Belle Vue Ace 1953 - 1966


DICK FISHER  BELLE VUE  1953-1966

Dick Fisher was born in Cowan Bridge on the 13th January 1933. Cowan Bridge is near Kirby Lonsdale in the north of Lancashire. He later moved to Galgate which is south of Lancaster and as a teenager used to ride grasstrack at Warton.

He moved on to speedway and first rode for the Fleetwood Flyers on the 1st of August 1951. The examiner at the track was Jack Kitchen, the speedway legend Bill Kitchen's brother. No doubt Dick made an impression on Jack's daughter, Jean Kitchen, whom he later married. The Kitchens also lived in Galgate probably fairly close to the Fishers.

When Fleetwood shut at the end of the 1951 season, Dick moved on to Belle Vue in 1952 but did not ride for the main team until 1953. His first match was away at Bristol on the 31st July when he did not trouble the scorers. In 1953 he rode six matches for Belle Vue, three matches at home and three matches away, his home form was far superior to his away form.

Dick Fisher rode competitively for Belle Vue for fourteen consecutive seasons. He rode in 264 National League matches and scored 1797 points. His career match average was 6.8 in the national League. He reached three World Finals in 1956, 1963 and 1964. He was captain of Belle Vue for three seasons from 1964 to 1966, following on from the death of his close friend, Peter Craven.

He was a handsome man with a suave persona, his black leathers were always immaculate and he even wore pieces of inner tube around the top of his boots during racing to stop dirt from going into them.

Dick broke into the main team properly in May, 1954. The team at this time were in the doldrums and Dick was used extensively when many other teams may have dropped him, this helped him gain confidence gradually.

In 1955 season progress was slow, in the winter of 1955/56 Dick went on a mini tour behind the 'Iron Curtain' with the 'Aces'. By this time Fisher had launched a car sales business and also married Jean Kitchen. Dick Fisher said it was Bill Kitchen's advice from 1955 which brought about his breakthrough in 1956, he acknowledged he should have listened to the speedway legend sooner and heeded his advice.

After a great 1956 season and a debut World Final, the season was slightly tarnished late on by a crash and a severe injury. This induced problems for the beginning of the 1957 season, a season of much disappointment for Dick. Dick had another injury when he high-sided and fractured a clavicle in mid season which affected his end of season performances.

In 1958 he started with a magnificent form in the Britannia Shield compared to 1957 and averaged over eleven in the first three National League matches. 1959 was a disaster due to injury and Dick only managed three matches in total.

These injuries greatly hampered Dick and as the 50's decade passed to make way for the 60's Dick seemed entrenched in a second string spot at Belle Vue. Some nights he looked like the Fisher of old, on others like an old Fisher. He was devastating at times and weak and weary at other times. After a steady 1962 season he decided to retire but was soon persuaded to return for the next season.

The 1963 season was Dick Fisher's best ever season with Belle Vue, he topped the scoring for Belle Vue and increased his match average by over three points. Many fans pointed to his rise in scoring as why Belle Vue won the National league this season. However with the tragic death of Peter Craven, Dick was deeply affected, so deeply that it looked like he would retire again.

Dick remained a potent points scorer in 1964 having subsequently made the decision to carry on riding. He made his third World Final in 1964 and this must have made quite an impression on him as he named his house 'Ullevi'. he remained a part of the Belle Vue team for the 1965 season and captained the side again. He maintained his average at 8.58.

His last season for Belle Vue was 1966, he suffered further minor injuries during the season and eventually ended the season with a 7.55 match average. In 1967 Dick had retired and preferred to concentrate on his thriving car sales business in Calgate on the A6 near Lancaster.

In a summary of his career Dick was one of those riders who you could always rely upon, one of the first riders you would pencil into your winter team plans. A rider you could build your side around, his average was always below greatness but well above the average. He was a strong heat leader, who could on his day, beat the best and invariably did! Sadly his racing career came to an end in 1968 when for insurance purposes he was denied a racing license and he never rode again.

Richard Frost.