THE LEGEND: A younger Phil Crump in his speedway heyday.
By MITCH RODD
OVER 70 glorious years, the Mildura Motorcycle Club has produced a number of outstanding speedway exponents.
Phil Crump was one of the first dirt track heroes, and his legacy has been everlasting.
This weekend the club will celebrate its 70th anniversary, combined with the annual Phil Crump Solo Trophy and the Gates Sidecar Cup at Olympic Park on Sunday night.
An inductee into the Speedway Hall of Fame in 2009, Crump is a four-time Australian champion, and won the Victorian Speedway Championship an incredible 13 times. Alongside his many team and individual honours, Phil also took a podium finish in the 1976 World Championship.
His genetics proved to be just as good, as his son Jason went on to become a three-time World Champion.
It is no wonder the Mildura Motorcycle Club chose to honour the legendary rider in one of the biggest solo races on the speedway calendar.
Phil, 65, lives in Northampton, England, but returns each year to visit his father, Bob, and to attend the speedway meet he lent his name to.
“It is a great honour,” he said.
“Olympic Park is where I learned to ride. I would have spent about 20 years going around that track.
“A lot of the best riders in the world would come out and compete there.
“Mildura has certainly produced a lot of good motorcycle riders over the years. It (70 years) is a fantastic celebration for the club.”
The 70-year celebration for Mildura Motorcycle Club coincides with the 70th birthday of their majors supporters, the Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club. The histories of both organisations are intertwined all the way back to their establishment in 1947.
Adding to the excitement of Sunday’s Phil Crump Trophy event is the appearance of newly-crowned world champion Jason Doyle.
The Aussie star completed the feat at the Australian Speedway Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium last week.
Phil, who still keeps a close eye on the international and Australian speedway scene, said Doyle was a deserved champion.
“It’s been unbelievably good racing from ‘Doyley’,” Phil said.
“I believe he would have won it last year, but injury was the only thing stopping him.”
Just maybe a Phil Crump Trophy win for Doyle would be a fitting result for one of the forefathers of Mildura’s speedway racing renaissance.