OBITUARY: RIP Frank Knight
Frank Knight, Life President of the Sheffield Stars Club sadly passed away last weekend.
Frank had been involved with cycle speedway since 1978, when his son (Jeb) joined the Stradbroke Arrows. He was soon the team’s manager, and took on most roles (including the most difficult of all, a referee).
When the Sheffield teams merged in 1985, to form one club to represent the City, he was instrumental in them gaining acceptance to the English League. After one Sheffield away visit, he and the team called in to watch a Basildon v Thurrock local derby match.
He was impressed by the standard of top drawer racing, full of blood, guts and passion and vowed to bring Sheffield up to that level. He helped secure Sheffield’s future by negotiating a long and fruitful sponsorship partnership with local engineering company Padley and Venables, which would become one of the longest running in the sport.
Frank was a true gentleman in every sense of the word and would always make time to stop and talk with you about the past, present and future of the sport. He had a true passion for the sport, so when illness forced him to relinquish the chairman’s role in 2004 the club quickly bestowed the title of Life President.
In recent years, he and Jeb were regular spectators at all of Sheffield’s home fixtures, be it the Elite or Northern leagues at both Graves and Cookson tracks. Such was his passion for the sport he would even come to watch the Go Ride racing, where newcomers to the sport would be in action. You could see he got just as much enjoyment from watching this racing as the Elite competition.
His last act as President was to give out the awards at the Clubs presentation dinner (on 18th February), when he was his usual jovial self, laughing, joking, and reminiscing with everyone. Frank will be forever remembered in the history of Sheffield cycle speedway, which is a wonderful legacy to have.
The thoughts of the Sheffield club and its members are with Jeb and Frank’s family at this sad time. As a tribute Sheffield are planning on arranging a memorial meeting, hopefully on the 24th March (The day after his birthday).