Sunday September 04, 2022
BIRMINGHAM stage their final fixture of the season on Wednesday (September 7, 7.30) as they lock horns with a Cradley Heathens Select side for the Alan Grahame Memorial Trophy.

‘Big Al’ launched his career with the Brummies in 1973 and featured regularly for the club through to 1977.

The following year he joined Cradley Heath where he became a firm fans’ favourite over a grand total of 14 seasons.

The Midlands racer, who still attended Speedway regularly after his retirement in 1998, tragically died at the age of 67 last October following a sidecar accident.

When the Brummies knew there was room in their schedule for one last fixture at Perry Barr, club bosses were keen to name the meeting in his honour.

Curtis Sport Brummies team manager Laurence Rogers said: “I knew Big Al from the day he started his Speedway at Birmingham and I managed him for a while later on as well.

“He was a great guy, always willing to help the youngsters and he did a lot with the PJ Dixon junior Heathens when I was there at Cradley.

“Later on he was a machine examiner at Wolverhampton for Wolves and when the Heathens came back and raced there, he came and did some work in the pits at Perry Barr too and he was just a West Midlands idol.

“We wanted to put a meeting on in his memory and so it had to be the Brummies versus the Heathens as they were the two clubs he was synonymous for racing for in the Midlands.

“It’s still hard to believe he’s no longer with us; he was actually at Birmingham the Wednesday night before his accident and he was on top form that night.

“It will be our pleasure to welcome the whole Grahame family to Perry Barr on Wednesday to remember ‘Big Al’.

“Andy Grahame will be riding in the second half as well so we’ll have some good fun with him and the ‘men in black uprights’ I’m sure.”

The big team news sees Tom Perry returning to the shale for his first competitive fixture in three years.

Perry was a popular hat-trick National League winner with Cradley in 2014 before making the switch to Birmingham where he lifted the trophy in 2015 and 2016 as club captain. For this fixture he will line up at reserve for the Heathens with former team manager Will Pottinger digging his pen and programme board for another meeting.

CURTIS SPORT BIRMINGHAM BRUMMIES ‘PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE’: Josh Pickering, Simon Lambert, Tom Brennan, Paco Castagna, Justin Sedgmen, Jack Smith, James Pearson.
CRADLEY HEATHENS SELECT: Ryan Douglas, Jason Edwards, Adam Roynon, James Wright, Paul Starke, Tom Spencer, Tom Perry.

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