phil small


Phil Small was a happy guy, always smiling and eager to help out were he could, a passionate guy for his family, speedway and English cars.

Moving to Canada in 2001 from Reading England with his then wife Helen, son Michael and daughter Elizabeth, he packed his worldly goods into a container together with his valued 897 speedway bike, and arrived in Ingersoll, Ontario. His passion for speedway began as a child where he grew up watching his childhood heroes at the Reading Racers speedway track, John Davis and Dave Jessup highlight his heroes, and he often facebooked photos and recollections of this valued time.

He always wanted to ride and took part in the Lydd Speedway School in the UK, on a newly purchased used 897 Jawa. He fell in love and the speedway venture began!

Coming to Canada, he by chance found a speedway track just 20 minutes from home, at Paris Speedway. He made a trip down one evening and saw a gentlemen grading the track on the tractor and stopped him to have a chat. This guy became a great friend in Mr. Dave Havill. Dave told him that they had practices on Tuesday night's and races on Friday so come out and have a go! This Phil did without question and immediately fell in love with the smaller Paris Track.

Phil Small became a bit of a fan favorite on the Friday night race night's, with his ongoing weekly battles with Big John Perry, John loved to be the nasty one and the crowd loved this good cop bad cop role they had! Add this together with some of the best racing Paris has seen and the recipe for success was made for the Small/Perry weekly show!

Phil openly offered a chance to ride to David Hensby and after crashing out on his first ride, he purchased Phil's valued 897 from him, leaving Phil to buy an ex-Billy Hamill laydown. Phil loved the transition to the laydown engine and his confidence rose to a new high. Despite his love for the small track, he rode at the bigger Welland Speedway track and a ½ event, but was never fully comfortable with the higher speeds. He loved the tight technical Paris track, and the ice times with fellow best buddy, Rob Dixon.

His Son Michael was regular spectator at the races and in the pits helping Dad do his thing, and on one hot sunny evening, Michael put on the leathers and took Phil's bike for a spin, well talk about a chip off the old block! Michael instantly took to the sport and was very successful. Even beating out his Dad in a few races! Phil needed another bike as Michael passion grew, and he purchase a new baby, his Weslake. He rode this with Michael riding his laydown unit, #21 and #2!

Being an engineer by trade, Phil decided after crashing and breaking some bones in his back, that he would direct the passion into converting his Weslake into a laydown, so he engineered the design and produced a masterpiece! Bringing in UK plastics for it, it looked a dream! Sadly for Phil, his passion for the sport dropped with not riding and Michael decided it was not for him, he slowly distanced himself from the sport personally, and even sold his Weslake and the laydown. Even though the passion had died from going to the track, anytime he could discuss it or be involved he would!

His passion turned to music and being an avid drummer, he redirected his interested to entertain others in another area.

Phil found happiness in his life once again, and he married Kerri in 2013.

Sadly just days after turning 49, he returned from vacation, and days later suddenly passed away.

Phil Small is missed by all of those in the speedway community that had and enjoyed the privileged to know him on both sides of the ocean.



canadian speedway history

This section of our site is forever growing. Despite its size, Canadian Speedway has been blessed to have some iconic names associated with it, and we are proud to bring this information to you.

Thanks is offered to many contributors including Duncan Luke, Tom Marriott, Roger Stevens and David Hensby for the the information used on this site.