RIP David Duffield

David Duffield one of the key guys that brought BMX to the UK has sadly passed away. David was influential in Halford’s involvement in BMX in the early days with the Redditch Track and legendary events put on by Halford’s like the Anglo American Cup. David was also the TV commentator for the first Kelloggs in 1984 and numerous other BMX Shows that were televised in the early 80s.

Below was posted on the Redditch Premiers BMX Club Page.

UK BMX Pioneer and creator of the original Redditch BMX Track, David Duffield has sadly passed away at age 83 after a fall. David brought the sport of Bicycle Motorcross (BMX) to our shores when he was marketing manager at Halford’s Head Office in Redditch. He always said, “he knew it was going to work!” He played a big part in building the first BMX Track almost opposite the Halford’s Head Office off Icknield Street Drive, in Redditch. The first official BMX race took place on 30th of August 1980 at the Redditch BMX Track. National, regional and open races took place at the track with hundreds of children and young people using it every day.The Redditch BMX Track hosted the first International Anglo American races of 81 and 82- BMX was booming!!! David went on to become a legendary Eurosport Cycling Commentator covering races such as the Tour De France. We tracked David down and invited him to the Redditch BMX Tracks opening ceremony some 30 years later on 10th of July 2010. David left some memorabilia in the Club house for us. Thoughts go out to David’s family and friends. Thank you David and rest in peace x

Keith Duly (Jim Dirt) Interview

If you were around in the UK race scene during the mid 80s through the 90s or read the UK magazines during that time then, no doubt, you’ll be familiar with Keith Duly. Keith, a Bexhill / Hastings local, was a top National racer during the latter part of the 80s but really made a name for himself during the King of Dirt Series at the National events. It really took off in the early 90s and along with other top racers at the time like Stephen & Martin Murray, Dylan Clayton, Kye Forte, Clive Gosling and so many others these guys could send it in the dirt comps then line up on the gate 10 minutes later and come home with silverware in both. Something that is pretty much unheard of these days.

Keith who rode for Mongoose — was kind of the UK’s version of Fuzzy Hall liked by everyone for his humbleness, radness and passion for the sport — Keith’s family was also heavily involved in the BMX/race scene. Keith’s Dad, Paddy, was a commentator at the Nationals and during the Backyard Jams time, the whole Duly’s home doors were wide-open and essentially turned into a hotel for bmxers from all over the World to crash during the weekend.

Today, Keith is using all of his experience, passion, industry connections and knowledge of BMX to give back to the sport and continue to do his part in grass roots and continually looks at new ways to bring kids into BMX with his, “Jim Dirt’s Jump Club” he’s been rolling. Check it out ( link below ) and enjoy the interview.

First up, how did the name Jim Dirt come about?

It was just a goofy name I used as a kid, when writing to Jive to buy stickers. It was never meant to stick.

How many years have you been involved in the sport?

Probably since 1983 or there-abouts.

Coming from Hastings, which has always had a big BMX community both Race & Freestyle, who were some of the locals that inspired you back in the early days and spots/tracks you rode?

I mainly rode Bexhill track and Sidley trails with people like Rat, David Bishop, Rob ‘Rekka’ Crouch, Thomas Hooper, Dan Highams, Ian Morris, Eastbourne crew, Boyley and Mercer to name a few. We rode Crowhurst alot, which still has the original vert ramp, dirt jumps with metal take-offs, floodlights. It’s unchanged to this day. Crowhurst had a mix of vert riders, skaters, trail riders and racers. Lots of people strapping mattresses to themselves learning flips and stuff.

If we weren’t racing then we used to go wherever Stu Dawkins (owner of Seventies Distribution) drove us in the Backyard Van. Ian brought a lot of energy to the scene. Mark Richards produced a series of films which indirectly show-cased our scene. People were always visiting from all over the world, I remember Hoffman riding Crowhurst and Mad Dog riding our local track for example.

It was cool being around Backyard Skates as it grew. I remember popping out of work during a lunch break once and seeing Jimmy Levan walking through WHSmith. Team Sano forgot to give Amos a lift home once, he’s still here in Hastings.

Who were your sponsors & supporters over the years?

Mongoose, GT, Vans, UGP, 2B, Backyard and a few free Jive plates back in the day. I only got the Mongoose and GT deals because Clive Gosling needed a wingman for the KODs. I was on Redline for a week.

These days old friends SOURCEBMX and 4Down help keep me and the Duly juniors supplied.

You were a huge part of the mid 90s KOD events that were held at the races that are still talked about today & were documented in the magazines at the time. What are your memories of these comps and the riders you competed with?

KODs were a blast. I won the UK KOD title three years running, not that anyone was counting, except me and maybe Bill Baggs who made the events happen.

Dylan Clayton, Neal Wood, Tony Fleming, Shawn Andrews, Paul Roberts, my homeboys Clive Gosling and Dave Bishop took part, Murray bros were regulars. Every now and then people like Simon Tabron, Scott Stevens and Ian Morris popped in to mix it up. There were usually a few locals who stepped up.

There was a very strict neon dress code and at some point in the series you had to do a nac-nac or a dual no-footer with the legendary Paul Roberts. I remember riders like Will Smyth, Dean Iddiols and Ian Fry being really influential dirt jumpers both at the race scene and the early KOD events. I guess Charlie Reynolds helped to ease dirt jumping events into race meetings in a way. Years later people finally realised that you didn’t have to wear a fanny-pack to pull a 360.

Alongside side Dirt Jumping you were also a successful racer. What were some of your best results over the years?

I won a couple of British Championships on my 24”. I made a 4th maybe 5th, at the Slough European Championship once on my 20”. Frank Brix still beat me even though his fanny pack got stuck in his back wheel. I haven’t said the words fanny-pack for years until now. I raced in Western Australia for a season, thanks to my old friend Peter Read, which was a highlight. But to be honest it was the Superclass dudes like Dylan, Dale, Geth and Neil etc who were redefining UK racing in my era.

Give us a little insight on who and what the LRP was all about.

LRP brothers include Tom Lynch, Daryl Gibbard, Carl ‘ Sex on Wheels’ Alford, Robbie Stobart, Clive Gosling, Steve Bardens, Stevie Pollard, Darren O’Neil, Manfred, Jon-E, our late buddy Ross Hill and Steve Bell was roped in for his mini-bus driving skills and general badass-ness. I got involved when Carl took me under his wing after I got fleeced for second at the Euro KOD. BMX is way more fun with the LRP.

It’s very rare to find racers that do more than race today. Why do you think this has changed since the 80s and 90s where so many riders like your self rode all aspects of BMX?

The Kellogg’s era got me hooked on racing and then it was the original S&M team who brought a fresh influence to the race scene just at the right time for me. I remember so many cool photos of riders not involved in the race scene like the Dirt Bros, John Povah and Taj which really influenced me.

The current SX guys are so skilled. They could kill stuff if they wanted to. I’m sure some reprobate will come along and shake up the current race scene again. I doubt if he or she will come from an Olympic training squad though.

You’re back in the race scene these days giving back to young riders on the grassroots front. Tell us about your Coaching and Jump Club and it looks like the revival of the Bexhill track and race scene.

I’ve always been around the sport helping out. But I was chatting to Ian Morris a few years back and he was talking about the importance of keeping BMX attainable and relevant for new riders. That was a bit of a trigger. Source guys were keen to support something new. I wanted my own boys Ike and Sonny to enjoy their BMXs with friends. More recently I broke a wrist and a rib last summer racing. I’m booked in for shoulder surgery soon. It just means I can devote more energy to JUMPCLUB whilst recouping. We’re aiming to have as much fun on BMXs as we can, racing, skate parks, road trips, whatever. We lucked out on the kids involved. We have a cool race team of local young underdogs, mostly beginners. We have UBR in Superclass men and Double 0 in Championship women. During the last transfer window we signed Mark Fisher, Blake Bros, Jon-E, Rob Stobart, Bishop and Gozza. Even Sex on Wheels formerly left Factory JMC to come ride with us. Skydiver Frazer ‘Mad-Air’ Wells joined our roster recently, he’s a handful.

At the moment we mainly run race and jump coaching locally at Bexhill Burners track, home of the Backyard Jams. 4Down previously lent us the Etnies park, now that’s gone. Currently we’re super excited about linking with the brand new SourcePark under Hastings seafront. The most incredible skate park I’ve ever seen, completely unique.

JumpClub is also an excuse to work collaboratively with creative friends, In the future we’ll have more stuff to buy. I’m hoping to do a decent youth event in the Summer. Do some cool stuff with Source. Get more kids from all over the UK involved somehow.

What are your views on today’s racing and the way the sport is going with the Olympics and SX tracks?

It’s rad, no doubt. I think racing had to get faster and bigger. SX is on a different level and it’s so good to watch. It would be cool if tracks could be designed to encourage more overtaking though. I was kinda hoping that tracks would stay dirt and start to evolve downhill to gain speed, rather than reply on hard surface and tarmac. But it’s up to the new generation of riders to influence their sport now. I think us older generation have a responsibility to help keep the sport rider run and to keep it on the rider’s terms. It needs to keep evolving.

What about grassroots racing?

Lots of local tracks have improved, regional racing is awesome. Martin Baxter and others are running a slick ship in our region, huge props to them. But there has been a lack of progress with real grassroots over the UK. There are a large number of kids who live near BMX tracks who have street BMXs, but the reality is that very few of these kids will ever actually race. Given more resources, clubs could try new ideas, like some sort of street league. Just simple opportunities for these beginners to race each other on normal street bikes, proper novice racing. Novice racing needs developing. The jump into racing is huge for most beginners.

Get the creative BMX companies back into racing and then think innovatively about how we can get more people racing and using tracks.

Being a Hastings local you witnessed the Backyard Jam years. What was your most memorable year and why?

All the early 90’s jams were memorable and a blur. I took it all for granted, having every BMX legend of the era just 100 yards from my house for an annual event. Having a house full of friends come visit, Joe Rich buying me a beer and Dave Clymer over the chasm were my highlights. Great memories of jumping every chasm, except the one where I bust my nut sack open in the warm-up.

Closing words…

I’d like to especially thank my homeboy Daryl Gibbard from Jolt for his time, and the local Burners posse who help every week and raise funds for the track. Thanks to Nicely for the website. I’m really looking forward to spending more time at the SourcePark, it’s a pleasure to be linked to these BMX good guys. As always thanks to JetBMX, United, Big Daddy Plates, Neil Hanvey, BMX.Photos, UBR, Double 0 and the JUMPCLUB regulars. Crowhurst Dennis, Steve Bardens and Mark Noble for helping me to blag this over the years. Shout to our boys Indri, Winnie, Boyley and Ross.

Images: Invert Magazine / Marcel Fernandes / Mark Richards

1984 Trevor Robinson


1984 Trevor Robinson wins the first-ever Pro-money Race in the UK – From the very start of racing in the UK in 1979 it wasn’t until March of 1984 before the first, official Pro-money event where the top riders lined-up for a chance to be part of British race history. The event was put on by Fred Hunter of Dronfield Demons and took place at the Derby Greyhound Stadium under the floodlights – classified as an open meeting, as the race was not eligible for National points in either UKBMX or NBMXA. A total of 650 riders turned out on a cold, wet March winter Sunday with the only absent, big names, being Andy Ruffell who was doing demos in Scotland and Tim March was a no show–rumored to have been recovering from a broken ankle or perhaps was still in the States training with Greg Hill and not ready to show his cards yet for the 84 season.

Not being a National event, it opened its doors for not only the top guys who would be racing the newly formed Superclass that coming season in UKBMX but also the top amateur riders in both NBMXA and UKBMX at the time had a chance to sign up and go for the money as well.

UKBMX number 1 in both the UK 15 and 16 age groups respectively, Craig Schofield and Martin Jose were in Derby for local sponsor, Raleigh, as was NBMXA British Champion GT’s, Scott Williams and Patterson’s, Gary O’Connor, who all had plans to stay with their amateur classes for the 84 season but wanted in on some prize money and experience with the big guys. Birmingham Wheel’s Big, Trev Robinson, was fresh back from winter training in the States with other notable top names from UKBMX including Mark White, Pat Robinson, Tony Slater, Pete Middleton and Jamie Vince.

On the NBMXA side you had Hutch’s, Simon Bailey, Cobra’s, Dale Goodwin and the 83 British Champion, Darren Bullock, from just up the road in Doncaster. By the time the gate dropped Sunday night for the final, Big Trevor Robinson powered from the outside lane to take the big win coupled with £100 in his pocket back to Birmingham. Scott Williams came in with an impressive 2nd earning £50 for his trouble with Faze 7’s, Tony Slater in 3rd and £25 for the final podium spot. It was cold, wet and dark by the time the money was handed out but at the same time, another piece of British BMX History had been made.

Runnymeade Rockets BMX


Runnymeade Rockets Track Chertsey Surrey during the mid 80s designed by British Champions, Tim O’Shea & Marcus Rich. At the time, this track was one of the more technical and challenging in the UK with a long, first straight and a peaky-first speed jump up to a 15ft double into the first, big wide-open 180 or “The Wall”, as it was called. The second straight, consisted of a technical step-up with the key to catch backside to set yourself up for another wide-open 180 into a tall camel jump. Last turn, another wide-open 180 turn into a long, last straight with a table-top followed by triples to the finish line.

Even though, now looking back and seeing this diagram, the track was basic but what I did like was the wide-open turns where so many moves were made. If a rider went on the inside to protect his/her line, the rider behind could rail the turns and make passes on the straights with better exit speed. The key to this track was to keep your momentum but with the wide-open turns, so many riders would dive, which kept it interesting. It’s good to see, Runnymeade, finally got an upgrade this year and that the racing is flourishing once again like it was in the 80s. The 1988 NBMXA National Finals itself has a lot of British race history, as the last ever, NBMXA National, before merging with UKBMX to form EBA in 1989. A rider on a Raleigh Grifter, ( Gary Morgan ), also made history racing and winning the 17 plus category and this event also marked the last Pro-Class event before the Pros merged back in with the Superclass and new era of racing for money in the UK for the future.

The UK’s first World Champion Louis Mears

The first World Championships to hit European soil goes back to 1983 in Holland, which was under the IBMXF umbrella at the time before merging into the UCI that’s now known as the world governing body for all of cycling. The event was a huge success for its first outing – outside the US, held in Ponypark, Slagharen and organized by Gerrit Does and the Royal Dutch Cycling Federation (K.N.W.U.).

With over 1000 entries, 15,000 spectators over the 2 days of racing, and broadcasted on National TV, it was the first time the majority of the top riders from the the UK got to stack-up against the best riders in the World. Including riders from GT, Kuwahara, JMC and Hutch all U.S. Teams who had flown over for the race.

Even though it was a World Championships there were two classes offered to race; Expert and Juniors. With a lot of the UK’s top riders at the time who were still fairly new to the sport, they decided to go the Junior route qualifying though a couple of events put on in the UK prior to the Worlds.

Up to this time, no British rider had won a World Championships title in any class previously but by the time the event was over, Diamond Back’s Louis Mears, was crowned Britian’s first official and only World Champion at the time winning the 7 year old Juniors class and backed it up with a 3rd in the Open class against the top expert riders.

Louis received the star treatment once back in the UK, he was plastered all over the BMX Magazines, appeared in the mainstream media including many TV appearances with a segment at the Westway Track in London riding with all of the locals that was broadcasted on the morning news.


Nathan Lunn

BMX was already in full-swing in the UK by 1984 with Magazines, TV coverage and healthy National Series events – UKBMX & NBMXA happening all over the country. It also seemed like a new, fresh breed of racing talent was appearing at the Nationals and gaining recognition in the magazines. Specifically, one being, Nathan Lunn, who was first spotted in BMX Action Bike Magazine riding a Torker rocking a Van’s jersey and slip-on shoes. By the time the 84 UKBMX Nationals got underway, Nathan had been upgraded to the Torker Factory Team and was looking to put a serious threat on the number 1 plate in a very tough age group with names like Danny Stabielli, Frazer Campell, Paul Ray and Jamie Staff. Nathan’s sister, Natalie also raced as did his older brother, Jason, who also rode for Torker before having a successful Freestyle career riding for the notable, Raleigh Team during the Ruffell era. Nathan was known for his smooth riding style very similar to Dylan Clayton and we all know how good Dylan was. Nathan didn’t stick around very long it seemed by the end of the 86 season while riding for SE Nathan lost interest and hung it up. Still today, if you pick up any UK Magazines from the mid 80s or scroll around on the internet you will find so many awesome shots of Nathan who always had that fresh, stylish Factory look.


Simon Hayes

Always good to see BMX’ers continue to do good after their BMX days. Simon Hayes, was around the start of BMX in the early 80s in the UK riding for Kuwahara and Hutch racing Kelloggs TV series in 84/85 and even becoming the European Champion in 1985 in Barcelona, Spain. Simon went on to follow his Dad’s footsteps working in TV as a Sound Engineer working on many well-known TV shows and Films over the years including, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Les Miserables, which even won an Oscar for as part of the Team. Simon has still not forgotten his roots, as he’s a regular at various London tracks just riding for fun.

1983 Halfords’ NEC, Indoor Open BMX Championships

One of the most iconic events during the 80s in the UK has to be the 1983 Halfords’ Indoor Open BMX Championships held at the NEC in Birmingham. With entries from the majority of the top riders in both UKBMX and NBMXA it was one of the few events that was not for National points yet all the big names lined up on the gate. Bob Haro was flown in from the US, there was TV, the main-stream media was present, which was another huge step forward for the sport in the UK at the time. Channel 4 had a weekly TV bike program at the time called, “On Your Bike”, which was presented by Road and Tour de France commentator, Phil Liggitt. The show documented BMX numerous times during its air time putting out full-episodes on the Halfords NEC with insight and interviews with Bob Haro and Andy Ruffell. In the racing, Andy Ruffell was beaten in the 16 year old final by Redline’s Tony Slater with Tim March, sporting Skyway Graphite mags, took the 17 plus final over Sean Calvert and Malc Stapleton. Other winners throughout the age groups were, Ben Bishop, John Harding, Richard Hunt, Jason Crosby, John Greaves, Darren Page, Wayne Llewellyn, Kevin Hayes, Jason Maloney and Harvey Munkton. In the Freestyle event, Andy Ruffell took the win over Craig Campbell and Mike Pardon who were announced joint 2nd with Andy Preston in 4th.