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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Mike Bacon: My favourite ever Ipswich Witches team.... now your turn!

PUBLISHED: 14:36 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:17 14 June 2019

Wow!  Cameron Heeps 'takes off' at Foxhall Stadium.   PICTURE: STEVE WALLER    WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Wow! Cameron Heeps 'takes off' at Foxhall Stadium. PICTURE: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

© Copyright Stephen Waller

So, given the chance what would your 'favourite ever' Ipswich Witches team be? Well MIKE BACON is giving you that chance to tell the world. Send in your favourite ever side... Here is his.

Kyle Newman about to run into a somersaulting Ryan Douglas at Foxhall. Picture: Steve Waller    www.stephenwaller.comKyle Newman about to run into a somersaulting Ryan Douglas at Foxhall. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

OK, I'll go first.

Here is my all-time favourite Ipswich Witches 1-7 (with 4 reserves).

Remember, this is a 'favourite' team, not the best-ever. And my best memories are from the late '70s onwards (see I'm not as old as you think)

But this is not just about me doing this, I want you to join in.

E-mail me, in roughly the same format I've produced below, your favourite-ever Witches team and 4 favourite reserves who just miss out. A few words on each as to why.

Foxhall dreaming... There have been many great riders wear the Witch, including Danny King and Rory Schlein Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWNFoxhall dreaming... There have been many great riders wear the Witch, including Danny King and Rory Schlein Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Email me mike.bacon@archant.co.uk with your team.

And I'll share it with our EADT and Ipswich Star print readers, as well as online. Join in the fun.... If you can send in a pic of yourself too, that would be great.

So, here you go.... My favourite ever Witches team.... In riding order obviously!

Dennis Sigalos Photo: DAVE KINDREDDennis Sigalos Photo: DAVE KINDRED

1. DENNIS SIGALOS (USA) - Captain

Oh, how I wanted to be like Dennis Sigalos!

As a young teenager he was my hero. American ace, silky smooth on track, fearless and brave. I remember him passing me on the M4 (in his car, not bike) on the way to Reading for a meeting, he had sunshades on and was tapping his steering wheel to the music.

He duly notched up a 12-point maximum for the Witches in a win.

How cool is that? My favourite-ever Witch.

Scott Nicholls. PICTURE: STEVE WALLER    WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMScott Nicholls. PICTURE: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

2. SCOTT NICHOLLS (GB)

I was lucky enough to follow - and still follow - Scott's career from its very inception.

Even as a 16-year-old you could tell he was going to be a star. We wrote a column together in the Evening Star, but there is truly only one main reason I have Scott in my team.... Because Scott Nicholls never, ever gave less than 110% on track as a rider for Ipswich Witches, in good times and bad.

He continues to be a true racing pro.

Ben Howe. Photo: SIMON PARKERBen Howe. Photo: SIMON PARKER

3. BEN HOWE (GB)

Wooooooh! Ben Howe, I hear you cry, that's a bit left-field, Mike. But is it?

Remember, this is 'favourite' riders, not 'best-ever' and while Ben Howe was a good rider who had some super seasons for the Witches in the 1990s, for me it was his all-action, flying round the boards-style that I loved. No, he never hit the heights he could have, and he was never a 'best-ever' for Witches. But he was hugely popular with the fans.

And very popular with me.

Chris Louis. Photo: StephenWaller.com.Chris Louis. Photo: StephenWaller.com.

4 CHRIS LOUIS (GB)

No, not just because he won't let me into Foxhall if I don't put him in here, but Chris Louis, like his dad John, (who I didn't see race much so isn't in this septet), is Ipswich through and through - and I love that.

A brilliant rider, a brilliant team man, cut him in half and he bleeds 'Witches'. He coped with all the pressures of having such a successful speedway father and achieved much himself. Could gate, could pass, I saw him win more last-heat deciders than... well anyone!

Tony Rickardsson. Photo: PATony Rickardsson. Photo: PA

5 TONY RICKARDSSON (SWE)

Tony arrived at Foxhall almost unknown by those outside Sweden and left Foxhall a world superstar. While I've put down Dennis Sigalos as my favourite-ever Witch, without doubt Tony Rickardsson is the 'best-ever' Witches rider I have been lucky to watch.

He joined the Witches in 1991, left in 1998, by which time he had won two world titles!

He went on to win four more. Along with Louis and Nicholls, part of the brilliant 1998 all-conquering Witches team. Total class on and off the track.

Mike Lanham. Photo: ARCHANTMike Lanham. Photo: ARCHANT

6. MIKE LANHAM (GB)

Every speedway fan loves riders who give it their all. And Mike Lanham did that for the Witches in a 11-year career. Of the successful Witches squads of the mid-70s, I seemed to watch Mike race more than the rest as his career carried on into the early 80s - that's why I have such good memories of him.

He was my first 'favourite rider'.

Mainly because he never knew when to give up. Hopeless from the gate, he used to carve his way through the field time after time. I loved watching him.

Mark Loram. Photo: SIMON PARKERMark Loram. Photo: SIMON PARKER

7. MARK LORAM (GB)

Would be close to Sigalos as my No.1 if only I'd seen more of him in a Witches racejacket! Two full seasons is all Suffolk fans got to see 'Loramski' before his awful crash at the start of 2007 ended his career.

But what a career! World Champion in 2000, Loram was another all-action, never say die racer. If he didn't make the gate, you could see fans sit up on their seats in anticipation of what was coming!

Loved it when he guested for the Witches.

MY four favourite reserves who just miss out would be: JOHN COOK, DANNY KING, JEREMY DONCASTER, ROBERT MISKOWIAK.

Now, over to you... Email me mike.bacon@archant.co.uk with your team.

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