Peter Collins – Belle Vue Ace

20 Mar

peter-collins-14-x-11-inchaThis is a photograph of Manchester-born Belle Vue Aces speedway superstar, Peter Spencer Collins MBE, taken around 1976.

1976 was not Collins most prolific year, but it was a year that will stick in many a speedway fans minds, because it was the year that Collins won the the Individual World Speedway Championship.

On the September 5th at the Slaski Stadium in the South of Poland, located in Upper Silesia between the old industrial hubs Katowice and Chorzów, Collins triumped to the rapturous cheers of 120,000 spectators as he was crowned Champion of the World.

Collins must have felt at home in Poland on that mild September night; amongst the spectres of Polish industry and its subsequent decline, as Manchester in particular around The Aces Belle Vue home in Gorton, where many global industrial giants were born and subsequently laid to rest, such as train pioneers and makers,  Beyer Peacock and Company, whom by the 1970s were one of a growing number of industrial remnants and memories of a once glorious Mancunian past.

Collins wooed the Belle Vue crowds throughout the 1970s and 1980s; his thrilling races often meant spectators being showered with “shale on pit bend”.

Santa Marina Stadium.

Santa Marina Stadium.

Peter Collins went on to win nine more titles including the British League Title and  World Pairs Championship in 1984, pairing with fellow Mancunian Belle Vue Ace Chris Morton at  Santa Marina Stadium in Lonigo, Italy.

If you liked this post you may be interested in: Belle Vue Speedway Legends of the 1930s

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