33/18 News has received the sad news that Tony Mann, founder member of the Chesham Comets as they were known before they became the Bury Comets, died peacefully on Wednesday 21st September. Bury club coach John Burston has sent in the following:

“It is my sad duty to have to report the death of Tony Mann of Bury Comets CSC this morning 21/09/22 peacefully in a local nursing home,.

“Tony was founder and mentor for close on 5o years of The Comets and was always delighted when “his Club” won any event from Go ride to the British finals .

“Although Tony will always be remembered for The Comets, name which he took from a rock and roll group in the 1950s Bill Haley and The Comets, Tony had rode cycle speedway since the late 1940s for clubs across Manchester notably Carrs Wood Hunters where he was part of the winning British Team Championship wining team on two occasions.’

“As Tony’s sons, Steve and Paul got older Tony took them to Heaton Park where they rode for Blackley Fliers in the Div 2 squad,

“Tony was in negotiations with Bury council and after some demonstrations around Bury and Ramsbottom they were granted a space on Chesham fields and became Chesham Comets.

“Initially using a cinder track to practice they worked extremely hard to get the track ready for the new season, and having challenge matches whenever they could.

“Some new recruits were found and with new body colours and football shirts the Comets were ready to start their first season in the Manchester league.

“There were many ups and downs over that first season working to improve the track and facilities but as things improved they were able to stage some big matches which culminated in a match v the Australian touring team.

“Eventually Bury Council decided to move the Club from Chesham to Goshen, which was the stat of a new transition to a new Chairman and Management team albeit with Tony still leading the club.

“The Club was still called The Comets but now Bury Comets and they managed to stage some major events again on a National and International scale something Tony was very proud of.especially when the club voted him as President.

“It was only a couple of years later due to bad health that Tony moved into a nursing home where he passed away peacefully today,

“Tony was the heart and soul of Chesham Comets and loved each match whatever the result.”

Condolences go out to Tony’s family and friends at this time. Details of his funeral will be posted as soon as they become available