Track name: Odense Athletic Stadium
Track owner: The Municipality of Odense
Address: Stadionvej, 5200 Odense West
Length: 400 m. = 437,5 yds
Width straights: 8,7 m
Width bends: 11,6 m.
Track record: 1,11,9 min. 26/7 1959
Record holder: Owe Fundin, Sweden
Open: October 14. 1950
This stadium in the western part of the city Odense opened in 1941 as part of a larger stadium park designed and built for many sorts of sport and athletics. Around the centre green, which was used for javelin, discus throw, soccer and much more, there was an oval cinders track of 437,5 yards length.
Early in the fifties when Dirt track racing – now called Speedway – enjoyed a boom in Denmark, the idea emerged to arrange such events on that track.
Fyens Motor Sport and the Sports Motor Club “ODIN” organized in cooperation
the majority of the meetings
Odense Stadium in satellite view 2010. In the speedway
years the oval track surface was dark grey cinders.
Soon the meetings gained popularity, but were at the same time controversially items.
The western part of the town was undergoing rapid development, and many newcomers disliked the noise from the bikes, which at that time had no silencers.
In particular the noise was heavy for people living in the flats on the opposite side of the Stadium way.
It could be said, that they advantageously could sit on their balconies and enjoy speedway for free.
Many renowned riders from Denmark and abroad took part in the races. Among them the star over all stars Morian Hansen, who got greatly applauded when, at a postponement of the meeting due to heavy rain, he laid flat on his belly in his leather suit in the biggest water pool on the track and took breaststrokes.
June 1. 1951
The South African Speedway team named the “Springboks” travelled in Europe on a 10 weeks tour and called in at the Odense Stadium for an English style match against a Swedish / Danish select captained by Morian Hansen. Never seen before in Denmark the South African riders all were uni-dressed in white leather suits and red race jackets with a white springbok drawn on the chest.
The local newspaper Fyens Stiftstidende wrote that the South Africans lost the match in front of 10.000 fans. But according to the speedway historian Ken McLeod they won 47-35. Unfortunately we don’t have a filled in programme to tell the details.
Can anyone help ?
The South Africans finished their visit to Denmark by 5 days later by beating another Danish team at Gladsaxe stadium in Copenhagen 37 – 35, before they continued to Norway.
September 2. 1951, Internationalt expert meeting:
This individual meeting enjoyed participation of Oliver Hart from Australia, Bill Kitchen from England, the Swedish riders Gunnar Hellquist and Lennart Eriksson, together with most of the Danish elite headed by Morian Hansen, Orla Knudsen and Erhard Fisker. Unfortunately our programme is not filled in, so we would be happy to recieve a list of results.
May 3. 1952 Season opening.
The Norwegian star rider Leif “Basse” Hveem and his fellow citizen Henry Andersen, both recently returned from their winter campain i South Africa were in the programmed matched against the Danish elite spearheaded by Kiehn Berthelsen and Orla Knudsen.
Unexpectedly it was not Basse’s usually march towards victory which was seen. He lost point to both Kiehn Berthelsen and Erhard Fisker. Henry Andersen showed phenomenal strength, but a slight misfortune kept him away from the top flight. Kiehn Bertelsen dropped one point only and won. Orla Knudsen had travel trouble and arrived in Odense too later for proper preparation before the opening. Norwegian Edwin Frederiksen did not make it to the start at all.
The Special class delivered the drama when four riders abreast entered a bend with no space left. Only Niels E. Nielsen came through. The others ended up in a stack, luckily without personal damage.
1. Kiehn Bertelsen 17 point.
2. Basse Hveem 15 point.
3. Henry Andersen 14 point.
4. Morian Hansen 9 point.
5. Erhard Fisker 9 point.
6. Orla Knudsen 5 point.
7. Aage Andersen 4 point.
Special 500 cc.
1. Svend Aage Rasmussen 6 point.
2. Niels E. Nielsen 6 point.
3. Jørgen Rasmussen 5 point.
4. Svend Nissen 1 point.
Standard 500 cc.
1. Ejvind Hansen 8 point.
2. Robert Rasmussen 7 point.
3. Johannes Mygind 3 point.
4. Poul Kaloer 0 point.
Ekspert crack race
1. Kiehn Berthelsen
2. Basse Hveem
3. Orla Knudsen
May 31. 1953, “The flying Dutchmen”:
The main event in this programme was a match between this travelling Dutch team and a Danish select captained by Leif Bech.
Certainly the Dutchmen rode the best they could and gave the Danes a close and hard fight. The Danes however were stronger and took a comfortable win 61 points against 46.
Best Dane was Jorgen “Berlin” Rasmussen with 13 points, well supported by Leif Bech with 12 and Oluf Elsberg 11. Best Dutchman was Gerrit Jonker with 12 points, followed by Henk Steutel with 10 and P. van Vreugde with 7 points.
1. Arne Svendsen, Silkeborg
2. Ejvind Hansen, Korup
3. Ernst Osterlund, Ry.
1. Jorgen Jensen, Odense
2. Hans Jorgen Hansen.
Tragedy struck when a child, who – illegally – stood at the track fence.
In the Standard A final. Aage Iversen from Sonderborg fell. Ernst Østerlund hit him and fell too. Ejvind Hansen from behind tried to avoid them and hit the fence. All riders escaped unhurt, but between the track fence and the public fence, where no one is allowed to stay during the meeting, a little boy was found unconcious with a serious wound in the head. He got rushed to the hospital,
where he lay unconcious for 17 days, but survived *)
During the day he was removed from the prohibited area seveal times, but obviously he returned unnoticed, where he got pushed backwards by the resilient wire mesh, fell and hit a concrete edge with his head.
*) In contemporary newspaper articles the boy was reported dead. This happy amendment was received on march 18. 2014 from the boys elder brother, who followed him to the hospital.
– – o O o – –
June 29. 1952, English – Danish team match:
The main event was a match between a British and a Danish team, which ended in favour of the Danes with the narrowest possible margin.
Pictures from the presentation of the foreign riders on Odense Athletic Stadium
Denmark 54 p. England 53 p.
Leif Bech 15 p. Bill Kitchen 18 p.
Orla Knudsen 13 p. Bob Beaker 16 p.
Kiehn Berthelsen 12 p. Terry Courtnell 11 p.
Erhard Fisker 5 p. Lloyd Goffe 5 p.
Irving Irvinger 5 p. Phil Bishop 2 p.
Morian Hansen 4 p. Jack Davis 1 p.
1. Johannes Mygind 8 p.
2. Borge Morch 5 p.
3. Ejvind Hansen 3 p.
4. Arne Svendsen 1 p.
1. Jorgen Jensen 6 p.
2. Helge Poulsen 4 p.
3. Hans J. Hansen 2 p.
4 Hans E. Hansen 0 p.
August 24. 1952, English – Danish team meeting:
After the narrow defeat to Denmark on June 29. there was no doubt the English team was determined to get revenge, and indeed they got. A convincing victory 64 – 44.
Team line up, No individual scores mentioned.
Orla Knudsen Bill Kitchen
Leif Beck Colin Clarke
Leif Hirsborg Kid Curtis (possibly Jack Davis?)
Oluf Elsberg Phil Bishop
Kaj Larsen Lloyd Goffe
Morian Hansen Jack Winstanley
Reserve: Lindegaard Petersen
In the intervals in the team match 3 heats in
special 500 cc. gave this result:
1. Svend Aage Rasmussen 8 point.
2. Jorgen “Berlin” Rasmussen 5 point.
3. Svend Nissen 3 point.
4. Niels E. Nielsen 2 point.
Sport 500 cc. gave the result:
1. Poul Kalor, 6 point.
2. Johannes Mygind 6 point.
3. Ejvind Hansen 3 point.
4. Borge Morch, 2 point.
October 5. 1952 Danish Speedway Championship final.
The Copenhagen rider Leif Bech won ahead of Orla Knudsen and Kiehn Berthelsen. From the early morning it rained heavily and the track got very wet. A cancellation was imminent, but the rain stopped at noon. At the riders’ parade at 2.30 pm the tracks was nearly perfect. Orla Knudsen rode with 82,5 seconds the fastest time of the day, but lost a point to Leif Bech, who got a “full pot”. The only crash of the day hit in heat 2 Aksel Müller, who escaped unhurt, but looked somewhat scared in his following heats.
The muddy track made it difficult to recognize the riders,
however the rider with no.3 is identified as Erik Wincentz
For the first time a new race format for the championship got introduced. 16 riders in 20 heats. The same format has been used for individual speedway ever since.
In the intervals first time on the stadium a sidecar meeting got absolved between Svend Knudsen, Johannes Hansen and Villy Baasch, all from Odense, and Egon Walther from Copenhagen. Johannes Hansen won ahead of Egon Walther. Due to the track width 8,7 m. where the track rules prescribes min. 10 m. to allow 4 sidecars starting abreast, the sidecars needed to gate 2 by 2. But to compensate and give more time to find ovretaking chances they rode 6 laps. The organizers would try to get the problem solved before the 1953 season..
September 20. 1953: Nordic Speedway Team Championship 3rd leg.
Programme cover from the Nordic Team Championship 1953.
1. Sweden 34 p. 2. Denmark 33 p.
Gunnar Hellquist 10 p. 2,3,2,3 Kiehn Berthelsen 12 p. 3,3,3,3
Göran Norlén 9 p. 3,2,3,1 Leif Bech 11 p. 3,3,3,2
Per Tage Svensson 8 p. 3,1,2,2 Erik Wincentz 6 p. 2,2,1,1
Stig Pramberg 7 p. 1,3,1,2 Johannes Mygind 4 p. 1,1,1,1
3. Norway 25 p. 4. Finland 4 p.
Henry Andersen 10 p. 2,2,3,3 Kauko Jousanen 2 p. 1,1,0,0
Werner Lorentsen 6 p. 2,0,2,2 Aulis Tuominen 2 p. 1,0,0,1
Reidar Kristoffersen 6 p. 0,1,2,3 Simo Ylanen 0 p. 0,0,0,0
Rolf Westerberg 3 p. 0,1,2,0 Leo Helminen 0 p. 0,0,0,0
4 fastest riders final:
1. Leif Bech 81,3 sek.
2. Gunnar Hellquist 82,5 sek.
3. Stig Pramberg 82,6 sek.
1. Leg in Växjo, Sweden, Juni 7..
1. Sweden 40 p.
2. Norway 24 p.
3.Denmark 23 p.
4 Finland 9 p.
2. Leg in Turku, Finland September 6.
1 Sweden 41 p.
2. Denmark 20 p.
3. Finland 18 p.
4 Norway 16 p.
4. Leg in i Oslo, Norway September, 22.
1. Sweden 37 p.
2. Norway 28 p.
3.Denmark 23 p.
4. Finland 8 p.
Nordic Team Championship 1953 aggregate.
1. Sweden 152 p.
2 Denmark 99 p.
3. Norway 93 p.
4. Finland 39 p.
May 30,1954: Denmark – Norway, Nations meeting.
Not a single word on this programme cover reveals that this meeting in fact was a nations meeting between Denmark and Norway.The Danes got heavily battered by the Norwegians.
1. Norway 70 p. 2. Denmark 38 p.
Henry Andersen 17 p. (3.3,2,3,3,3) Kiehn Berthelsen 13 p. (2,2,3,1,2,3)
Reidar Kristoffersen 16 p. (3,2,3,3,2,3) Leif Bech 13 p. (3,3,3,3,-,1)
Werner Lorentsen 11 p. (1,1,2,2,3,2) Axel Müller 7 p. (0,2,1,1,3,ef)
Erling Simonsen 9 p. (2,1,1,2,1,2) Erik Wincentz 2 p. (1,0,0,0,1,0)
Rolf Westerberg 9 p. (0,3,2,1,2,1) Arne Pander 1 p. (0,1,0,0,0,0)
Aage Hansen 8 p. (2,0,1,2,1,2) Erhard Fisker 1 p. (1,0,ef,0)
Åke W, Jensen (res). 0 p. Ns. Aage Andersen (res,) 1 p. (0,0,1)
500 cc Senior standard:
1. Børge Mørch, Kolding 8 p.
2. Arne Svendsen, Silkeborg 7 p.
3. Jens Nielsen, Silkeborg 1 p.
June 20. 1954: Nordic Team Championship Final.
Also this programme cover modestly departed from telling,
that the meeting was the final in the Nordic Team Championship
The score sheet reveals that it was a day, Arne Pander would like quickly to forget. The day opened with a heat win for Leif Bech in 78,5 sec. The first half of the meeting had a lot of tense fights and close riding to the joy of the 8000 fans.
Then the weather took over with a thunder storm and heavy rain, that made the track look like a trial etape of the most juicy sort
The riders tried as best they could, however with a few crashes in the mud. The Swedish team adapted best to the wet conditions. but the tiny Leif Bech equalled Göran Norlén as top scorer in the meeting.
1. Sweden 34 p. 2. Denmark 24 p.
Göran Norlén 10 p. 2,3,2,3 Leif Bech 10 p. 3,3,2,2
Gunnar Hellquist 9 p. 3,2,3,1 Kiehn Berthelsen 9 p. 3,1,2,3
Olle Andersson 8 p. 3,1,2,2 Axel Müller 5 p. 2,0,1,2
Stig Pramberg 7 p. 1,3,1,2 Arne Pander 0 p. f,ef,f,ef
3. Finland 21 p. 4. Norway 15 p.
Antti Pajari 8 p. 1,3,1,3 Werner Lorentsen 5 p. 2,1,2,0
Simo Ylanen 5 p. 1,2,0,2 Reidar Kristoffersen 4 p. 0,ef,3,1
Kauko Jousanen 5 p. x,1,2,2 Rolf Westerberg 4 p. 2,0,2,0
Aulis Tuominen 3 p. 0,2,0,1 Rolf Solberg 2 p. 1,1,0,ef
1. Leg in Tampere, Finland June 10.
The meeting got absolved on a 250 m.track, to which neither the Danes nor the Norwegians adapted well .
1. Sweden 41 p.
2. Finland 22 p.
3. Denmark 19 p. .
4- Norway 14 p.
2. Leg in Malilla, Sweden Juni 13.,
1. Sweden 43 p.
2. Denmark 25 p.
3. Finland 20 p.
4. Norway 8 p.
3. Leg in Oslo, Norway Juni 16.
1. Sweden 39 p.
2. Denmark 21 p.
3. Norway 21 p.
4. Finland 15 p.
Nordic Team Championship 1954 aggregate.
1.Sweden 157 p.
2 Denmark 89 p.
3 Finland 78 p.
4 Norway 58 p.
October 13.1974. Fyns Motor Sport’s 50 years jubilee meeting.
Still famous international rider signed in. Among others Phil Crump, Australia, Anders Michanek, Sweden. Eric Boocock, England and Scott Autry, USA. Among the Danish stars were Bent Norregaard and Kristian Praestbro. Unfortunately Phil Crump did not show up. In his place the first substitute Arne Andreasen rode.
1. Anders Michanek, Sweden 15 point.
2. Scott Autry USA, 14 point.
3. Bent Norregaard, Denmark 13 point.
4. Kurt Bogh, Denmark 10 point.
5. Kristian Praestbro, Denmark 9 point.
6. Ray Wilson, England 9 point.
7. Nis Nielsen, Denmark 8 point.
8. Finn Thomsen, Danmark 7 point.
9. Nigel Boocock, England 7 point.
10. Tom Leadbitter, England 7 point.
11. Gunnar Svendsen, Denmark 6 point.
12. Georg Hunter, Scotland, 5 point.
13. Leif Berlin, Denmark 3 point.
14. Godtfred Andreasen, Denmark 2 point.
15. Arne Andreasen, Denmark 2 point.
16. Jan René Henningsen, Denmark 1 point.
– – o O o – –
The end of 1974 also spelled the end of speedway at Odense Athletic Stadium.
The programme above is the last one from the stadium.
If you posses any information, stories, pictures or other material regarding this track,
you kindly would make available for this website, Please do so by proceeding
to the contact page or by using the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much in advance.