‘Hall’ of fame for Bandits hero Mark

editorial image

Berwick Speedway Supporters’ Club have confirmed their latest batch of inductees into their Bandits’ Hall of Fame.

They include Mark Hall, who was the club’s first captain back in 1968 when the sport was first introduced to Shielfield Park by promoters Danny and Liz Taylor.

Mark Hall was a pseudonym as his real name is Walter Elliott.

He was a bank clerk and rode under an assumed name so his employers would not find out.

Two other riders, Steve McDermott and Paul ‘Banger’ Bentley, will also receive the honour when the club hosts what has now become an annual event on February 2, 2017.

McDermott spent 10 years as a Bandit in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, the highlight of his career being when he won the second division Riders’ Championship at Wimbledon in 1983.

McDermott, who hails from the Manchester area, also had spells with Stoke, Edinburgh and Reading.

And in his most successful club season in 1984 he held down an impressive 9.97 average.

He is currently second on the Bandits’ all-time points scoring list, bettered only by another Hall of Famer, Michal Makovsky. Bentley, who comes from Darlington, was also a second division Riders’ Champion in 1994, when he raced for Middlesbrough.

After racing at Newcastle he had a successful spell at Berwick, representing the club in 2000, and again in 2002 and 2003.

He was the Berwick captain when the side won the Fours in 2002.

Also set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame are two husband and wife pairings – Jim and Lacey Louden, and Bob and Davina Johnston.

They have been regular faces around Shielfield and Berrington Lough, and between them they have around 200 years service with the club.

Jim, until recently, was clerk of the course, and Lacey still works on the turnstiles.

Bob is a track raker, and Davina works in the ticket kiosk.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame dinner, priced at £20, are available from Lisa at Jim Youngman Carpets in Berwick.