Wolves History

Recollections of Gordon Guasco - 1960s

I have followed Wolves Speedway since the 1960’s. I have seen some good races, and I have seen some bad races. As far as Wolves riders are concerned, I have seen some truly brilliant riders, I have also seen some riders it would be generous to call bad.

I can remember Gordon Guasco riding for Wolves in the 1960’s, not a brilliant rider, but also by no means a bad rider. The one thing that does happen though when I think of Gordon is that a smile comes to my lips, something that no other speedway rider can do.

If my memory serves me well, Gordon joined Wolves from Sunderland with Jimmy Airey in the days when Mike Parker promoted both teams.

Gordon was not like any other rider ever. While speedway riders have a tendency to be small and muscular, Gordon was tall and thin. He was not the most attractive looking guy either, with a long thin face and large chin.

His riding style also was different from other riders. No small compact rider he, but a rider who was all arms and legs.

As such his technique was a little lacking, however what he lacked in technique he certainly made up with enthusiasm. I seem to remember he was always falling off. He wasn’t of course but his enthusiasm was greater than his skill. If only some of the riders riding today had as much enthusiasm for the sport as Gordon a good sport would be even greater.

Because Gordon always gave 110 per cent every time he rode he was very popular at Monmore Green. The fans and that includes myself always knew that if Gordon was riding we were in for a race which included at least one rider who would try his hardest from the time the tapes went up to the chequered flag.

I will finish my recollections of one particular race that involved Gordon and I think Jimmy Airey. The race at Monmore was if I remember correctly a particularly close affair with the two Wolves riders coming out first and second, a 5-1 to Wolves, I think that Gordon may even have won the race. The crowd went wild with excitement as the two Wolves riders began lap of honour. For as the riders rode down the back straight waving to the excited crowd, in those days there was a stand situated on the back straight. Gordon rode into the fence and fell off, much to the obvious embarrassment of his partner. The crowd went silent, followed by one of the loudest cheers ever heard at Monmore when Gordon regained his feet. I can remember thinking at the time, "That’s Gordon all over, if anyone could ride into the safety fence on the lap of honour, its him!" A very popular rider with the fans, and I for one was saddened a few years later on hearing of his death. He died however taking part a sport that he obviously loved, and as a Wolves Speedway supporter I loved watching him ride. Gordon Guasco is one of very few speedway riders I can actually remember racing after 40 years: that is the impact he had on me. I can remember such seeing such riders as Graham Warren, Ove Fundin, Barry Briggs, and Ronnie Moore, and Gordon Guasco is in good company with those riders.

DEREK BEDDOWS