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Party for speedway star

PUBLISHED: 18:16 21 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:13 03 July 2010

A PARTY was held to celebrate the 80th birthday of a former speedway star Billy Bales.

Family, friends and ex riders raised a glass on Saturday to Billy who joined the newly formed Yarmouth Speedway team in 1948.

A PARTY was held to celebrate the 80th birthday of a former speedway star Billy Bales.

Family, friends and ex riders raised a glass on Saturday to Billy who joined the newly formed Yarmouth Speedway team in 1948.

Famous for thrilling fans with his daredevil style of riding, Billy made a dream debut top scoring with 10 points.

His real name was Raymond but he became known to all as Billy following a misprint in race programme early in his career.

The first of the so-called skid kids to make his name his name in the sport, Billy broke the Yarmouth Stadium track record in only his eighth meeting. During the 1949 season he smashed seven track records, winning the junior riders championship and beating reigning world champion Tommy Price.

Following national service Billy rode for Norwich Stars before joining Sheffield Tigers where he ended he career in 1969.

Yarmouth Speedway club stopped racing between 1954 and 1957 before folding in 1961. Billy returned to appear at several meetings boosting gates in the club's last season.

Now 12 year old grandson Billy is following in the family tradition racing for junior team Norwich New Stars.

Friend and Yarmouth speedway historian Keith Farman produced a special card for Billy's birthday.

Keith joked: “The card had a picture of the Queen giving the OBE to a gent - I put Billy's head on it so OBE stood for over bloody eighty.”

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