Gordon William Kennett (2 September 1953 – 12 September 2023) was an English motorcycle speedway rider known for his long and illustrious career, spanning over two decades.
Early Career and Championships
Kennett’s career began with the Oxford Rebels and later transitioned into the White City Rebels. He eventually returned to the Eastbourne Eagles. During his time with Oxford, he was part of the Midland Cup winning team in 1975. This dramatic competition involved home and away draws with the Swindon Robins that required reruns, as well as victories over the Wolverhampton Wolves to secure the trophy. In 1977, Kennett led the White City Rebels to top the British League Tables.
In 1978, he won the World Pairs Championship with Malcolm Simmons and also finished runner-up to Ole Olsen in the 1978 Speedway World Championship at Wembley.
World Final Appearances
- Individual World Championship: 1978 – United Kingdom – London, Wembley Stadium – 2nd – 12pts
- World Pairs Championship: 1978 – Poland Chorzów, Silesian Stadium (with Malcolm Simmons) – Winner – 24pts (9)
- World Team Cup:
- 1978 – West Germany Landshut, Ellermühle Stadium – 2nd – 27pts (3)
- 1981 – West Germany Olching, Speedway Stadion Olching – 2nd – 29pts (1)
Personal Life and Death
Kennett’s brothers, Dave and Brian (Barney), also rode motorcycles, and his nephew Edward Kennett, son of Dave, has ridden for the Rye House Rockets and represented Great Britain in the Speedway World Cup.
After retiring in 1995, Kennett worked as a car mechanic and resided in Brighton with his wife, Susan. Though he was no longer actively involved in speedway, he continued to watch matches and support his family members. Kennett died on 12 September 2023, at the age of 70.
Gordon William Kennett leaves behind an impactful legacy in the world of motorcycle speedway. His accomplishments on the track and contributions to the teams he rode for have solidified his reputation as one of the sport’s remarkable talents.