Tuesday June 12, 2018
Love him or loath him, you could never ignore him.

They are words that have been written of the riding career of Rye House great Kelvin Mullarkey, who has sadly passed away today at the age of 67.

Mullarkey was a huge character in an era of the sport known for its racing personalities. With a reputation as a rider who took few prisoners, he was almost always guaranteed to deliver fireworks on and off the track both home and away. His battles with the likes of Jack Millen and Barney Kennett are the stuff of legend.

A villain to other clubs' supporters, he was an absolute hero to Rye House ones.

He was also one of the very best team riders that the sport has seen, with an uncanny ability to micro-manage a race and seemingly with eyes in the back of his head.

Long before his arrival in Hertforshire, Mullarkey was building a reputation as a showman, riding motorcycles from an early age and entertaining crowds by jumping through fire hoops while still a young schoolboy.

He enjoyed three different spells in Hoddesdon, first arriving in 1975 from Weymouth and cranking out 295 consecutive appearances for the club between then and 1982. He subsequently returned as a Rocket from 1984-1985, and then again in 1989-1990.

Mullarkey was, of course, part of the great team that won the Knock-Out Cup in 1979 before going on to lift the National League (now SGB Championship) title in 1980. On an individual front, he represented the Rockets in three National League Riders’ Championships, finishing fourth in 1977.

It was, however, as a TEAM man – and a RYE HOUSE man – that he will be most remembered. Surely the club’s record bonus points scorer, he ranks second only to Bob Garrad in the Rockets’ all-time points scoring list (3850 vs 3473), and second only to Garrad again in terms of appearances (421 vs 406).

Rye House Speedway extends its deepest sympathies to Kelvin’s family and friends at this very sad time.

If you would like to share your own tributes and memories of Kelvin, please drop us a line at We will look to feature them in a special Tribute page being set up on the Rye House website, as well as in a forthcoming issue of our match programme.