title but he was always going to be a speedway champion.
“He had a bit of a sabbatical and came back from a ban in the second half of his career and was still great to watch on a bike. King’s Lynn’s first world champion, perhaps.
“When you look back at history, he kind of kept King’s Lynn together for much of the time, and he’s got to be in there.”
4. Tony Rickardsson.
Swedish legendary racer who shared six world titles with fellow great Ivan Mauger at the top of the all-time list and had a brief stop-off in West Norfolk at the end of the 1990s, during which the ‘Silver Machine’ were pipped to the Elite League title by Poole (who else?).
Allitt commented: “One of the best riders ever. Tony had a short spell at King’s Lynn, to be fair, but made his impact pretty soon enough. Would grace any team.”
5. Jason Crump.
Bristol-born (his father Phil was west country-based at the time) Australian who was destined for greatness and won the world crown just after leaving Lynn, three times in total.
Formed a potent partnership with fellow Aussie Leigh Adams.
Allitt said: “His record speaks for itself: another fantastic rider.
“Quite a good servant for East Anglian speedway as he was well-liked at Peterborough and was a far better rider at King’s Lynn and later.
“He formed a spearhead with other riders and has got to be in this team.”
6. Nicki Pedersen.
It’s easy to forget just what stellar talents there were at Saddlebow at the turn of the millennium, including this Dane who is one of the toughest competitors ever and a character who is controversial – but undeniably box-office, with three world title successes in all.
“A panto villain but such a fantastic rider. When at King’s Lynn Nicki was superb and is still the track record holder (57.60 seconds; doesn’t look like being beaten) today,” Allitt stated.
“Still very much a ‘Marmite’ character – you love him or hate him, but we’re in the entertainment business and it’s great having a rider like that in the team.”
7. Robert Lambert.
One of the most exciting homespun riders to emerge recently and has spent all of his UK career so far in some form with the Stars. Tipped to be a future world champion with multiple U21 national and European gongs already under his belt.
Allitt said of the Norwich-born ace: “I signed Robert and whether it’s been in the National League or whatever, he’s been here in one guise or another. He’s a great talent and is still very, very young.
“He has achieved so much in his short career and he is just 22 years old. He’s got me out of a few scrapes as team manager.
“He has already been British champion and under-21 British champion; and was third in the World U21’s.”
Overall Allitt said it was a tough call: “I have got to mention riders who didn’t make this team, like Terry Betts, Leigh Adams, Dave Jessup, Richard Knight, Bobby Ott and Tom Topinka who probably should have been in there.
“It shows quite ironically if you look at the riders at King’s Lynn and we’re still waiting to win the league title.
“It’s different eras, but what great riders we’ve had, what phenomenal talents who have graced the track; and we hope this will continue.”