Graham REES and Dave Watkins

Posted on
  • The sport has lost two track stars from the past who sadly passed away in July and the beginning of September this year. I'm sure many of you former trackies would remember them, both from the Halesowen club.

    Graham Rees born in 1949 won several National Sprint titles, the first as a junior in about 1966 and went on to win the tile in 1971 and 72. He rode for GB and also Wales and gained medals at National level in team pursuit. He was a very successful and popular rider but tragically contracted Parkinsons disease which he battled for many years - but was still a regular spectator at Halesowen and still able to get on the bike. Graham lost the battle passing away in July this year and is survived by his wife Anne and his son who lives in New Zealand.

    Dave Watkins born in 1945 also won National titles in the sprint and represented GB on many occasions and England in the 1966 Commonwealth games in Jamaica. He was a fearless rider with an incredible turn of speed. He continued racing into his late 30s and in later years turned professional.
    Dave later gave much back to the sport as a member of the BCF Executive Committee. Even in his heyday he was more than happy to help and advise younger riders. Nobody who witnessed the National Sprint final at Salford Park in 1967 ? could forget the horrendous crash that Dave suffered, Reg Barnett. Dave Watkins and Fred Booker fighting for the line side by side when Dave lost his front tyre and hit the tarmac at some 45 mph. The front page of Cycling that week showed Dave between Reg and Fred with his front wheel at right angles to his direction of travel. In his typical understated manner all he would say of his injuries ' I was bad after that one'. Dave had a very successful career with Dunlop as a development engineer in the competition department and registered many patents for tyre design. He was well known in motor racing and the MotoGP paddocks as Dave was a 'Guru' for tyre design and selection. Dave passed away a few days after attending Graham's funeral and he is survived by his wife Dot and daughter Celeste.

    Both great ambassadors for our sport and very sadly missed.

    The images show:
    Dave Watkins (foreground) in a madison with Jeff Platten
    Graham in team pursuit at Leicester behind Jeff Platten followed by Charlie Newman
    Graham winning in a very rough National junior title final at Halesowen

    4 Attachments

    • IMG_4792 2.JPG
    • 03b63837-1ecf-46cb-836a-833b1c997654.jpg
    • 46042011-c862-4d94-b48e-06065ef93808.jpg
    • IMG_4639.JPG
  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview

Graham REES and Dave Watkins

Posted by Avatar for caballero @caballero