Following the news that Dennis McCleary is stepping down as a promoter of the Bandits and taking a well deserved back seat from some of the front of house duties, I feel it is only right to pay tribute to the man who has worked tirelessly for the Bandits for so many years.
Much of the work Dennis has done for the Bandits goes unnoticed but it would be fair to say that the man has done everything apart from throw his leg over a bike and ride for the club, at least competitively. To many, Dennis will always be the voice of Berwick Speedway, but in truth he has probably been the voice of reason more often than not when the club was perhaps in some of it's more testing periods.
From my own personal experience though, I have always found Dennis to be a total gentleman and someone who is an absolute pleasure to deal with. As many of you will know, Dennis was the editor of the match day programme for many years and he would be the man I would email my ramblings to. On many occasions he would dot the I's and cross the T's for me and keep me on the straight and narrow, when perhaps what I had written simply couldn't be printed!
However not once did he complain about it, and even on the occasions where I would be a day or two late submitting my stuff, not once did Dennis ever come shouting at me, even though he probably wanted to!
Dennis has always been my go to guy for anything Bandits related, and even though he probably dreaded the times he would get an email from me, nothing was ever a bother and if he didn't know the answer, he would know who to speak to. His help in some of my research into some of the older generation of riders has been absolutely invaluable to me and for that I cannot thank him enough.
Obviously with Dennis taking his well deserved step back, it means that those who will be filling the vacant roles will have huge shoes to fill, but they can be assured that they have been left in the best position possible. Dennis deserves nothing but praise for the countless hours he has put into keeping the Bandits going and we all owe him a massive debt of gratitude.
To put it simply, Dennis McCleary will always be Mr Berwick Speedway and one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and dealing with. He may be true icon and legend of Berwick Speedway and Berwick Rangers Football Club too for that matter, and a man worthy of his Hall of Fame status but more than that he is someone who I feel very privileged to call a friend.
I am absolutely certain that each and every one of you will join me in wishing Dennis all the best in his "speedway semi-retirement" and we will all be looking forward to hearing his dulcet tones coming over the tannoy this coming weekend.
Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply want to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me Mythman666@hotmail.com. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to limited characters, you can send me a tweet @Mythman666.
Until next time...and there will be a next time.
Right I'll hae'tae gan