Norwich Stars to ride again in Transatlantic Challenge at Mildenhall
- Credit: Archant
Memories of the Norwich Stars will be fired up this weekend when four Norfolk riders take to the shale at Mildenhall Stadium.
From 3pm tomorrow the famous green race jackets with a yellow star will take part in a Transatlantic Challenge at Mildenhall
Their opposition in this four-team tournament will be the Mildenhall 'KJM/Manchetts' Fen Tigers, a USA team filled with riders hoping to gain a place in the USA World Team Cup side and a GB Young Lions under-21 side featuring some of the best young talent the sport has to offer.
The 'Stars' will be led by Mildenhall number one and Ipswich Witches reserve Connor Mountain, 19, who was born in King's Lynn, and Kent Kings' 18-year-old Jack Thomas, who was born in Norwich and is in his second season of competing in the National League.
They are joined by Mildenhall 15-year-old Jordan Jenkins, a Norwich-born rider impressing for the Fen Tigers, and former King's Lynn Young Stars rider Lewis Whitmore.
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Mildenhall co-promoter James Easter said: 'I have always had an eye open for a chance to resurrect Norwich Speedway.
'However for now the BSPA have been kind enough to allow us to track the famous yellow star on a green background as long as the side had some validity.
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'Indeed we have managed that with four Norfolk-born riders instantly making themselves available to wear the fabled race jacket.
'It is a huge honour to resurrect the Norwich Stars name, and we sincerely hope that some of the former supporters will join us.'
The team will be sponsored and managed by one of the former club's favourite riders, former world finalist Trevor Hedge, who runs engine supply and building business Trevor Hedge Racing.
Easter continued: 'I always enjoyed my time as USA team manager, and again our contacts in California were delighted to give Mildenhall supporters an early view of the World Cup side as four of their small squad will be racing in this most prestigious event.
'This will be one of the highlights of the East Anglian Speedway season as Mildenhall take on the USA World Cup team, The GB Young Lions under-21s and the famous Norwich Stars.'
Norwich Stars raced from 1930 until Firs Stadium closed in 1964 and attracted crowds of around 20,000 on Saturday nights when speedway was in its pomp.
The stadium, in Holt Road, Hellesdon, was home to the Stars either side of the second world war and hosted some wonderful moments.
At the club's height the second division was won in 1950, only for promotion to be thwarted by London clubs worried about low crowds against provincial clubs.
Team manager Fred Evans told this newspaper 'we'll smash our way in' and they did just that, romping to the second division title again.
The synonymous name when talking about the Stars is Swedish star Ove Fundin, who arrived in 1954 and would become world champion five times, four times with Norwich.
In July 2012, Fundin was part of a consortium looking to bring the Stars back, to a track at the Norfolk Showground, but the plans have not yet come to fruition.