Congratulations to Jamie Bestwick. Inducted into The British BMX Hall Of Fame.

Jamie burst onto the UK freestyle scene in the sports centre BFA contests of the late 80s, airing ridiculously high on the narrowest of quarter-pipes, often in unfeasibly tight shorts and questionable knitted sweaters!

As vert riding transitioned over to half-pipes Jamie’s prowess really began to stand out. Maybe having a ramp to ride in a local pub car park in Derby helped! His distinctive smooth style included doing his lip-tricks and tailwhip airs in the opposite direction – something that developed into his ability to flow all over a vert ramp like a set of trails.

Despite holding down a full-time engineering career in the 90s, Jamie held his own against the elite of pro vert riding. Once Jamie made the leap to full time riding by moving to College State in the late 90s there was no stopping him. Bessie dominated vert riding, taking his first X-Games gold in 2000, and rarely let go of the reigns after that. 9 back to back golds between 2007 and 2014 count amongst his 13 golds in total. These medals overlook the fact that Jamie can shred any ramp you put him front of him. His talent, drive and experience have cemented him as one of the all time UK freestyle greats. Alongside his personal achievements in BMX his role as UK coach for the hugely successful Olympic team in the 2020(1) Olympics has massively helped raise the profile and appreciation of BMX freestyle in the public consciousness.

Chris Job / DIG BMX

Jamie Bestwick is a hero that needs no introduction and what can be said about him that hasn’t already been said before? Whether it’s smashing headset cups into a KHE Beater or building up his first signature GT frame in the back room of Derby storm whilst eating chips, to winning his first gold at the X games, Jamie doesn’t half-step and approaches all aspects of his life with such a passion and drive, unless that’s dancing or operating technology. From his early days of riding vert with crash mats to his current task as UK Olympic Team manager, Jamie is an incredible individual and anyone who’s ever crossed his path should consider themselves lucky.

Jay Allen

Congratulations to Alan Woods. Inducted into The British BMX Hall Of Fame.

It’s difficult for a Wigan lad to call Alan Woods a pioneer of BMX, for me Alan IS BMX, it’s almost inconceivable to imagine where BMX would be in the North of England if it wasn’t for this man. Someone somewhere should compile a list of National Champions that have come from this little town. It’s crazy. All because of the energy, passion, and foresight of Alan Woods. Alan’s an undoubted Legend of the sport. Dylan Clayton would not have gone racing if it wasn’t for Alan Woods, imagine that, where would BMX be? Even when considering current riders like Kyle Evans, and Paddy Sharrockk, would they have started racing BMX if it wasn’t for the roots laid down by Alan? Even Kye Whyte, “The Prince of Peckham” himself had the honour of riding for Alan’s as his first team.

An honorable mention must also go to Alan’s parents, Arthur and Madge who were very active in supporting Alan when they realised his passion. As a 12-year-old kid myself, I was more excited about the interest Arthur would show in my racing than any trophy I might have won. When Alan eventually approached me and asked me to join the Robinson support team back in 1983, I was over the moon and within days thanked Alan for that ‘Factory’ look. I mean, jeeez, kids would ask for my autograph!!! I could barely write my own name. I also seriously doubt the Freestyle scene in the UK would be what it is without Alan. The apparent time and effort Alan has put in from the beginning is astounding, who can forget the Torker Trick Team with Terry Jenkins and others? AlansBMX still supports a freestyle team today.

I don’t want to digress too much but Alan but he is also a big music fan and has endless stories of live gigs and even had a hand in a then unsigned punk band play a gig in Wigan. This band was later named Green Day. I believe there is footage somewhere on YouTube.

I myself came back into the sport of BMX racing in 2015, I pretty much immediately started getting support from Alan and in return as always, I promoted the shop as best I could. I’m not sure how or when it happened but I sort of ran the Alan’s race team and have got to know the whole family, wife Julie and grown up kids, Toby and Ralph. Toby pretty much runs the mail order side of the shop, and we always have a good laugh, especially when we hit the Karaoke at Christmas. The Alan’s BMX Heritage race team always tries to tip the hat to the past with our choices of race kits, all down to Alan and still to this day the attention to detail to give us the ‘Factory’ look.

Alan won’t mind me telling you he is also quite the eco warrior and these days spends quite a lot of time doing his bit in trying to protect the planet and raise the profile of the effect of climate change in whatever he does he always has his finger on the pulse with anything to do with BMX.

His knowledge of all things Old Skool is incredible and when Freestyle appeared on the Olympic scene recently our female gold medalist Charlotte Worthington was also riding for….?? Yep, Alan’s BMX…. Over forty years we have had this little shop in our town and the passion is still there. He rang me in tears after the last Olympic finals with Kye and Beth getting silver and gold respectively and he talks passionately about trying to emulate the ‘Frogtown Classic’ race recently staged in the USA, already coming up with ideas and possible venues. So, in essence, you can suggest Alan Woods; not only as a Pioneerhe’s also a Son – Racer – Businessman – Punk Rocker – Husband – Father – Maverick – Eco Warrior – Social Conscience – Alan Woods – BMX

Words – John Bentley (AlansBMX Race team manager)

Congratulations, Sarah-Jane Nichols! Inducted into the British BMX Hall Of Fame.

Pre-BMX

Prior to racing BMX both her brother, Michael, and she were involved in Schoolboy Motocross, generally both finishing middle of the pack.

BMX Career

1981 – Started her journey into BMX racing and had a first place at a Southampton race meeting.

1982 – UK BMX – Junior girls No. 1

1983 – NBMXA No. 1
NBMXA British Champion
Jag World Championships Burbank USA – 4th

1984 – NBMXA No. 1
UK BMX No. 1
Champion of Champions Winner.
Kellogg’s Overall Winner
European Champion

1985 – UK BMX No. 1
Kellogg’s Overall Winner
European Champion

1986 – NBMXA British Champion
UK BMX No. 1
European Champion

1987 – World Champion
NBMXA British Champion
European Champion
Also inducted into the NBMXA Hall of Fame

Post-BMX

Since Sarah’s departure from BMX, she continued Shotokan Karate and earned a black belt. She played Ice Hockey for 35 years during which time she represented Great Britain and the England ladies, playing in Ukraine and France. Sarah also had a role in a TV Show called, Ice Warriors, which was shown on ITV during 1997 for 9 weeks. She was Taaraz the Renegade in the show, which had the same production team as Gladiators and a similar format, except it was on ice. Sadly, they only made the one series. Sarah quit Ice Hockey, just recently, in 2020 when Covid hit, she felt at age 50 that she needed a change, but wasn’t sure what that looked like.

Around 2010, Sarah took up road cycling, and bought her first road bike. She trained hard to do a charity ride from a local village to Paris -210 miles which was incredible. Since then, she’s done a lot of road cycling over the years, including another long ride from Belgium back to the UK and a 100-mile event around the New Forest to name just a couple.

In September last year, Sarah decided what she finally wanted to do and that was to restore her old 80’s Redline and go to a few of the Old Skool shows and events that are held around the UK. Christian Kift was instrumental in helping Sarah restore her bike and in December she was doing Santa Cruise 7, a charity BMX ride around London dressed up as an Elf. Sarah was later invited by the local BMX track, Andover, to take her Redline along, to show, and talk about BMX in the 80s and the differences between then and now. Whilst at the track, she was given the opportunity to use a club bike and try out the bikes and track. To her surprise, she found that she still had a love of BMX racing. Within weeks, Sarah had purchased a second-hand bike, then some padding, (after learning the hard way not wearing any), and she is currently working on fitness and track craft with the hope of a comeback to race next year in the 30-plus lady’s class.

Congratulations to the late David Maw. Inducted into The British BMX Hall Of Fame.

We have lots of stories and background on David’s life and career in BMX the Maw family has kindly shared with us and we will post in due time but for now let’s look at his amazing resume of results from his time in BMX.

1981 Age 3
Started racing part way through the season

1981 Age 4
No.2 in UK BMX National Series
No.2 in UK BMX Regionals

1982 Age 5
UK BMX National Champion
UK BMX Regional Champion
Won Anglo American Cup – Redditch, England

1983 Age 6
UK BMX National Champion
NBMXA British Champion
UK BMX Regional Champion
No.5 (rode up an age) in World Championships – Slagharen, Holland

1984 Age 7
World Champion – Nagoya, Japan
UK BMX National Champion
No.2 in European Championship
UK BMX Regional Champion

1985 Age 8
World Champion – Whistler, Canada
European Champion – Spain
UK BMX National Champion
NBMXA National Champion
NBMXA British Champion
UK BMX Regional Champion
IBMXF International Champion – Lowestoft, England

1986 Age 9
World Champion – Slough, England
UK BMX National Champion
NBMXA National Champion
NBMXA British Champion
UK BMX Champion of Champions
U.K BMX Regional Champion
No.1 Scorpion Sponsored International

1987 Age 10
UK BMX National Champion
NBMXA National Champion
NBMXA British Champion
U.K BMX Regional Champion

1988 Age 11
BBMXA Hall of Fame
UK BMX National Champion
BBMXA National Champion
UK BMX Regional Champion
No.3 in European Cup – Holland
Awarded Humberside Higher County Colours

1989
Age 12 European Champion – Alborg, Denmark
E.B.A National Champion
E.B.A Champion of Champions
E.B.A Regional Champion

David quietly left the BMX scene at the end of the 1989 season, he needed a new challenge
after winning nearly 100% of all the motos he raced in.

In 1990, David embarked on a new career in Moto-X. He soon became South Humberside Youth Moto-X Champion and held this title for several years. This led him to start racing in the Schoolboy National Moto-X where his first win was at Chippenham, England.

David had a bad accident soon after this and had to have a break to recover and heal.

Congratulations, Stephen Murray! Inducted into The British BMX Hall of Fame.

Stephen and his brother Martin grew up in the Northeast of England and began racing BMX in November 1983 at just 3 years old. By the time he was 16, Stephen had been British Champion 9 times, European runner up twice, and also made two World Championship finals, in the 6 & under expert class in Slough 1986 and 10 years later in 16 expert in Brighton.

Along the way, he rode for some of the most iconic teams to ever come out of the UK. GT, the mighty Titan team run by his mum and dad, Cyclecraft, UGP, Robinson, and Haro. However, his real passion was dirt jumping, and having won numerous Squirt of Dirt and King of Dirt events over the years, his dream was to move to the US and ride against the likes of Ryan Nyquist, TJ Lavin, and Cory Nastazio.

When Stephen left college at 18, he made the infamous Bicycles & Dirt video all on his own and made enough money to make the move out to California to live with Dale Holmes, Neal Wood, Paul Roberts, and others to see if the dream could come true. He picked up his first Pro sponsorship deal with Nirve and in his first year in the States he only managed to complete two Dirt Jump contests having broken 9 bones, and 2 KO’s throughout the year. Nirve tried to cancel the remaining year on his contract thinking they’d signed a duffer but a contract is a contract and they would have to see it through. In the 2nd year, Stephen went on to win the 2001 X Games, becoming the first person in the World to pull a double backflip on dirt in competition. Two weeks later he won the Gravity Games pulling another World’s first with the 360 turndown backflip, a trick still not done by anyone else today. Stephen went on to become one of the best dirt jumpers in the World, breaking Guinness World Records and winning the Gravity Games again in 2002. He helped elevate the sport of dirt jumping by pushing the boundaries of big tricks, mixed in with the best style.

Stephen lived the high life in California for the next 6 years with a BMX career most of us could only dream of, and a rock and roll lifestyle you only ever heard of in the movies, until his unfortunate accident in Baltimore in 2007 where he crashed at the Dew Tour Dirt contest and broke his neck. Flatlining 3 times in the first week, Stephen ended up paralyzed from the shoulders down and from that day onwards his life would take a very different turn. Though he lost the use of his body, he never lost the fighting spirit that took him to the top of his sport and saved his life.

Post-BMX

Stephen has been an inspiration to not only the BMX world, but to the action sports world for not just what he achieved on his bike and for what he did for dirt jumping, but for how he has managed to Stay Strong in the face of everyday adversities and fight for a better tomorrow. Stephen is courage in-action and a true gent making anyone fortunate to know him, grateful.

Photo – Courtesy of Si Paton Malverns Classic / Michael Evans Street Photography

Richard Eames & Neil Stewart (British BMX Hall Of Fame Hosts)

Richard Eames

If you’ve been to a UK BMX national in the last two decades and have heard an unmistakable Wigan accent on the mic calling the race action, that’s Rich Eames.

Rich has been announcing BMX races for over 20 years, starting at the Coppull ‘Grands’ race as a last minute stand-in, which led to races at every level up to and including the London 2012 Olympics as the venue announcer.

Additionally, Rich has commentated at European Cup rounds with Hall of Fame co-host Neil Stewart, combining their passion for racing with a 26-year friendship, occasionally leading to some unintended, yet hilarious results on the live stream broadcasts.

Add in live BMX World Cup and World Championship commentary for the last four years, this gives Rich unparalleled experience and expertise in ‘talking BMX’ which is why he’s honored to be one of the hosts for the inaugural British BMX Hall Of Fame event.

Neil Stewart

Neil is a former Nightclub DJ who started announcing at BMX Races in the late 90’s. An 80’s racer, Neil decided to return to racing in 1996 after being inspired by watching Dale Holmes win the World Champs in Brighton. 

He’s still racing and also announcing the biggest BMX Races in the world for the UEC and UCI.  Over the past decade, Neil has announced European Rounds, European Championships, World Cups and World Championships.  

Neil’s is now working with his long-term buddy Rich Eames where they host the UEC Livestream Shows for all of the European Cups and European Championships.