Eastbourne Speedway are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Gordon Kennett last night, days after his 70th birthday.
Kennett made his debut at the Arlington Stadium in 1970 and celebrated his testimonial ten years later. In a 24-year career he also rode for thirteen other British Speedway teams. But he is widely considered Eastbourne’s greatest ever rider, and by the end of his final season in Sussex, 1991, he was the club’s record scorer with 2,300 career points in Eagles colours. He contributed no less than 20 maximum scores in the club’s land-mark title-winning 1986 and 1987 seasons.
Kennett was also one of England’s leading riders during a boom spell for the sport in the late 1970s. In his debut World Final appearance in front of 92,000 fans at Wembley, he came within touching distance of a shock World Championship title, missing out by only one point at the hands of Ole Olsen. But Kennett did earn an FIM gold the following season at the World Pairs Championship, when he and Malcolm Simmons beat the likes of Olsen and Mauger in Chorzów for England.
Kennett remained in close contact with the sport after his retirement and was still seen taking part in track days into his 60s.
Our condolences go out to the Kennett family at this sad time.