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Saturday 29th November 2014

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CLUB LEGENDS
FACTFILE
Full Name : Dick Campbell
Date Of Birth : 1923
Birthplace : Christchurch
LOOKING BACK
Dick Campbell came to the UK from New Zealand as a wall-of-death rider in the circus, and only took to speedway when he saw it at Belle Vue, Manchester.
 
During his first season of 1947 he did well enough to have some outings for Belle Vue as well as Sheffield, and he broke the track record at Division Three track Wombwell. However when Edinburgh opened in 1948, Dick Campbell was in the side, riding in the first ever match at Bristol on 26th March 1948, He did well during that season, starring alongside Bill Maddern in a weak team.

The following year with Jack Young joining the club Dick did even better, averaging almost 9 and finishing equal second in the Scottish Riders' Championship, the forerunner of the Scottish Open. He also rode for Scotland against England - in those days racing for a Scottish club was an accepted qualification.

During the 1949-50 winter he rode in New Zealand for the first time, breaking an ankle. Dick rode also for Overseas against Britain, and finally made an appearance for New Zealand against England C in 1951.

When Jack Young was transferred and Monarchs started 1952 without him, there was more responsibility on Dick Campbell, and he had a fine season which included winning the Scottish Riders' Championship with 14 points. He asked for a transfer during 1953 however, but whatever the problem was, it was speedily resolved.

Ever the wanderer, he toured South Africa during the 1953-4 winter and rode for the Durban side.

Sadly 1954 saw Old Meadowbank close mid-season as the speedway boom came to an end. Dick joined Ipswich but rode only for the remainder of the season in their colours. He did some car racing thereafter, but after 7 years out of the saddle he was tempted back to Monarchs' colours in 1961 by Ian Hoskins.

He made a sensational return, breaking the track record in his first ride and starting with a string of maximums. He also gave great support to fellow New Zealanders Wayne Briggs and Alf Wells who had joined the team.

His son Ross became team mascot, only to be banned when the police saw him riding a motorcycle on TV!

Later in the season though, ill-health caught up with him and made it difficult for him to reach his best form. After struggling with illness for most of 1962 he decided to call it a day. He was also involved with track preparation at Old Meadowbank and served as team manager for the early part of 1963.

Sadly, Dick was killed in a works accident in New Zealand in the early nineties.
MONARCHS YEARS
1948-1954, 1961-1962
FIRST RACE
26/03/48 at Bristol (Ht.2)
Eric Salmon, Roger Wise, Dick Campbell, Bert Shearer, 68.8
LAST RACE
21/09/62 at Old Meadowbank (Ht.8)
Eric Boothroyd, Dick Campbell, Jack Biggs, John Bishop, 70.6
CLUB RECORD
Matches

235

Rides

920

Points

1817

Bonus

112

Total

1929

CMA

8.39

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