Thrills and spills at Foxhall as the Witches enter a 48th consecutive season

Ipswich Witches won the League championship for the second year running in 1976. The team was (from

Ipswich Witches won the League championship for the second year running in 1976. The team was (from the left back row) John Berry promoter, Mike Lanham, Tony Davey, Billy Sanders, Kevin Jolly, John Louis (captain on bike) Dave Gooderham and Ron Bagley the team manager. At the front, (from the left), Ted Howgego, Andy Hines, and Colin Cook. The Witches also won the KO Cup that year.

Ipswich Witches open their 2017 speedway season on Saturday night.

Premier League Fours winners 2011: Left to right: Mat Tresarrieu, Kevin Doolan, Lasse Bjerre, Morten

Premier League Fours winners 2011: Left to right: Mat Tresarrieu, Kevin Doolan, Lasse Bjerre, Morten Risager and Taylor Poole. At the back: manager Pete Simmons - Credit: Archant

It will be the 48th consecutive season of the bikes roaring at Foxhall throughout the spring and summer months.

Ipswich riders Billy Sanders (left) and Tony Davey in the pits at Foxhall before the start of the fi

Ipswich riders Billy Sanders (left) and Tony Davey in the pits at Foxhall before the start of the first match between Ipswich and Hackney in March 1972. Both riders played a huge part in the success of the team, especially throughout the '70s. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

It was back in 1969 Joe Thurley and John Berry took over at Foxhall after a brief four-year break.

American John Cook's outrageous leg-trailing style was a big crowd pleaser in the 80s. However his t

American John Cook's outrageous leg-trailing style was a big crowd pleaser in the 80s. However his temperamental nature saw him at loggerheads with the Witches management on more than one occasion! - Credit: Archant

The first Witches meeting ever at Foxhall was back in 1951 and over the years there have been thrills, heartache and excitement aplenty.

The start of the 1972 season saw Ipswich Speedway return to First Division Speedway. The Good Friday

The start of the 1972 season saw Ipswich Speedway return to First Division Speedway. The Good Friday meeting against Hackney attracted a massive crowd to Foxhall Stadium. This aerial photograph shows the car park and stadium packed close to capacity

Crowds of more than 20,000 used to flock to Foxhall back in the ‘50s, while the club’s most successful era was in the mid-1970s when Berry’s team, packed with local riders, raced to successive League titles in 1975 and ‘76.

The then Ipswich Speedway team captain John Louis with his son Chris during a pre season practice se

The then Ipswich Speedway team captain John Louis with his son Chris during a pre season practice session at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, in February 1980. Father and son are now part of the management team at Ipswich Speedway and both were hugely successful riders and both British Champions


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In 1984 the Witches won the ‘double’ of the league and cup (as they did in 1976), while in 1998 the Witches landed three trophies as their powerhouse six-man team swept all before them.

Lasse Bjerre, Danny King, Jonas B. Andersen and Nico Covatti race from the tapes in heat thirteen of

Lasse Bjerre, Danny King, Jonas B. Andersen and Nico Covatti race from the tapes in heat thirteen of the Ipswich v Redcar (Premier League) meeting in June 2016 - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

They will be hoping to lift silverware in 2017. Here’s hoping. See you at Foxhall on Saturday night.

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