The UKs first ever International Event – Halfords International 1981 Redditch

444 Dave Dawson, 117 Dean Scott-Webb

Thank you to Mr. Steve Wilson for bringing this to our attention. After conducting more research, thanks to Brian Jones and the May 8th, 1981 issue of BMX News Newspaper, we learned about the first-ever British International BMX Meeting, which took place in Redditch on May 3rd, 1981. This event was sponsored by Halfords and organized by Alan Rushton’s Sports Plus.

At the time, just under 300 riders participated, despite the vile weather conditions reported in the BMX News article. It was the largest race held in the UK at that time. On the international front, riders such as Greg Esser, Jamie Burrows, and Kerensky Bullard traveled from the United States, along with participants from Holland, Belgium and France, including a young Claude Villemont, who later became one of the biggest names in European Superclass throughout the 80s and a World Champion.

Behind the scenes, many familiar names who played significant roles in the inception of BMX Racing in the UK, including Geoff Wiles, Steve Wilson, Alan Rushton, David Duffield, Paul Moran, Richard Gwyer, Pete Dawson, and others, were involved in organizing and executing the event.

The history of British International BMX began with this event and has continued to evolve, with International, European, and World Championships all being hosted on our shores during the next 40 years, including the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

17+ – Kerensky Bullard, Steve Gratton, Jamie Burrows
16 – Alan Woods, Wim Van de Heyden, Craig Burrows
15 – Claude Villemot, Mike Pardon, Craig Strong
14 – Danny Neijs, Dave Dawson, Chris Simmons
13 – Brian Jones, Matthew White, Craig Schofield
12 – Mark Butler, Lee Timmins
11 – Fabrice Perez, Matthew Bishop, Craig Jarrett
10 – Chris Bishop, David Wylie, Jonathan Harris
9 – Jason Smallwood, Julian Jarvis, Barry Salt
8 – Matt Oakley, Tim Hammond, Stuart Elliott
7 – Simon Hutton, Jason Scott-Webb, Sam Jarvis

14+ – Open – Jamie Burrows, Rene de Groot, Alan Woods

Photo credit: Ian Buckden / BMX News

Leave a Reply