Eric Chitty

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Eric Chitty

Eric Stephenson Chitty (28 April 1909 – 1990) was a Canadian speedway rider who won the London Riders' Championship in 1938.[1]

Early days[edit]

Chitty was born in Toronto, Canada in 1909. Before taking up speedway he worked as an electrical engineer.[2]

Chitty started speedway racing in 1930 in Detroit, Chicago and New York in the USA, where he was noticed in 1934 by Johnnie Hoskins.[2] In 1935 he came to the UK for a trial with the West Ham Hammers. He was not successful in his trial and was looking for other employment when the West Ham promoter Hoskins gave him another chance five months later, which he took. He was offered a contract by the Hammers. A broken collarbone in 1936 caused a long layoff, and he returned in 1937, scoring moderately well.[2] The 1938 season saw a considerable improvement in his racing, Chitty winning the Opening Cup and the London Riders' Championship, both at New Cross.[2] Chitty also served for a time as chairman of the Speedway Riders' Association.[2]

World Championship[edit]

Chitty qualified for the World Final held at Wembley Stadium in London in 1937, finishing 12th with 15 points. He failed to qualify in 1938 but qualified again for the World Final in 1939. Unfortunately the 1939 Final was cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II.

Wartime racing[edit]

During the war years he raced at Belle Vue in Manchester, which was the only track that ran all through the war. He won the unofficial British Individual Championship in 1940, '41 and '42, the Belle Vue Grand Prix, the Northern Championship and the Hundred Guineas Trophy all in 1942. He also won the all English Best Pairs Championship in 1941 with Ron Johnson and 1943 with Fred Tuck. In 1944 he won the National Trophy and also in 1944 he won the British Empire Best Pairs with Ron Clark. In the Winter of 1945/46, Chitty captained the ENSA team that toured Germany.[3]

After the war[edit]

In 1946 he rejoined West Ham and was made team captain, reaching the finals of the British Riders Championship that year.[3] He was always the center of entertainment, often singing to the crowd and once even raced a cheetah. He retired in 1952.

World Final appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Addison J. (1948). The People Speedway Guide. Odhams Press Limited
  2. ^ a b c d e Storey, Basil (1947) Speedway Favourites, Sport-in-Print, p. 23
  3. ^ a b Morgan, Tom (1947) The People Speedway Guide, Odhams Press, p. 76

External links[edit]

References[edit]