Local hero among latest intake for supporters' club hall of fame

Berwick Speedway Supporters' Club inducted three new members into its hall of fame at the weekend.

Monday, 1st February 2016, 3:18 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2016, 3:22 pm
Three Davids are the latest inductees to Berwick Bandits Speedway hall of fame: (left to right): David Blackburn, David Walsh and David Meldrum

Three Davids – Blackburn, Walsh and Meldrum – were honoured at a ceremony was held in the Black and Gold Social Club at Shielfield.

They join a growing list of inductees including former promoters the Taylor family, Davie Fairbairn and club administrators Ian Graham and Dennis McCleary, along with riders Bruce Cribb, Wayne Brown, Alan Mogridge, Rob Grant, Graham Jones, Mike Caroline, Michal Makovsky, Adrian Rymel and Carlos Villar.

All three Davids were very popular riders with fans during their spells with the club.

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Walsh rode for the Bandits on three separate occasions, in 1984, between 1989 and 1992 at Berrington Lough and in 1998 at Shielfield.

Blackburn had two spells in Berwick, also between 1989 and 1992 at Berrington and again in 1997 at Shielfield.

Both were members of the KO Cup-winning side of 1989, and in 1991 they also rode for the Bandits in their only season in the old first division.

Both were much-travelled in British speedway terms.

Walsh also raced for Glasgow, Sheffield, Newcastle, Ellesmere Port, Cradley Heath, Middlesbrough, Bradford, Stoke, Coventry and Hull, riding in two British finals and one overseas final.

Blackburn also represented Leicester, Long Eaton, Boston, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Glasgow, Sheffield, Wolverhampton and Swindon.

Meldrum, meanwhile, was the quintessential local hero.

He was born and bred in Berwick and spent the best part of a decade racing for his home-town club.

He is the nephew of Andy Meldrum, a Bandit from the early days in the late 1960s, and his father Archie, his mechanic, was virtually always by his side in the pits.

He first set out racing for the Bandits’ junior team in 1994 and was elevated to the first team in 1997.

For the next 10 years he was a near ever-present in the side, apart from spells with Somerset and Stoke and briefly with King’s Lynn, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

He lived only a few hundred yards from Shielfield and was a recognised track expert, capable of beating many of the top riders on his day.

In 2007, he was awarded a deserved testimonial, but during the winter months, he often travelled to the US, where he raced indoor ice speedway, which he always seemed to en.

He now lives and works in America but flew over specially for Saturday’s presentation.