Andy Ruffellneeds little introduction. At age 11, Andy saw the BMX episode of CHiPs and dreamed of one day being able to upgrade his Raleigh Grifter for the real thing.
Before BMX teams were a thing in the UK, Andy built a reputation as one of the best park riders in the UK, credited as one of the first UK BMXer’s to perfect aerial 360s and giant airs.
In 1980, Andy joined the UK’s first BMX race team, Team Ace, before being quickly snapped up by Ammaco Mongoose to become Mongoose’s first factory sponsored European rider and the National Titles started to add up.
As BMX blew up in the UK, Andy became the UK’s first BMX superstar, traveling the world racing and also putting on freestyle demos to huge crowds. With the sport at its peak, Andy signed the biggest BMX sponsorship contract in UK BMX history with industry giant Raleigh Bicycles in 1985 and became the first UKBMX National Number 1 Pro that same year.
Off the track, Andy developed a significant career in TV and also founded and produced several notable BMX events.
We are stoked to award Andy Ruffell the David Maw lifetime Achievement Award for the British BMX Hall of Fame for 2023.
The word ‘legend’ is used too freely and without truly considering its actual meaning and magnitude. But, Tom Lynch is a true legend – not only of our sport where his impact was huge, but also in life through his many significant contributions and ongoing efforts towards better cycling for everyone.
Tom went up against, and beat, the best of the best in true David and Goliath fashion. Who can forget the sight of ‘wee Thomas’ on the gate against the entire Dutch Amev team, many twice his size but Tom took them to the cleaners winning the 1986 European Superclass championships along with six national number ones and a World Championship podium to his name.
After his stellar race career from 1981 to 1994, Tom was one of the first riders to work with British Cycling on their coaching program, mentoring Shanaeze Reade and other members of the national squad but perhaps his biggest gift, and one that honored him with an MBE, Tom pioneered the concept of paramedics on bikes globally and has rolled the program out all over the world saving countless lives. In is our honor to welcome Tom Lynch as a British BMX Hall of Fame inductee for the Male Racer catogory for 2023, and absolute cycling legend.
Geoff Catlow’s journey in BMX began in 1986 when he started taking his son Effraim to UKBFA contests. Shortly thereafter, Geoff began volunteering his time to help run and organise these comps.
His involvement with BMX freestyle grew in 1987 when he became UK Hutch Team manager overseeing a legendary group of riders including his son Effraim, Lee Reynolds, Jamie Bestwick and John Yull.
By the close of the 80s Geoff saw that freestyle was changing and that there was a need for a new kind of contest that reflected the direction of the sport.
In 1988 The King of Concrete Competition was born. Initially called the “Sea Air Comp” this weekend event took place every year at Southsea Skatepark and attracted 1000’s of riders from all over the world including top U.S. pros.
Geoff and his wife Jenni ran the comp for 17 years.
Alongside the Backyard jams of the 90’s, the King of Concrete is widely credited with shaping the future of bmx and ushering in a new era of bmx freestyle events.
And from 1996 to 2006 Geoff managed the judges and timings of the Cologne Worlds.
We’re delighted to induct Geoff Catlow into the British BMX Hall of Fame.
Luli Adeyemo’s BMX journey began in 1986 with a second-hand Raleigh Burner. Despite initial struggles with staying upright, Newark Cavaliers Club and Coach Darryl Pointing’s support honed Luli’s skills, particularly in speed out of the gate.
In 1986 Luli secured a wild card to the World Championships in Slough, her debut International event and emerged as the 14-15 girls’ World Number One. This marked the inception of a stellar BMX career, marked by numerous British Championships, National Titles, European Podium finishes, and even a victory at the 1990 ABA Grands in the US.
Now residing in Australia, Luli recently earned a women in leadership award for her advocacy in promoting diversity in the technology sector. Inspired by the British BMX Hall of Fame, this year Luli resumed racing, clenching her first state race win in Australia and competing in the Nationals.
We are proud to welcome Luli Adeyemo into the British BMX Hall of Fame class of 2023.
The Higginson’s in BMX. Martin Higginson started working on the BMX News publication in early 1981. After a few months, the financial backing for the paper stopped. So Martin’s dad, Arnold, financed the continuation with a new name, BMX Weekly, and still in paper format. Nigel Higginson became involved in taking the pictures and writing content, and Marjorie looked after the books while Jonathan raced for the brand.
Later BMX Weekly became a magazine format and turned into a bi-weekly publication reaching 46,000 copies at its peak.
Everyone wanted to see themselves in print, and especially see the race results.
It was crucial for all to know when and where race meetings would be held, at a time when there was no other medium for updates.
We want to thank and welcome the Higginson Family into the British BMX Hall of Fame for 2023.
Pete Middleton is truly a pioneer of British BMX. Hailing from Walthamstow, East London, Pete won the first EVER official BMX race in the UK back in 1979 at Brockwell Park. A few years later he won the first ever money prize given at a race at the Isle of Man and the first official UK Pro Money race at Ipswich.
Team-wise, Pete rode for Ace, Skyway, Mongoose and ASR.
In 1983 Pete placed 6th at the World Championships 14+ Open final against America’s best and another big win in the Superclass Trophy at the Olympia Champion of Champions in 84.
In 1985 Pete won the Pro Class at the Pleasurewood Hills Lowestoft International and was the winner at NBMXA British Championships at Derby. Pete also mentored and guided some of the best UK racers of all time including Sam Jarvis and Dylan Clayton.
Pete’s career spanned from 1979 to 86 with TV, magazines, and Kellogg’s appearances solidifying his mark on British BMX history and tonight we are proud to induct Pete Middleton into the British BMX Hall of Fame class of 2023 for the Pioneer Racer Category.
Congratulations to Phil Townsend for being inducted into the 2023 British BMX Hall of Fame in the Outstanding Contribution to BMX Category.
Four Decades in British BMX and Phil Townsend is still going strong behind the scenes at the races. Discovering BMX in 1984, Phil saw an advert in the local newspaper for a race at Royston and took his son Richard who took the win and was immediately hooked.
From Club volunteer to NBMXA, EBA, GBBMXF and now British Cycling, Phil was behind introducing BEM race softwear back in 1999 and finish line cameras in 2005. Phil basically did whatever he could to keep the sport up-to-date behind the scenes with the administration of BMX.
From the 96 Worlds in Brighton, the 2012 London Olympics, and World Championships in Birmingham, Phil has seen all the changes as we moved into the Olympic era of racing.
Today, Phil is very much involved at Club, Regional and National levels with no plans to retire yet. Clearly, a BMX lifer.