Published: 06:00, 22 July 2021
Kent Kings co-promoter Len Silver said he was gobsmacked to have been inducted into the British Speedway sHall of Fame.
Injury cut short Silver’s own speedway racing career and in 1964 he turned to the promotional side of the sport – a role he has continued to this day, at the age of 89. He’s the longest serving promoter in the history of the sport, by some considerable distance.
Seven times British Champion and current Kings skipper Scott Nicholls made a presentation to Silver, who said: “When I was presented with a Speedway Hall of Fame memorabilia before the meeting against Eastbourne started, I just knew that Lady Luck was shining on me. It isn't a common award and I am gobsmacked that I was chosen to be in the Hall of Fame and I am humbled by the honour.”
He was presented with a commemorative framed race jacket and the news of his great honour.
Born in London in 1932, Silver initially organised an East London League of Cycle Speedway when he was still a schoolboy. He rode speedway in Germany while on National Service and back home began his career with the Ipswich Witches in the early 50s. Prior to that he had lived in London's East End during the Blitz and recalled some of those memories in an interview with KentOnline last year.
He went onto become a leading rider in the sport at Exeter Falcons before his injury, which led to him becoming involved in the promotional side of the sport. He moved around the country and was Great Britain team manager in the 70s, winning the World Team Cup in 1973, persuading the authorities to then change the national team name to England before leading his country to a run of world championships.
He became the driving force alongside Roger Cearns in getting the professional sport back into the county of Kent with the opening of Speedway at Central Park, Sittingbourne in 2013. The Kings are now competing for the first time in the second-tier of the national competition.
A tribute from the Kings said: “He works tirelessly as co-promoter at Kent, out for hours on the track on his trusty tractor and completely defies Father Time to be not just the oldest but quite possibly the most active promoter in the sport.”