‘Who is the most popular sportsman in the East of England?’ Asked TV Times writer David McGill. ‘A footballer, a golfer, a jockey? Not according to your votes in Anglia’s Sportsman of the Year poll. The front runners for the trophy are all motorcyclists in their early twenties and their popularity underlines the surge of the three speed-merchant sports to a position second only to football. TV Times takes a close-up look at the three stars who symbolise this new emphasis of speed in sport.’

The year was 1969 - on the cusp of the decade with which the Speedway Fiction website normally concerns itself. The three motorcyclists David McGill refers to are road racer Derek Chatterton with six national wins to his credit, scrambler (that would be Moto-cross afficionado, now) John Banks who had been runner-up in the World Scramble Championship the previous year, and Terry Betts, speedway rider, England international and King’s Lynn Star.


Terry Betts made £3000 from speedway over the 1969 season, earning as much as £100 a night at a time when the average wage of a British worker was just over £1600. His bike cost him £500, his helmet, leathers and boots were £60 and, at the time, he ran a garage with the money he made from the track.

Derek Chatterton had made £2000 during the year but, each winter, he built his own version of a Yamaha at a cost of £1000. It cost Mike Hailwood £1,000,000 to build his Honda and he was paid £50,000 to ride it exclusively but Chatterton had beaten him on a bike he built himself.

John Banks could earn £240 a meeting in prize-money. His bike cost £800 second-hand and his expenses were paid by BSA.

Read the full article from the TV Times of November 22, 1969 by clicking on the PDF link above.

He looks like Terence Stamp. He has a fan club of several hundred at King’s Lynn and, even here, guesting for London against Wimbledon at Wimbledon’s last meeting of the season, Terry Betts pulls the fans.

Anglia Television provided the independent TV service for the East of England as well as producing network programmes such as the much-loved Survival series and highly popular Sale of the Century

TV Times

Anglia Edition November 22, 1969

PDF Version

For the full article in PDF  format, just click on the image above

Anglia TVT Nov 22 1969 Selection.pdf

Anglia House, Norwich, the home of Anglia Television from 1959 until 2004 when the broadcaster was submerged, like all other independent companies, into ITV plc, becoming ‘ITV Anglia’. As with the others, only the regional news programme remains

Anglia TV Sportsman of the Year Poll 1969

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