Bob Coles




Bob Coles (left) in Exeter colours, with Bombers team mate Kevin Holden

Bob Coles was born in Exeter on 12th February 1944 and began his speedway career in the West Country with Plymouth in 1968. He visited Brooklands  with the Devils for a League match on 2nd October 1969 but picked up just 2 points from his four rides. In 1970, Plymouth dropped out of the British League and Coles moved up to Division 1 racing, joining Exeter Falcons. In his first season, he averaged over 4 points a meeting from his 36 appearances.

Coles lost his place in the Exeter line up during the 1971 season when the Falcons signed Swedish international Tommy Bergqvist, relegating Bob to the No. 8 spot. He was loaned out to Romford and made his debut at Rayleigh, picking up 5 points but incurring the wrath of Rockets boss Len Silver, who considered Coles to be an established Division 1 rider! Bob's Brooklands debut went a lot better than his first visit, scorching to a 12 point maximum against Peterborough. On his move to Romford, Coles said, "I wish I'd done it last year! I felt I went into the First Division too soon - I'm sure a spell at Brooklands will do wonders for my confidence!" Coles ended the season with two full and one paid maximum an average of just over 8 points from 14 starts for the Bombers.

Bob Coles - moved to Barrow

Bob made the move with the Bombers to West Ham for 1972 and it's probably fair to say that Custom House was not his favourite track. Coles failed to record a double-figure score in any of the Bombers' seven home meetings, despite starting the season with a maximum at Rayleigh in a challenge match. When Custom House closed, Bob was one of just two Bombers to make the journey north to Barrow, who had taken over the Bombers' fixtures for the remainder of the season. The move suited Bob and he ended the season with an average of 8.61, also finding time to make 16 appearances for Exeter.

The 1973 season saw Coles return to Exeter full time before switching to sister track Newport the following season. He also found time to turn out for second division Mildenhall as rider/coach. In 1977, Bob moved on to Bristol for two seasons, then to Weymouth for another two years before returning to  ride again for Exeter in 1981. Coles stayed at the County Ground until 1984, when he was joined in the Falcons team by his son, Michael.