West Ham Hammers

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West Ham Hammers
West ham speedway.jpg
West Ham Speedway Badge circa 1938
Club information
Track addressWest Ham Stadium
Prince Regent Lane
WebsiteWest Ham website
Club facts
ColoursClaret and Blue with white crossed hammers
Track size440 yards (400 m) (1929-1964)
415 yards (379 m) (1964-1971)
Track record time0:17.6 (one lap), 1:10.2 (four laps)
Track record date1967 (one lap), Easter Monday 1969 (four laps)
Track record holderKen McKinlay / Sverre Harrfeldt (one lap), Ray Wilson (four laps)
Major team honours
National League Champions1937
Coronation Gold Cup Best Pairs1937
ACU Cup Winners1938
National Trophy1955
British League Champions1965
British League Knockout Cup Winners1965
London Cup Winners1965, 1966, 1967

The West Ham Hammers were a speedway team, first promoted by Jimmy Baxter in 1929.[1] They operated from the West Ham Stadium until the outbreak of World War II under several different promotions, most successfully under the control of Johnnie Hoskins.

The track opened in 1928 and staged a few meetings during the early war years.

Meetings were staged in 1945 but the Hammers re-opened in 1946 and ran until 1955.[2] However dwindling crowds saw the promotion close. It did not re-open until 1964, with Dave Lanning becoming promoter in 1966, and ran a further eight seasons until 1971 when they were informed that the stadium was being sold by the Greyhound Racing Association to make way for building development. The Romford Bombers moved into the stadium for the 1972 season, racing under the name West Ham Bombers.[3]

As the original West Ham team folded in the speedway British League Division One, at the end of the 1971 season, the prospect of racing at the famous Custom House Stadium, albeit with a "nomad" team, delighted the local populace, and attendances at Custom House for the Bombers were very healthy. However, uncertainty dogged the promotion, with always the prospect of the stadium being sold from underneath them at short notice, and after just 6 home meetings (with the Bombers maintaining a healthy league position), the plug was pulled and the last ever speedway meeting at West Ham Stadium was held on 23 May 1972, with West Ham .v. Hull. The West Ham Bombers lost the match 38-40, with the last ever league race (heat 13) won by Hull's Tony Childs, to finally complete a long and sad disintegration of the sport at one of the world's most famous venues.

Top 20 West Ham Riders[edit]

The top twenty West Ham riders as voted in Speedway '72 magazine published in 1972.

* Denotes Speedway World Champion

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Bamford, R & Jarvis J. (2001). Homes of British Speedway. ISBN 0-7524-2210-3
  2. ^ Belton, Brian (2003). Hammerin' Round. ISBN 0-7524-2438-6
  3. ^ Jacobs, N. Speedway in London. ISBN 0-7524-2221-9