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Frank was born on the 31st of March 1908 in Eldwick, W. Yorkshire, his younger years were not as care free as most would like for their children as he, and his siblings, suffered the loss of his father during the first world war although that in itself was not that unusual at the time as that war had a heavy cost in the lives of young men and in consequence their families.


In 1924 he started work in the Scott Motorcycle Works in nearby Saltaire and although not employed in the research and testing department his attitude and physique soon saw him being asked to help out in the testing of the equipment being manufactured, motorcycles, as it happened it was a good training for what Frank’s future had in store.


1928 and speedway was getting underway in the UK and Frank Varey’s career in speedway started when he competed at open meetings being held at the time at various sites around the country. Frank would finish work and then ride his Scott to the dirt track in Manchester, strip the bike down to race trim, race and then rebuild the Scott and ride it home. As prize money at the time was good it would be worth the effort providing you were good enough to win on occasion.


When team racing began in 1929 many teams were formed including one at the Manchester track and that was the one Frank joined becoming a Belle Vue Ace   competing with them in the 1929 season, being made Captain in 1931, and continuing with Belle Vue for 10 years until league racing was halted by the Second World War in 1939. Although there was no league racing during the war years individual meetings did take place and Frank did race in these meeting but he did not return to riding for a league team when league racing was restarted.


At the end of 1945 he decided to retire from racing and became the promoter at the Sheffield Owlerton track moving on to Edinburgh Monachs in 1950 although he returned to Sheffield in order to promote the team when speedway reopened there, retiring because of poor health in the early part of the 1970’s


Ill health did not stop Frank’s connections with speedway however because he returned to Belle Vue as team manager and continued to advise Sheffield on track preparation. Frank Varey was the second president of the then Veteran Dirt-track Riders’ association holding the office for 1961 to 1963 and remained a member of the re-named World Speedway Riders’ Association until his death in 1988 aged 79.

FRANK VAREY

The Second President of the World Speedway Riders’ Association

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