Fred Clarke Announces Retirement
After a career spanning over half a century, legendary motorcycle racing circuit commentator Fred Clarke has announced his retirement following the 2021 season.
The renowned voice of British motorcycle racing for the past 56 years posted a statement on his Facebook social media account earlier today as follows:
“There is no easy way to say this but following a lengthy period of soul searching and contemplation, it is, with sadness, that I inform you of my decision to retire from the BSB commentary box. My shift has now come to an end, and I will not be returning in 2022.
My whole life has centred around motorcycle racing. From standing trackside at Silverstone in the 1950s, to becoming formally involved in the paddock from 1960 onwards, and then by accident, moving into the commentary box some 56 years ago.
Highlights include commentating at 43 consecutive British GPs, held at Silverstone and Donington Park (1977 to 2019 inclusive), every World Superbike Championship meeting held in the UK, and even the hugely popular TransAtlantic Match Races, which began in 1971, plus being series commentator at BSB and its predecessor since the dawn of time!
I’ve enjoyed a wonderful life in the world of motorsport, which as well as motorcycles, has included karts, cars, and truck racing. However, time waits for no man. I am currently 77 years of age and feel that now is the time to hang up the ‘mic, so that for my remaining years, I can re-direct my undivided attention to the other love of my life, my wife Sandra, who for the 51 years that we have been married, has without complaint played second fiddle to my world of motorcycle racing.
Yes, I will certainly miss all that I’ve known and loved throughout my 60 years involved in racing, not least the countless wonderful people I’ve met, including the many marvellous fans who have been ultra-generous to me with their flattering accolades.
There are far too many people for me to thank individually, with but the following exceptions:
Special thanks go to my lifelong friend Bruce Cox, who back in the sixties was responsible for setting me on a path that, unwittingly, was to lead me into the world of commentating.
I also thank the ‘Guvnor’, BSB Race and Series Director Stuart Higgs for not interfering and simply allowing me to do the commentary job ‘my way’.
Thanks go to my assistant of countless years, the now-retired Geoff ‘Baldrick’ Judges.
Equally, my thanks and gratitude go to Paul Bird for his friendship and for allowing me unrestricted access to the PBM team hospitality over many years.
But my biggest debt of gratitude goes to my commentating partner for the past 21 years, my good friend Larry ‘Scoop’ Carter, whose professionalism, knowledge, and ability are second to none. I could not have had anyone better to have worked alongside.
May I also offer my heartfelt thanks to those who responded here on Facebook with such touching messages of congratulations upon receiving the BSB 25-year Outstanding Contribution Award. I was staggered and flattered by the content as well as the sheer volume.
This award now sits proudly alongside the Special Achievement Award given to me by the David Jefferies Foundation in 2009 and the MCN Dave Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award presented to me in 2011, all tangible reminders of my time spent in the commentary box.
Finally, I hope that you’ve enjoyed the ‘Fred and Scoop Show’ over the years, as well as the commentaries. I’ve had a blast and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. But for me, the show is now over, and it only remains for me to say this one last time: From myself, Fred Clarke, it’s goodbye my friends, and thank you so much for listening.”
Fred is planning on attending the Motorcycle Live Show at the NEC, Birmingham on Saturday 11th December as part of their BSB Day and will be on the main stage at 11am.