Steve Magro says: Jimmy Gooch, 83, died peacefully Saturday, 18th June 2011. During his long career Jimmy rode speedway for Wembley, Oxford and Hackney, eventually retiring in 1970.
Jimmy was a  member of the World Speedway Riders Association and will be sadly missed. 
 
James Everard (Jimmy) Gooch
Born: November 16, 1928, Dagenham, Essex, England.

Jimmy Gooch began his long career on the Army tracks in post-war Germany, winning the 1949 Combined Services Trophy and a contact with the famous Wembley `Lions'. The Empire Stadium club were the dominant force in British speedway and Jimmy managed to win a reserve spot during the 1950 season in a side which included such stars as Tommy Price and Freddie Williams. 
Jimmy was renowned for his wholehearted efforts and was a popular figure at the north London venue, but struggled to lift himself into the main body of the team for five years.

Then in 1955, tiring of the struggle of Division One speedway, he went out on loan to Swindon in the Second Division then moved to Bradford the following year in an attempt to step up to the next level.
 
The year of 1964, suddenly brought Jimmy to the forefront of speedway. Riding for Oxford at age 35, he should have been in the twilight of his career but the move brought him more of an Indian summer as he added over two points to his average to record a figure in excess of 8 points per match (out of 12) for the first time as the `Cheetahs' won the National League title.
 
In 1965 Gooch earned an average of just under 10 points per match, as well as a World Final appearance and a place in the Great Britain World Team Cup Final side at Kempten, Germany. Jimmy's World Final appearance at Wembley proved to be the peak of his career and he found it hard to retain that form as he approached 40. Nevertheless, Jimmy remained a force to be reckoned with in later spells at Newport and Hackney until 1970 and proved a shining example to other riders as to what could be achieved with hard work and perseverance.

1950-55 Wembley; 1955 Swindon; 1956 Wembley; 1956 Bradford; 1957-58. 1959 Retired;
1960-61 New Cross. 1962-63 Norwich; 1964-66 Oxford; 1967-68 Newport; 1969-70 Hackney Wick.

Individual Honours: 1965 World Finalist (14th).
International Honours: 1965 Great Britain World Team Cup finalist; England international: 10 caps/35 points, Great Britain: 3 caps/16 points.
Team Honours: National League Division One Championship winner 1950,51,52 & 53.
National League Championship winner 1964; National Trophy winner 1954, 1963 & 64.
 
 Rest in Peace Jimmy