Tom Farndon

Last updated

Tom Farndon
Tom farndon.jpg
Born11 September 1910
Coventry, England
Died30 August 1935(1935-08-30) (aged 24)
London, England
NationalityBritish (English)
Career history
1929-1930 Coventry
1931-1933 Crystal Palace Glaziers
1934-1935 New Cross Lambs
Individual honours
1933 Star Riders' Champion
1934, 1935 London Riders' Champion
1934, 1935British Individual Match Race Champion
Team honours
1931, 1934London Cup

Thomas Farndon (11 September 1910 30 August 1935), [1] [2] was a British speedway rider who won the Star Riders' Championship in 1933 whilst with the Crystal Palace Glaziers. [3] [4]



Born in Coventry, Farndon started his career at the Lythalls Lane track in Foleshill and later rode for the club based at Brandon Stadium, before a spell with the Crystal Palace Glaziers. [5] He moved to New Cross Lambs with Palace promoter Fred Mockford in 1934. [6]

Farndon was the British Individual Match Race Champion and was undefeated from 1934 until his death in 1935.

Film appearance

The speedway scenes from the 1933 film Britannia of Billingsgate were shot at Hackney Wick Stadium and featured some of the leading riders in Britain at the time including Farndon, Colin Watson, Arthur Warwick, Gus Kuhn, Claude Rye and Ron Johnson. [7]


Tom Farndon was killed after a crash on 28 August 1935 whilst racing at the New Cross Stadium in a second half scratch race final. He was involved in a collision with team-mate Ron Johnson, who clipped the safety fence and fell causing Farndon to crash into Johnson's bike. Farndon suffered a fractured skull and spine injury and was unconscious when he was transferred to the Miller General Hospital in Greenwich. Tom died two days later (on 30 August) in Miller General Hospital, Greenwich, without regaining consciousness. [8] [9] [10]

Thousands lined the streets to see his funeral. An art deco memorial in the form of a motorbike racer, carved by local sculptor Richard Ormerod out of black granite stands at Tom's final resting place in St. Paul's Cemetery, Holbrook Lane, Coventry.

Tom Farndon Memorial

Between 1935 and 1961, the Tom Farndon Memorial was held on 11 occasions at the New Cross Stadium. The running of the memorial was abandoned after 1961 on the closure of New Cross.

1935 Eric Langton ( Flag of England.svg )
1936 Jack Milne ( Flag of the United States.svg )
1937Not Held
1938 Bluey Wilkinson ( Flag of Australia (converted).svg )
1939-1945Not Held due to World War II
1946 Malcolm Craven ( Flag of England.svg )
1947 Jeff Lloyd ( Flag of England.svg )
1948 Howdy Byford ( Flag of England.svg )
1949Not Held
1950 Graham Warren ( Flag of Australia (converted).svg )
1951 Jack Young ( Flag of Australia (converted).svg )
1952-1958Not Held
1959 Peter Craven ( Flag of England.svg )
1960 Ronnie Moore ( Flag of New Zealand.svg )
1961 Jack Young ( Flag of Australia (converted).svg )

See also

Rider deaths in motorcycle racing

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  1. Jacobs, N. & Chaplin, J. Tom Farndon The Greatest Speedway Rider of Them All, ISBN   978-0-7524-5140-4
  2. Bamford, R & Jarvis J.(2001). Homes of British Speedway. , ISBN   0-7524-2210-3
  3. Jacobs, N. Speedway in London, ISBN   0-7524-2221-9
  4. Montague, Trevor (2004). The A-Z of Sport. Little, Brown. p. 518. ISBN   0-316-72645-1.
  5. "ULTIMATE RIDER INDEX, 1929-2022" (PDF). British Speedway. Retrieved 28 July 2023.
  6. Jacobs, N. Out of the Frying Pan The History of New Cross Speedway, ISBN   978-0-7524-4476-5
  7. "Britannia Of Billingsgate (1933)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  8. "Tom Farndon still unconscious in hospital" . Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail. 29 August 1935. Retrieved 6 August 2021 via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. "Tom Farndon and Johnson injured" . Daily Mirror. 29 August 1935. Retrieved 6 August 2021 via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. "Farndon dies form injuries" . Daily Herald. 31 August 1935. Retrieved 6 August 2021 via British Newspaper Archive.