Sunday, June 26, 2022
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Hugh Porter – Pursuit King


It’s 44 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday; my mum and dad had gone to bed in our ‘cooncil hoose’ in Cross Street, Kirkcaldy and I was sitting alone in front of the TV.

The World Track Cycling Championships were being held at Leicester on the big outdoor track, the English summer had lived-up to expectation, rain had wrecked the schedules and the racing was taking place late in the evening.

I was captivated, I knew nothing about bike racing, but this was the coolest thing; a tall, slim guy, was on this sleek bicycle, the spokes gleaming under the floodlights, it was hard to tell man and bike apart, they looked like one, his back was parallel to the track and he wore a snarl, like a tiger.

He caught this other guy who had started opposite him on the track, the gun fired and the commentator told me that; “Hugh Porter from Wolverhampton is the 1970 world professional pursuit champion!

Right there and then, I knew there would never be any other sport for me.

It’s not often you get to interview your hero, so when I saw he was at the Worlds in Stuttgart a few years ago, commentating on the races for BBC 2 TV, there was no way he was getting away.

Hugh Porter
Hugh has been at home in the commentator’s box for many years. Photo©Daily Mail

How old are you, Hugh?

“That’s classified!”

(We both laughed, a good start, the ice was broken)

You’re a broadcaster now?

“Yes, I’m commentating on the Worlds for BBC 2 television. I started in local broadcasting in the 70’s, I did a weekly sports programme I covered football for