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CVS LEADS BIG AL TRIBUTES

TRIBUTES have been pouring in all week for former England star Alan Grahame after his passing at the weekend.

Grahame, who spent the bulk of his career with Cradley Heath, died at the age of 67 after sustaining serious injuries from a sidecar racing crash.

Chris Van Straaten, the long standing Wolverhampton owner, said: “Big Al was a heck of a competitor.

“He was tough and uncompromising, you knew you were in a tough meeting when Big Al was in town. He was what clashes between ourselves and the Heathens were all about, passion and commitment.

“In some ways there is perhaps small consolation that he went out doing what he loved – racing.”

Eurosport commentator Nigel Pearson watched many meetings Grahame appeared in at Cradley and, latterly, Hull.

He said: “Alan Grahame was the engine room of the Cradley team, particularly in the 1983 title winning side which lost only two meetings all season.

“To put it in football terms, he was the hard working midfielder who would get 7/10 ratings every game but never stole the headlines. He’d never be dropped, he was that reliable.

“He was part of teams which included Bruce Penhall, Erik Gundersen, Jan O Pedersen, Greg Hancock and Billy Hamill – and he always did a great job.

“He was quietly spoken but determined on the track. He wouldn’t mind putting himself about to defend a 5-1 for the Heathens – or England for that matter.

“Always a pleasure to talk to, the fact that he was still competing on sidecars at the age of 67 tells you all you need to know about his passion for sport.”