David Duffield Introduced Raleigh BMX

David Duffield Brought BMX To The UK – Early Video

Not a lot of people know but David Duffield was one of the pioneers of BMX in the UK.

While working as the marketing manager at Halfords Head Office in Redditch, David played a big part in building the first BMX Track opposite Halfords HQ at Icknield Street Drive, Redditch.

The first official BMX race in the UK took place on 30th August 1980, at the track David Duffield set up.

This track also went on to host the International Anglo American races of 1981 and 1982, when BMX suddenly was booming.

In 2010 Redditch Premiers BMX club members got in touch with David to invite him to the Redditch BMX Tracks opening ceremony some 30 years later. David even left some of his precious memorabilia from that era in the Club house for the members.

David Duffield didn’t just talk about cycling. He was cycling!

We can’t embed the video anymore – check out the original here: http://www.macearchive.org/Archive/Title/atv-today-01091980-bmx-bikes/MediaEntry/34428.html

Request For Help

There are still a lot of people who for whatever reason haven’t had the pleasure of listening to David. With that in mind we want to collect some of his more famous sayings together on this website. To help us achieve this all you have to do is send up some mp3 sound files of DD in full flight.

Topics we are particularly keen to get hold of include:

Little diddy men
Rabbits called sixpence

and others…

To do it you could either hook up your video player to your computer via a special scart lead or via a microphone next to the TV speaker.

Alternatively you could record all future webcommentary at www.eurosport.co.uk either to a tape recorder or if you are very technically minded you might explore how to use a bit of software like http://streamgen.ipfox.com to do it for you.

Remember if you’ve never heard DD yet then the best way to get cycling in the UK and Europe is to get www.eurosport.com either on Analogue satellite (my favourite because they show the most cycling and its all free) or via cable or a sky digital package.

Whatever you manage to get send it through and we will see what we can do!


Encounter With a Hero

My dream finally came true! At the London bike show Cycle2002 I finally met David Duffield and thankfully he was exactly how I expected him to be!

I managed to get to the show in Islington at 10.30am on the Saturday as I had heard David would be there along with some other cycling commentators before shooting off to his London studio to provide the commentary for that afternoon’s Tour of Spain. I found the Eurosport Cafe just in time to see DD being interviewed by one of the newer Eurosport commentators who does a bit of track commentary and in the corner I noticed Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen who provide the terrestrial Tour de France commentary as well as the newer OLN commentary for the emerging US viewers. After a quick “Hello”, handshake and a “I really like all the work you do” type chat with Phil and Paul I noticed DDs interview had ended and I was able to get straight in:

DD Left and new bloke from Eurosport (Sorry I forget your name, especially after we said hello during the great comentary you did at the Herne Hill Good Friday track meet!). Before anyone emails in suggestions I already know it is not Phil/Paul/Gary. Its not Adonis Russell Williams and it doesn’t look like he parts his hair with a chamois leather so its not Mike ‘Dungeon’ Smith.

And its not Christy Anderson either!

“Hello, I’m Marco”

“Oh hello I met some of you lot the other day”

“Yeah, I do the web pages about you though. I hope you don’t mind!”

At this point the excitement was making me dizzy so I forget the exact words of our conversation but it was something like:

No I really like them thanks for all the work you put in

Not at all its my pleasure, thanks for all the commentary you do, we really love it, it makes it so much more interesting and you wouldn’t believe how many fans you have got out there who are prepared to write in extolling your virtues. Infact I don’t really have to do anything except put all their great contributions together.

Oh Thanks, I understand you have some pictures from a friend of mine in Australia?

Yes Nisa sent some great shots in and I also get a lot of emails from lots of your friends all over the world including a recent one from Shaun Wallace (great British trackie) and also a 70s World Champion Sprinter from Australia.

If ever you have any problems with anything we write about you please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Eddy M (RRA boss who it turns out is a mutual friend) and we’ll amend it for you…

No, No don’t worry.

We’ve also got some stuff from when you were racing up on the site now – a picture of you being different in the National Cyclo Cross Championships and also two accounts of your tricycle record breaking rides including ‘the wrong way to end to ender’. We got them from old Sporting Cyclist magazines and I’m not sure about copyright issues.

Well Sporting Cyclist isn’t around anymore and all of those were done by Jock Wadley who unfortunately isn’t here either. I’m sure wherever he is he would be pleased they were being read again!

Do you think you’ll do anything more on the trike?

No those days are long gone! You know the village where I live had a scarecrow competition! I made one up using my old trike that I used to race on, a Greg Lemond jersey and pair of black tights! You know, made the scarecrow and everything. IT WON FIRST PRIZE!!! Out of 47 scarecrows it won first prize!

You’ll probably be getting an invite to our club dinner this January, do you think you can you make it?

Unfortunately I’ll be in Australia for the Tour Down Under before heading off to Malaysia for the Tour of Langkawi. Thanks for the signed menu from last year though, sorry I couldn’t make it (DD was ill last year so the hundred or so people at our dinner wrote happy messages on the menu and another card which got sent to him. Its an Addiscombe tradition to do that for friends who miss a dinner through ill health).

One other thing…You aren’t planning on retiring soon are you?

Well, I’m going to keep going to Athens 2004 if I can then I’ll cut it down a bit. I’ll still do the big races like the major tours and the classics but I’ll knock some of the other smaller ones on the head. Some months I’m hardly ever at home…

Are you going to Zolder (for the World Road Championships)?

Ooh yes I’ll definitely be there for those.

Do you think Cipo can do it or will the Italians self implode?

Well I don’t think he will be able to do it. I think they’ll self implode!

Do you ever chat much with Cipo? I reckon he’d be a real character? (I imagine both he and DD are quite eccentric and would appreciate each others wit)

Unfortunately he only speaks Italian and French and I don’t speak Italian and my French is very rusty. He says hello but I’m afraid that’s about as far as we get. I’d love to see him win though.

Did you see much of the recent track champs (Britain won 3 golds)?

Yes its been great. Russell’s been doing a great job with Mike Smith. When I was commentating at the Olympics I nearly fell off my chair when Queally won the Gold. You know I carry a union jack around with me and get it out whenever a Brit wins. The other commentators think I’m mad but when Queally won I was waving it all around!

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Ok thanks very much, remember if there’s anything you don’t like please get in touch. Oh and by the way here is one of our Addiscombe posters – it has the new web address on it which is a bit easier to remember.

Oh good that last one was a bit of a mouthful. Thanks for doing it all and keep up the good work!

Me (marco) left with DD. Note Paul Sherwin being interviewed far right and also well known domestic race photographer (with beard) behind me Paul J Wright

DD with one of his many female fans. He was genuinely keen to find out about everyone and in this case offered all sorts of advice about Sustrans paths and the national byeway scheme to get people out enjoying riding their bikes away from main roads.

I managed to keep within earshot as his fans came up to him and these were the snippets that I caught:

I don’t commentate for the cycling expert – they know what’s going on in a race. I commentate for everyone else and try to point out what’s going on.

Lance is very friendly with me but now has so much security around him that he’s hard to get to. He still waves or says hello as he passes and I often ask him how his cat Chemo is!

Sean Kelly is absolutely amazing at reading a race and points things out you would never notice.

My cat isn’t very well and is on its last legs. I’ll try and spend as much time with it as possible.

I have a dachshund so getting a new cat might be problematic (he said the dog’s name and it was on a par with Sixpence the Rabbit but I forget what it was exactly!)

I was ill last Christmas and thought I had DVT but in the end it was ….

Russell Williams nearly fell off his chair when Hoy beat Tournant by one thousandth of a second at the World Champs!

When I was 8 years old I can remember constantly chatting in class and getting hit with a ruler by the master who shouted at me “Duffield, you are an old washerwoman!”

A veritable feast of cycling heros! Sean kelly being interviewed

I managed to say hello to Sean and also give him an Addiscombe poster with the web address on as well as telling him a little about the Duffield appreciation site. Who knows, maybe he will email in with a couple of stories for us!?

Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen were also there and seemed equally friendly. Paul even rolled his trousers up to show some of his fans the scabs and scars on his leg that accompany being a racing cyclist!

DD had a pretty good long chat with top bike designer Mike Burrows (Boardman superbike, Giant etc). Suspension, Minis, Moultons, strong cheese? Who knows what they were talking about????!

At this point you realise just how lucky we are in the UK and Ireland to have so much cycling talent around. Mike Burrows the top designer, Sean Kelly the hardman of the 80s and Phil, Paul and Dave… the three top English speaking cyclesport commentators in the world.

DD and Phil Liggett discussing the commentary plans for the penultimate day of the Vuelta.

Laurence Meets The King

Hello boys and girls, especially Marco.

I had a close encounter of the Duffers kind earlier this year and it was a dream come true (which shows I should stop eating cheese late at night).

The place… Luxembourg… After a busy day watching the Prologue for the Tour, saw the riders practicing on the circuit in the morning, all my heroes were there Tafi, O’Grady, Zabel, Armstrong (ok, so a few were missing). Wandered around to watch the prologue and soaked up the atmosphere in the town, had some frites and mayo too. After the action was over I sauntered back to the hotel and relaxed before heading into the night… there was a gig in town, the Scorpions backed by the Luxembourg philharmonic orchestra.. it was free I might add!. Next to the hotel was an Italian place… the smell was dragging me in. Needless to say, it was packed. I got a table and enjoyed the wait for service, i was in no rush. I’d just finished my pizza and had ordered desert when a man was ushered onto the table in front of me. He looked familiar, but his back was to me. I tried to get a look at him in a reflection, but couldn’t. He was tall and had grey hair. I figured i’d wait until he ordered before getting too excited. It was hard to hear above the clamour of the restaurant, but his voice sounded familiar…. not only that, but he was reading a book about cycling, ‘king of the mountains’ and I could see it was an English language version. Just my luck that the waiters then decided to be efficient and my pudding and coffee had arrived and I was struggling to tarry. I was still trying to get a good glimpse of the man who might be king, but no luck. I paid the bill and headed off to town, wondering if I was close to greatness. After the gig I headed for the hotel. I rounded the corner, the Italian was quieter now. Then I noticed grey hair headed out the door and to the street… my timing was perfect. He stepped from the entrance and I reached it. I gasped. could it be? only one way to find out… “excuse me, are you David Duffield?” “Yes, How did you recognise me?” I explained that I’d been behind him earlier and had my suspicions. We then chatted for about ten minutes… I was raving about the Tour spectacle and the whole atmosphere and how it would be great for a UK version. He went into great detail about the problems with UK cycling and how he’d love for a tour of Britain and for the TDF to return. I said that I loved Eurosport’s continued support of cycling, as I worked for the BBC at the time it was great that someone was showing it and how I’d tried to convince colleagues to report on it, without luck. We chatted about the thorny problem of TV coverage and how it’s seen as an unfashionable sport and all the money is in football. He was so enthusiastic about cycling, he seemed to live and breathe it, much as Murray Walker did motor racing, it was actually contagious! The hour was growing late and he explained he had to get up early to get to the start and get all the gossip. He shook my hand and wandered off into the night. A truly lovely man, it was a pleasure to have met him and also to have eaten in the same restaurant I feel I’m part of the folklore now! As i missed the next day’s coverage from the man, I’ve wondered if he spoke of his great pizza from the night before and encounter on the street afterwards.

When he walked past me at the cycle show a couple of months back he gave me a long look, as though he vaguely remembered. I won’t forget though.

Laurence A.

Three Men Five Wheels

From Sporting Cyclist 1959

SUNDAY proved a very busy day and the morning was spent preparing the trikes and the vehicle. After lunch there were numerous ‘phone calls to get the weather forecast, and then David pronounced the verdict, “We start tomorrow.” More feverish activity with a small office printing kit preparing postcards notifying the many helpers of the intended start, and them off to Penzance to catch the post. We discovered later that many cards were not received until the Tuesday evening, which probably accounted for the “blank patches” among the helpers en route. A visit to the “End” for photographs; a penn’orth on the weighing machine for David, who turned the dial to 13 st. 5 lb.; meet the timekeeper, Ted Bricknell, off the train from Penzance; last-minute details to arrange, supper and 14 hours had gone by before you could say Albert Grimes ! Monday the 11th proved cloudy but with a strong S.W. wind, and everybody was busy by 6 o’clock.

Breakfast, final adjustments, flasks filled, watch checked, down to the Land’s End Hotel, 8 a.m., and we were off. The early miles passed swiftly by, and despite rain storms David made good progress, so good that we had difficulty in bypassing him to hand up food, but by dint of fast sprints through Devon lanes and many wishes for larger scale maps, we were successful on all but one occasion. During a quick thirst quencher at Lowdown, while Gerry was on the ‘phone reporting progress to Keith Edwards at Birmingham, the landlord of the ” Victoria Arms” volunteered to be the passenger when the End to End is attempted in a bathchair ! He was but one of the many enroute who thought it was another twist to the Babs Moore effort, and most were surprised to discover that the cyclist! End to End has been on the books for over five decades and that its strictly timed and observed and must comply with many ancient rules and regulations. Around Taunton, we began to notice an Austin which kept appearing on the side-road ahead, the occupants of which had a drink or sponge ready. These turned out to be the Ferry brothers from Yeovil, who helped as far as Bristol. Their knowledge of the lanes in this area fabulous and enabled them to keep up a succession of by-passes to get ahead of David. Despite the evening traffic in Bristol, the local club folk ensured a swift transit through the city, and we were soon on our way to Gloucester, where Lewis Morris and his crew were on duty. David was through here, 231 miles, in 12 hours, a few hundred yards better than his own record. It was here that we found that David had lost a shoe-plate, which resulted in many ‘phone calls and so much dashing about. In the end we collected half a dozen plates from helpers in Wolverhampton, and on the Tuesday, David changed into a spare pair of shoes. During the next few miles Gerry sat in the back cobbling, using the car jack as a last ! At Gloucester we handed over our charge to Jack Clements (president of the Beacon R.C.C.) and Dick Bowes (Solihull C.C.) while we pressed ahead, the idea being to have a break at Stourbridge before taking over again at Newcastle-under-Lyme. That was the idea! In fact David was traveling at such a rate of knots that we barely had time for a wash, a meal, tidy the van and replenish the flasks before it was time to be on the road again. We found David and followers at Wolverhampton; and as we were not due to take over again for another 30 miles, we made ourselves useful acting as domestique to the other helpers. At Newcastle we met George Wad, who, with Jack Duckers and Wilf (all of the `’.T.T.A.), in his van were to provide the mobile feeding arrangements for the rest of the journey. Between Newcastle and Warrington, we saw Jack Littlemore, and other Northwestern members of the T.A., flitting around the dark Cheshire lanes with drinks and encouragement. It was on this stretch that David had a bad patch, and his hour and a half gain on schedule dwindled to nil by the time Preston was reached at 6.29 a.m. on Tuesday. During this “bad patch,” slave driver Peter Barlow gave me instructions that under no conditions was I to allow David to rest, “He must be kept on the shove, if only at 5 m.p.h.” This was carried out! At the top of the hill leaving Wigan, a local policeman was quite unperturbed, at 5.30 in the morning, to find a parked tricycle whose rider was sitting in the back of a van, while three helpers were busy giving him a rub down and change. He asked us if it were an endurance test. Well, I suppose that is one way to describe it ! At Lancaster we were met by Gordon Tait and his clubmates who had a table, etc., erected by the side o the road and we witnessed a most efficient “wash and brush up” and feed. David disappeared under half a dozen helpers, who washed, massaged, fed, etc., and in a matter of minutes he was on the road again. Drinks were provided for both van crews, a dip in the bucket and we were off an the road again. From here on, the wind turned north, and was to remain there, despite forecasts of an early change, for the next 460 miles. David presses steadily on, and after climbing Shap had to “honk” down the other side against the wind! Through Penrith and Carlisle and across the border at Gretna Green, where the sound of bagpipes reminded us we were in Scotland. At this point, David told us he was feeling sleepy, and at if sound of the bagpipes thought 1 had arrived at the “Golden Gates At Abington, 526 miles, David stopped, against his will, for scheduled break. However, it was worth it, and after motherly attention from Mrs. MacInnes, David was soon feeling better, so much so that we watched three minutes tick relentlessly by, while “our rider” enthralled with the juke-box of Mr. Acker Bilk! I have wondered since what Peter Barlow would have

Something wrong here – 1000 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats (above) but only 874 in the reverse direction (below. The small sign too is wrong “Should be ‘Trike it and like it’ ” says Dave. But one signpost is right – his new record tme of 2-10-59 for the tricycle end to end.

said if he had been present! soon as the disc finished, he sent packing to complete, a differ type of record. Acker Bilk’s music must have magical powers, a 20 minute deficit on schedule reduced to nil in the next 88 miles through Lanark and Stirling a Perth. Upon reaching Perth, David asks for his lamps and extra clothes ready for the night, and Gerry takes this opportunity to rub some neat’s foot oil on David’s legs. A few miles further on we stopped a short while at Bankfoot to get supper. Gerry tells me that neat’s foot oil on one’s fingers adds quite a distinctive flavour to six penn’orth and a piece of cod. The 115 miles from Perth to Inverness includes the crossing of the Grampians, with a steady unbroken climb to the summit at Dalwhinnie. It was on this climb that, in the headlights, we suddenly saw something on the road ahead, and upon investigation found David lying on the ground with his feet up on the trike axle! A quick rub down, and the feeling soon returned to his legs and he was pedalling on once more. Shortly after Tomatin (where he was 50 minutes down on schedule), David stopped to allow the van to go on ahead and make sure the organisation at Inverness was prepared. This journey was not really necessary, for the organisation there was about the finest I have seen on a record attempt or long distance time trial. The Inverness organisation was undertaken by the Clackmannanshire Wheelers under the able direction of their secretary, Maysie McLeod. We were directed by marshalls stationed on every corner to Maysie’s house where every necessity had been prepared. David’s imminent arrival was announced by a motorcyclist who had seen him on the outskirts of the town and had used back streets to get there first. With the help of Maysie’s husband, Ian, David was soon washed, changed, fed, and in half an hour was away again. Many remarks are made to tricyclists and David told us the latest; a small Scots lad had asked him, “Do ye no think ye’re a bit tae big to ride one o’ them?” All the helpers were kindly provided with washing facilities and breakfast and then Ian, despite the rain which was now falling heavily, rode ahead of the van to pilot us through the town and on to the road for Dingwall. David was now showing signs of his 50 odd hours without sleep, but he rode steadily on through repeated rain showers, and although an hour down on his schedule (which was calculated to beat Albert’s time by two hours) he managed to keep it at this level. When he heard at Inverness that Albert had walked Berriedale, David was determined to ride, and this he did ! I believe he is the first End to End tricyclist to do this and is therefore not only the first tricyclist to complete the ride without sleep but also the first to ride the whole course. Due to road repairs the surface on both Helmsdale and Berriedale was atrocious, and progress was so slow in places that he was almost at a standstill. Every turn of the pedals must have been agony, for it even made my legs ache, and I was walking alongside! However, he was still able to pass the time of day with two girls whom he met at the top. Freewheeling down the other side for a breather, David would have never thought that, the next day, on the way home, he would be helping to push a fuelless van to the top from the opposite direction ! David then settled down to tackle the last 40 miles, and this he did in earnest, for the wind, at last, had moved on to his shoulder. In fact, he went “mad,” and mile after mile was reeled off at 21-22 m.p.h., and this after 850 miles in 58 hours ! The last 17 miles from Wick was covered in 50 minutes. We overtook David for the first, and last, time .about nine miles from ‘Groats so that Ted could be in position to time the finish. I would have given a lot for a picture of David’s face as we passed him, though I shall carry a mental picture of his contorted, determined features for many years ! Despite the isolation of John O’Groats there was quite a crowd to welcome David after he passed Ted at 11 minutes to seven to record a time of 2 days, 10 hours, 59 minutes. During this story I have said little or nothing about the splendid work undertaken by George Ward and his crew with the feeding arrangements. They were in the right place at the right time and worked without any fuss. With a Calor gas stove in the back of the van, every feed of porridge was freshly prepared, though I think there was almost as much porridge around the van and its contents as that which went into the bottles for David ! To the uninitiated, this would appear to be the End, but no. After a short sleep of 25 minutes in .the van, David was up again. Photographs, telegrams; another penn’orth on the scales, now showing 12st. 51b.; reporters; telephone calls, etc., before making our way to the hotel for the night. After a bath, David was ready for a meal and we sat down to dinner. Sandy, a coach driver who was staggered to hear of David’s 2 day ride, told us it had taken him three days to get to Glasgow with his coach and generously treated us to drinks. Finally, at half past ten, we made our way slowly up the stairs and so to bed. The only thing left now was the journey home to Birmingham. And that took us TWO days! !

HEADING NORTH ” Breakfast ” at Lancaster at a roadside pull-up manned by Gordon Tait and Wilf Crowther, regular End-to-End helpers.

Less than 50 miles to go After the eight mile drag out a Helmsdale, a quick freshener from Peter Thorne (author of this story) Pip Jones stands by with bidons of porridge and glucose drink.

Three hours earlier, Dave Duffield stops at the summit of Aultna main. It was early morning, cold wet and windy.

Wrong Way to End to Ender 1959

WRONG WAY END TO ENDER from Sporting Cyclist 1959

THERE are many unconventional things about David Duffield, the gay cavalier of Midland cycling. For instance, he must be one of the few racing men of the present generation who does no weekday training at all, his cycling being confined to weekends. But most unconventional of all was his decision to attack the End to End tricycle record this year ” the wrong way round,” that is, by starting from John o’ Groats instead of Land’s End. That he succeeded, in spite of the dismal prophecies of riders and followers with much End to End experience, did not surprise his friends, for, in their opinion, “Dave can get away with anything!” Needless to say, therefore, David Duffield is one of the characters of the cycling world a cheerful, voluble heavyweight, three inches above the six foot mark, whose services are very much in demand during the social season as an after dinner speaker. On such occasions his “few notes” are either written on a thick wad of foolscap ,sheets, or on the back of a scantily clad pin up portrait. However, David Duffield warrants a place in this gallery of Sporting Cyclists because of his feats outside the social season.

It was Mike Earp of the Evesham and District Wheelers who first instilled an enthusiasm for competitive cycling into David, while the pair were doing their National Service. On being demobbed in March, 1952, David joined the Beacon Roads C.C., and 12 days later rode his first time trial, a medium gear 25 in which he clocked an encouraging 1921. By the end of the year he was down to 1-2-7 for a 25, his best 50 was 2-8-55, and he was 12 minutes inside “evens” for the hundred. Despite a change of Job next year, and irregular training, David managed to knock 16 minutes off his 100 time, and covered 241 miles in a 12 hour event. Duffield’s clubmates will, I am sure, agree that some of his tastes are bizarre, to say the least. Small wonder, then, to find him attracted to tricycling ! In 1954 he rode a 25, two 50s and a 100 on a ” barrow,” in the latter event achieving the distinction of finishing second to John Arnold and pushing Albert Crimes down into third place. Attracted to Road Records, he attempted, in one ride, the Midland R.R.A. 50 and Midland and National 100 records; but an error in course measurement resulted in his claim being rejected. But he had shown himself to have the ideal temperament for the job, and success in this sphere eventually came his way. I remember his triple record attempt in September, 1955, on the Birmingham to Bristol and back and 12 hour’ Midland records (he had scheduled’, for the National 12 as well). Riding’ a ” conversion ” set, his offside rear fork end fractured after 30 miles” and he completed the ride on al machine literally strapped together. The Midland records were beaten quite comfortably, but what a fight he had over the closing miles of the National 12! A slow patch had set in, he was drenched by a thunderstorm at Warwick, and when I saw him stagger up the little rise into Knowle the well known Duffield spirit was very low indeed. But David was not finished by a long way, and, after struggling into Solihull and turning off down the winding lanes through Catherine de Barnes, the speed rapidly rose – 17.s, 18s and then ” evens.” But time was running out. The record stood to the credit of S. W. Parker with 230 miles, and to become the new holder David had to beat it by at least 440 yards. His ” sprint ” paid off, for when calculations were finished it was found he had ridden 230.4 miles. The last two Whitsuns have seen David putting up really great endurance rides. In 1956, you will remember, it was the 1,000 miles that hit the headlines. Equipped with a specially built 26in. frame, with reinforced rear stays, 7in. cranks and eight gears, he overcame the delay caused by a broken front spindle, stomach trouble, a bad attack of hic coughs and extreme cold during the hours of darkness, to knock 18 hours off the previous record with a time of 3 days 12 hours 15 minutes.

The super salesman

This year it was the ” Unconventional ” John o’ Groats to Land’s End record. Again he had mechanical bother early on, and again he had to fight stomach trouble and cold, but fought courageously on to clock 2 days 20 hours 9 minutes, or 41′ hours inside record. As is often the case on those ultra-long records, the helpers were more tired than the rider. And so David drove the first 50 .miles of the journey back to the Midlands while his helpers slept. I have only outlined the highlights of Duffield’s racing career, but the great thing is that, win or lose, he enjoys the sport. During this past summer I saw him riding in a circuit mass start event. Wearing a natty line in black and white check caps, he was lapped by the leaders, but came through with a wink and the thumbs up ,sign to his friends. With such a love of the game, we look forward to seeing a lot more of David Duffield, on and off the bike, for he is still only 26 (and single, too, girls!), and with plans galore in mind. A representative for a well known Midland cycle firm, he knows how to put his case. Ray Booty says that after a bit of sales talk from David he found himself agreeing to pair up with him one of these days for a record attempt on a tandem trike!

Keith Edwards. Sporting Cyclist 1957


870 miles in… well, its written up there on the pointer to John O’Groats. An obliging photographer has fixed his own private signpost to commemorate David Duffield’s successful end to end ride.

Jim’s Collection of Duffield Gems

Hello Mate. Here are the quotes I have, more or less chronologically. There are also a handful from Stephen Roche and Mike Smith in the same spirit, just to show how infectious is the great Duffield mindset. Hope you like them! I’m living in Finland at the moment and there is a home-grown commentator here these days, so unfortunately we don’t get to hear Dave anymore. This is a development of the last couple of years; he used to be well followed in the Nordic countries too!
Best from Jim.



Stephen Roche and I have just been watching this day, not dissimilar to other days, when they go fast, fall off and come in to the finish.

Neil Stephens: the great lion-horse of the Festina team.!

A short sharp reaction.

Laurent Fignon just got bombed by a baguette!

As the french say, there’s nothing so long as a day without bread, and Laurent Fignon just got some but there’s nothing in it!

If we had a yo-yo championship of the day, Riis would get the award.

No it’s not the bedouins! (roadside info tents).

The unusuality of the race.

If the whole thing proverbially hits the fan.

In the blue shoulders, that is Jalabert.

The commentary point we’re sitting from now.

I am sitting here with my chin on the counter, my mouth open like a great big whale scooping up plankton. I am gobsmacked!

One day they’ll tell him (El Diablo) where to put the fork, and it won’t be very pleasant either!

People are almost stripping down to their next-to-nothing.

Look down the valley…if you’ve got vertigo, sort of…don’t look down the valley.

The mountains look black and white. The white is snow because the snow is still up in the sky.

Too many cooks to spoil the broth.

This is not for the lads back there who have any problems with their ticker-tockers! (on the descent).

It’ll be time for the proverbial on the fan!

If I wasn’t grey already, I’d go even greyer.

And the gap is down to 40 seconds, as I’m getting carried away by the statues!

This is like Wimbledon., Ascot and Silverstone all wrapped in together and plonked in the middle of Paris: amazing!

Heart-rendering stories.

He’s ridden himself into the cobbles.

He (Boardman) crashed out through injury.

It could be all over bar the shouting, or until the fat lady sings.

It’s every man for himself- man the lifeboaaaats!

Monet was born in Le Havre or Paris, or was brought up there and then went to Paris to do his painting.

See now as they go up: the stunted trees, the sparse grass, the special alpine flowers that can withstand the hard winter.

Any of you who have just finished hoovering the house out and have turned on the old TV…..


My (steering) wheel’s on the right-hand side, and when you look down you can almost get vertigo and bumps on your tummy, it’s so far down!

They’re big birds, so watch out lads, in case they drop one on you! (birds dropping bones on mountain rocks to break them open).

And the streaker gets his organs caught and thrown out of the finishing straight! He nearly won by a short head!

Apurov (=Abdujaparov!).

If you ever get the chance to visit Paris, do go up to the d’Orsay….I love painters; they’ve got Monet, Ceganne and Déjà.

2, 4, 10, 20: there must be 100 photographers here on the line!

He had time to throw his hands up in the…er…

De las Cuevas is so far down on GC you could time him in with a calendar!

This morning I went out for a run (in the Pyrenees) and was looking at the little alpine flowers.

They cycle through the toll – and no one’s got their money out!

Paris, we can’t hear, we’ve got a thunderstorm on our heads!

Escartin has a pursuiter’s hooter. A big nose spread all over his face to suck in lots of oxygen.

Dr Robert Millar says stay clear of Columbians and weaker Spanish riders on the descent.

This is what I call a “beyond comprehensible” climb.

If you’ve got a grandmother in a wheelchair, now’s the time to take her for a walk so she needn’t see this!

SR: What are they doing there, Dave? – DD: They’re riding their bicycles!

Also STEPHEN ROCHE from the same period…

He’s got his backside between two chairs.

I have my ear to the grindstone, Dave.

The team is not firing on all four cylinders.

It’s time for them to show the colour of their…….

There is more than one guy has ideas behind his head here.

If it came to the sprint, Ulrich might have the upper hand on Ulrich.

He probably doesn’t know himself what he’s up to. That’s the sad thing about it. (on a Virenque breakaway)

They’re uneasy here, they’re going round the corners like an old thrupenny bit.

And MIKE SMITH (link-man)…

The birthday boy of three years ago.

It could be that ’98 will be seen as a watershed year. Let’s hope it’s a watershed with the water flowing in the right direction when all the dust has settled.

I’m sure everyone who enjoyed it took part.

Not actually a lake, a reservoir, as it’s artificial water.


Josepi Beloki, following in the footsteps of Lance Indurain.

Air-conditioning wasn’t invented when they built that hotel in 1821 – no, I’m exaggerating! (describing a hot night passed in a beautiful old hotel).

So, the river running through here, cooling air from it’s hot and sticky day.

Mike’s got all this information stashed in his head. The old grey cells were going click, click, click, and they wouldn’t actually put themselves to pieces!

In the Tour of Italy, he either took his foot off the pedal or did the same thing.

(no context missing here!)

Pantani was like half a yard of popcorn! (reminiscing over riders’ weights).

We were at the ad break, so you couldn’t smell the barbeque going full tilt!

We would have no room to swing a cat…….I shouldn’t let cats out of the bag!

He (a rider) looks a little young to be out of school.

Sean Kelly, the man who used to eat peat for breakfast!

Soloradathama (= solo ride in the mountains).

Wachashiza (= world championships in Zurich).

If you,re licking your lips at the prospect of a bunch sprint…I’m licking my lips at the swimming-pool inside the chateau. (an aerial view near the end of a flat stage).

I’m sure a lot of people when they get home will find their kids have snitched the sheets from the bed and put them up in the sky. (roadside banners).

A little bit of speculation flowing from the lips of Sean Kelly? Can I stick your neck out?

(Much pondering over how enormous a penny-farthing would need to be to get a big top gear)…in case you’re wondering why they don’t ride them anymore!


Perhaps he’s rushing to the loo! Get the toilet paper out! (on a fast ride by Lance, following a bad night of vomitting and diarrhea).

Sponsored by Alessio, makers of alloy wheels for your car. So if you want new alloy wheels for your clapped out Ford Escort that you’ve had for 15 years..

Mont Ventoux:-

Their aspirations melting in the sun just as the little bit of cheese is melting on Mike Smith’s screen.

If I say the twilight of his career, no doubt his supporters will start throwing bricks at me.

Boy I’m the boss! Up you, I’m off!! I’m speechless!! (as Lance leaves Beloki on Ventoux).

The cool, calm, collected voice of Sean Kelly analysing the race there.

There’s nothing but huge sparse bits of green up there.

Fascinating times lie ahead of us here on Mont Ventoux, with Lance Armstrong riding magnici…….

Lance Armstrong rewriting the history books here. (I know they all say it, but still!)

Like when Armstrong put his foot on the pad on the moon, saying,”one great strep”.

The speedom has come in and interfered with our marvellous shot.

If I was riding here I’d need a pair of glasses to read what they just put up.

This rash Texan, who burst upon the scene and surprised a lot of people.

My French colleagues are going absolutely over the moon because this is the moonscape!

He (Virenque)was actually born in Castablanca, Morocco.

(Virenque comes to the finish) with polka dots all over him! (he is not wearing the jersey).

He (Virenque) had a few problems in the Festina problems.

Axel Merckx, a long, tall, gangling lad.

Americans, many millions of them, are turning into their televisions early in the morning.

Not one of the well-heeled, all singing, dancing teams.

Let’s get the old abacus going.

He (Beloki) has lost a hatful, something like 1 minute and 60 seconds!

Here’s a man (Botero) who has a university degree and and a rich father. He could easily have gone and got a nice simple job working in a bank but he likes riding his bike.

David Duffield Reader Submissions Part 11

We Love David Duffield 2004

From: Stuart M
Subject: Vive le Duffield

I have just found your site and thoroughly enjoyed reading the pages and pages of Duffieldisms. I’ve been a fan since the early 90’s when I got my first dish. I enthused about him to my Dad a few days later and his response was, ‘Oh yeah, I used to race with him at the Beacon’!

I agree with a lot of others that it is his passion and genuine love of the sport that make him truly great. He is just a really nice down to earth bloke. I’ve been lucky enough to meet him a couple of times once just after the final stage of the the 2004 Tour of Britain and also in the restaurant of the Hotel Campanille in Valenciennes during the TDF. He had finished his meal and was enjoying a glass of champagne with Russell Williams and other members of the Eurosport commentary team. He was charming, signed autographs, posed for photos and never stopped chattering.

Anyway, ‘it’s a war of attrition’ seems to crop up on a regular basis so add it to the list.

I asked about his absence from the 04 Tour and he shrugged his shoulders and mentioned ‘contractual problems’. In the Eurosport magazine we were promised DD in the Studio. I get the impression he was treated pretty badly and I’ve mailed Eurosport to tell them so.

He is a national treasure and should be knighted or better still Prime Minister.

Finally try this next Spring – Pictures of the Tour of Flanders on the TV, frites and mayonnasie in a bowl and DD through the speakers. There can’t be many better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon can there?


From: Alan S
Subject: Duffield

Hi David Duffield led us to your brilliant site. Enjoy watching the cycling with Duffers on International Eurosport although this year it was a pity that the Tour De France summaries were in German. Yesterday saw David Millar do a splendid job in winning the Time Trial. It wa a pity that the preceding programme on Jan Ullrich in the Tour was in German. As fans of JU is there anywhere of finding a transcription in English? Why do Eurosport do this, is there anything one can do with Astra Eurosport or is it simply a device to make us invest in digital and have to pay for Sky? Best Wishes Alan Scaplehorn

From: Alan R
Subject: The Great Man

Hi I found this in an old January 1965 copy of Cycling. Kind regards Alan R


From: Frank P
Subject: A couple of Duffieldisms


Great site. I’ve been listening to Duffield for years, thinking “what is this man going on about?”. I’ve alternately loved him and been infuriated by him. But if his quality as a commentator is debatable, nobody can doubt his passion and commitment to the sport he has been involved with all his life.

A couple of phrases you could add to your Duffieldisms glossary:

“The UCI in their wisdom have decreed … ” Translation: You all know the low opinion I hold of the sport’s governing body and here is yet another example of their crazy bureaucratic approach

“They’ve got x kilometres to go, that’s y miles in English money” Translation: I am convinced that the vast majority of British viewers like myself have never really got used to this newfangled metric system

“This is the Tour de France” Translation: This is a cycling race (uttered most recently during Paris-Roubaix coverage)

From: Alon (israel)
Subject: I don’t believe it

During last year’s TDF an exchange between DD and Christy had DD commenting on the presence of the wife of one of the leading riders in the crowd at the arrivee whereupon Chisty spotted Eric Zabel’s wife and said- I kid you not- “Eric Zabel’s wife comes whatever position her husband’s in” Lucky DD is from the Old School and Teddibly British and he carried on commentating while I and 27 million others had fallen screaming off our sofa’s. Christy was probably pulling her hair out There is only one DD. DD for King or at least Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Margo the London bike messenger (well I was 20-odd years ago and still ride despite cancer afew years ago and getting squashed by a tractor 6 months ago)

From: Reg O
Subject: Where is Duffers?????

Dear Agreeable World, my life has taken a real downturn lately, with the final straw being to eagerly anticipate the Tde F and to find Mike Smith commentating. Agh—————– he just doesnt know when to or how to shut up, every nano second has to be filled with yat. And his strange over emphasis on foreign place/people names. No Millar, No Duffield and Mike Smith present until eternity. The contact us on Eurosport doesnt even work. Going for a lie down in a darkened room and will get the prologue results later. Congrats on a great web site by the way. Regards Reg Oakley “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the Human Race.” H.G. Wells.

From: Jan (Ireland)
Subject: David Duffield

Hi – sorry to bother you, but as a cycling fan, I’m wondering why the “bould” David is’nt commentating on Eurosport’s coverage of The Tour de France – can you tell me why? I miss him and it’s only the first day!!!

Jan W

From: Valerie R
Subject: where are you?

Dear David, We have just turned on to Tour de France and you are not there. The Tour is not the same without you. We would be grateful to know why you are not commentating this year. We hope so much that you are not ill or incapacitated in some way. For so many years we have enjoyed your commentaries. They became the highlight of the sporting year for us. We are not cyclists, we are much too old now to even think of beginning to become cyclists, but we have found an enormous ammount of pleasure in watching the Tour each year and listening to your commentaries. The information that you give, whether it is to do with the Tour, or the participants, or the countryside, or the food and wine, always it has been marvellous to listen to. We live now in France, and one year the Tour went down the road just by our house. Would you believe it, that year, we had gone back to UK for a visit to our family. It hasn’t come this way since. We live near Castillon de Bataille, Dordogne. Please let us know what is happening to so throw our listening and watching into such confusion without you there. Hoping that you are well, and that it is some technical thing that has prevented you from being with us this year. With affection for the years of pleasure you have given us.

Valerie and Eric .


Dear whoever this is going to.

We have just turned on Tour de France, and David Duffield is not commentating. For so many years now we have enjoyed his commentaries, and looked forward to them. We hope that he is not ill and that this is the cause of his not being on song for us this year. His information on the tour, the riders, the countryside and the food and wine etc., made each Tour de France a joy to watch and listen to. We now live in France and appreciate all that he says.

Please let us know what has happened to confuse our watching. We miss him.]]

Valerie and Eric .

From: kevin S
Subject: Duffield

Hi, Please can you tell me why there’s no David on this years tour? Not even a mention during the prologue!! I find this strange. Mike Smith does a good job but he’s no DD! Regards Kevin

From: pando ireland
Subject: David

Hi Just wondering why was David not commentating on Eurosport today, the tour was not the same without him !!!!! Nollag

From: Bill G
Subject: Duffield

G’day Folks, It looks like they have put Duffield out to grass, no sign of him in this years TDF, Just Mike Smith, Sean Kelly and that american woman with the irritating voice, seems to me it’s the end of an era.

Bill (ex-Redmon CC and some others)

From: Richard M
Subject: DavidDuffield

Why isn`t David part of The Eurosport team this year ? He is missed !

Is he broadcasting for any other company ?


From: PM Northern Ireland
Subject: David Duffield

I turned on the Tour de France this year and was horrified to find no David; what is going on? I have been out touch of cycling for a while and don’t know whats happening, can you fill me in? p. m . n ..ireland.

From: Kim
Subject: Duffield

Please do you know why David Duffield is not commenting on this years Tour De France.

Many thanks

Kim O

From: John D
Subject: DD is missing

Hello, I am hoping that you may be able to help solve the ‘where is Duffers’ mystery which is driving me and thousands of disgruntled Eurosport viewers to distraction.This years TdF is definitely worse off without him and I hope that you may be able to shed some light on the situation, Thanks in anticipation, John D

From: Milner
Subject: Duffield

Dear Sir, I have watched the Tour de France for many years now and always enjoyed Davids commentary.Do you know why he is not commentating this year? Thankyou

From: mark K
Subject: David Duffield


Do you know, has David Duffield hung up his mic?! I see (well, hear) that it’s Mike Smith leading the way this year…

Cheers Mark

From: Roy & Patricia
Subject: David Duffield

As you know David is not appearing on the Eurosport commentary of the TdF. The Eurosport cycling message board is plastered with demands wanting to know why David is not there and for him to return.

I assume that David has been retired and that Eurosport does not have the decency to make an announcement. Please give David best wishes from one of his young fans.


Roy P(aged 61 & 1/6)

From: Sean C

Where is Monsieur Duffield this year? No sign on Eurosport or have I missed something? Surely they can’t have got rid of him?

From: Frank
Subject: David Duffield

Why is he not commentating on Tour de France this year on Eurosport

From: John
Subject: Duffieldisms

Dear Sir/Madam, I have been enjoying your excellent tribute to David Duffield and thought that I should send in my favourite quote from him. It happened on a flat stade on last year’s (2003) tour when Duffers was expressing his delight at ratings increasing for cycling on Eurosport. He said “We are getting a lot more viewers every day for the tour here on Eurosport. People are watching cycling who wouldn’t normally, they’re sick of football with all the money and diving, sick of soaps they’ve seen it all before and they don’t want to watch that black and white film that they’ve seen fifteen times with Gregory Peck in it who’s dead actually! Isn’t that right Sean [Kelly]?” Sean Kelly : “Er Yes.”

Classic Duffers I think you’ll agree. Apologies if you have already been sent this one.

John W

From: MJ
Subject: David Duffield

Can you please shed any light on the reason David is not commentating the Tour de France this year on Eurosport. I have tried asking Eurosport but they will not reply. David made such a difference to watching the event and he is sadly missed by many. Help much appreciated. M.J.

From: KSH


Love your website but whats happened to david duffield on europsort. Have I missed something or has he retired.

Many thanks

David Duffield Reader Submissions Part 10 2004 Update

We Love David Duffield 2004

We got so many emails about DD over the summer that it all got a bit overwhelming. Here they all are as a labour of love towards our great friend.


From: Tim Y
Subject: Howdy from the States

Howdy from the States,

Please keep up the good work. I’m a Duffield fan from way back – via – shall we say – begged, borrowed and stolen – Eurosport coverage. As an avid racing cyclist, my friends and I take every opportunity to work Duffield-speak into our vocabulary. My riding friends who don’t know who he is, and what a unique brand of commentary he provides, over the many years, are really missing something.

Thanks from a fan for compiling this homage to him. I’ve listened to many hours of his commentary, and do enjoy it. Even the British-bits which I may not understand. Even my 13-14 trips to the UK over the last 3 years haven’t completely acclimated me to some of his jargon.

Just a note of thanks, He’s way cool. tim


From: Tim Y
Subject: RE: Howdy from the States

Oh, just a follow up –

I thought of a quote I didn’t see on your site – and one interpretation of what I think it means:

When often referring to a veteran or experienced, very strong rider, David will say –

…”He’s see his fair share of hedge-rows….”

I take it to mean either: 1.) he’s logged many miles, in reference to the hedge-rows he must pass which line many British and European roads -or- 2.) he’s ridden many tough miles, including several nasty crashes into hedge-rows

??? Your call may vary???

thanks, Just a quote for your list! tim


From: Julie Italy
Subject: David Duffield

Do u know where he has gone. The Tour just isn’t the same without him?



From: Derek
Subject: from Margaret & Derek – Spain

Please tell us what has happened to David Duffield – he is not commentating on the Tour de France on Eurosport – Thank you. Yours sincerely, Margaret & Derek , Spain

From: RJ
Subject: Duffield

Thank you for your write up on David. Do you know why he is not commenting on the Tour de France this year please? R.J. (who is six years older than David !)

From: Carol
Subject: David Duffield

could someone tell me where is david duffield,why is he not doing the commentry on the tour de france ,we miss him so much , it is not the same without him. please reply if you know where he is. regards carol.


From: Dave C
Subject: David Duffield

Have I missed something? Tour de France has started and no DD. I don’t think he was at the Tour of Italy either. What has happened? Dave C


From: Colin C
Subject: Duffield

I’ve been watching as much of le tour de France as I possibly can but as yet have not heard David. Is he still with Eurosport ?

I do miss his own type of commentary on the tour.




From: Jon
Subject: David Duffield

Why has David Duffield not been commentating on the tour this year? He was instrumental in arousing my interest in the great race and I suspect many others too. I have vented my feelings at Eurosport via email, perhaps your members could do the same and we will get the great man back in his rightful place. The tour is just not the same without his knowledge of all things cycling and his passion for the event, i will remain optimistic for an early return. Many thanks.

John G TDF fan


From: Ken M
Subject: David – The Man – Duffield

Fantastic!!!! I was wondering why David isn’t on Le Tour this year – did a Google – and came up with your great tribute pages. Loving them.

Any idea why David isn’t commentating??? Is he ill?? Heard him on the phone from home today – he sounded ok.

I really miss his comentary



From: Chris
Subject: D.D.

I came a bit late into the listening audience but at about 64-I’m now 72- I decided to watch the Tour on Eurosport and became fascinated by the most unusual commentary I’ve ever heard. I thought the programme was about cycle racing but instead I learnt a lot about churches, castles,local cooking, and how long it took that day to get to the finish point. There was of course an occasional reference to a live race,but overall I was sucked in to the most gripping commentary I’d known and thereafter looked forward to the next year. It was to my great suprise and disapointment to find this year that the commentary had been taken over by a succesor. Good, detailed, and very informative but I guess David’s act was impossible to follow. I, for one, will miss him. I don’t like cycling either! Chris B..

From: Chris A


Please can you tell me why Duffo isn’t doing the TdF this year? Is he ill? Has he retired?

Many thanks,

Chris A

(Camberley Wheelers, 1964-1966)



From: Richard
Subject: Duffield

Why is he not commentating this year? – like yourselves my wife and I look forward to his efforts every day. Richard and Jennie Ross-on-Wye

From: Dennis R
Subject: The Great Man


What has happened to Euro sport No David on the microphone…



From: Patsy
Subject: Tour 2004

my husband and self look forward to the cycling tours, although not now cyclists ourselves. myself in particular surprised when you were not commentating on the great tour itself, have you been usurped by mike smith? why are you not the lead commentator, we really enjoy the comments about the food and wine and all the other anecdotes and your obvious great pleasure and enthusiam. you have done so much to promote the sport itself and wish you well for the future ~~~~ patsy r

From: jane

why is David not commenting Le Tour this year ?

From: Alan
Subject: Where’s David

Can you help please, I watch the Tour on Eurosport and the commentators don`t seem to include David Duffield this year…Sean Kelly, Mike Smith, Christie etc so whats happened to him

Best wishes Alan J (ps- not British Eurosport..)


From: Steve
Subject: Duffield

Do u know what has happened to David Duffield on Eurosport??




From: jackie
Subject: David Duffield

While watching TdF and missing DD I gogled his name and cme up ith your site. Just wondered, do you know why he isn’t on duty – much missed that he is?

thanks for your help



From: Tim D
Subject: Duffield

Great site, but you do need to keep it up to date. Duffers disappearance had been troubling me deeply and as the premier site devoted to his work, you need to keep people up to date. Feel free to use the following. It is taken from a reply I sent to a friend who asked me about the great man’s whereabouts this year.

At first I thought that he might have gone to the great commentary box in the sky – he is now of advanced years. But a search of newspaper obits turned up nothing. So, in desperation, I phoned Eurosport’s press office.

They explained that this year the station had elaborate plans for a studio section to their Tour coverage. Dave was all set up to front this up, leaving the live commentary to Mike ‘the voice of hospital radio’ Smith and Sean ‘Flubber Yubber’ Kelly.

For reasons on which Eurosport declined to elaborate, their plans for a studio went awry shortly before the prologue. This left them with a commentary team already set up and Duffield adrift. They have addressed this now by having a daily commentary from Dave at some point each day and occasional interjections from him during the commentary.

As Duffers had commentated on the Tour since the time of Henri Desgranges, I can’t imagine that he was ever happy with any of these arrangements, but until he speaks himself, we won’t know. Eurosport do assure me that he will be back in the main chair for the Veulta.

And here is an old Dave story you have missed.

In 1978, when Duffers was head of marketing at Halfords’, he received an odd request. The rock band Queen was making a video to promoted their single Fat Bottomed Girls and wanted to borrow a couple of hundred bicycles. Duffers agreed and turned up at an athletics track to find as many naked porn models as he had bicycles. Girls and bikes did a couple of turns around the track in the all together for the cameras in what was surely Freddy Mercury’s most elaborate ruse to persuade fans that he was hetro to his fingertips. Most of the girls, unsurprisingly, complained bitterly about the saddles. And Duffers, in an interview conducted on the day of the stunt, was incapable of stringing a sentence together. It was perhaps as a result of this that he missed the marketing opportunity of a lifetime. The bicycles were simply returned to Halfords’ stock and sold at their recommended retail price with not a word said about their brush with glamour.

In truth we need a campaign for Duffers, and you are the people to lead it. Start bombarding Eurosport with emails now!

Aye yours

Tim D


From: Tony C

I have been an avid fan of the tour de france for approx 42 years,I have been up many of the cols in the alps and pyrenees the race has used, with my wife in the car,and have been in awe at the lenght ,gradient and altitude of them.Having suffered on a cycle and running marathons my admiration of any tour rider is second to none.My admiration is also the same for Mr David Duffield,if he can make watching the tour de france pleasurable for my wife to watch he is amazing.His style is supurb,to keep commentating when there are no breakaways and nothing in general is happening is unique.He can give the viewer plenty of information about the riders,about the region the cyclists are travelling through,what wine and where it came from that he had for lunch the previous evening,in fact nothing he says will start boring the viewer.As for commentary on the race itself it keeps the viewer interested and enthralled,and the emotions surface as well,eg, when the photographer stepped out in front of the leader close to the fnish line.So where is David Duffield,I just could not believe he was not commentating,nothing against Phil Ligget or Paul Sherwen they are very good,but I now have to tape the race and watch it when my wife is out,she has lost interest.Could you please tell me why he was not chosen and if he is over in France watching the race. Many Thanks, Tony C

From: Dave W
Subject: The Missing Duffers

Can you tell me what’s happened to Dear David. With him The Tour is, as regards commentary, a bit boring. Commentators, tho’ well informed/experienced but no enthusiasm. No culture. (food, towns, terrain) No mini Murray-Walkers. (Cock-ups)


Regards and best wheeling wishes. David W Ex Horwich CC. ( Ex by about 45 years, but treasured memories.)



From: Eamon
Subject: David Duffield

Do you know why he isn’t on the TDF this year? Eurosport aren’t saying.

Yours in desperation



From: Julian
Subject: What’s happened to David on Eurosport ?


I’ve just got back from holiday having missed most of this years Tour de France, only to find that all of this years commentary is being done by Mr Snooker Mike Smith !

Do you guys know where David is ?


Julian C


From: Jim
Subject: Duffield, Kelly, Smith.

I just trawled though your excellent Duffield pages hoping to find an accurate version of my favourite Duffism. It’s not there, so until someone can supply a verbatim account you will have to rely on my shaky memory.

In a recent Tour De France (probably 2002) during a mountain stage David was commenting on the vast crowds who turn out to see the riders. He rambled on and on about how it was all for free and how peaceful and friendly the spectators were. He compared the good behaviour of the hundreds of thousands who turn out for cycling with the hooligan antics of football fans who gather in a stadiums of only 40 to 50 thousand. At that moment a spectator in fancy dress started leaping and hopping in the road in front of one of the leading riders almost causing him to fall off. David, instantly forgetting his previous comments, launched into a furious rant along the lines of ” this is disgraceful, we are all sick and tired of this kind of thing, when will somebody take action to stop this sort of behaviour, these people should be locked up etc.” I have often related this tale and would love to hear the original again. It was the same year he did his embarrasing rendition of a psalm from the bible when the Peloton passed by Tom Simpson’s memorial.

Nobody has mentioned David’s constant references to ‘Thumping great climbs’, ‘Thumping great mountains’ ‘ Thumping big meals’ etc.

Wth reference to this years Tour. It was great fun to listen to Mike Smith’s evident anxiety when getting used to the wonderfully dour Sean Kelly as his commentary companion. Mike would ask Sean to comment on a particular aspect and Sean would wait for his customary 30 seconds before answering. Whereas David Duffield was obviously used to this and would answer his own question or patiently wait out the long silence before Sean responded, Mike obviously began to panic and on a number of occasions has prompted Sean with repetitions or rephrasing of the original question. However, things have settled down now and Sean is able to take his time to answer as is his way. I read somewhere that Sean Kelly once responded to a question in a radio interview by simply nodding. My friend Anthony (a recent Tour convert) has noticed how Sean can not bring himself to say Peloton, always referring to “d’ bonnch” (the bunch).

see you



From: Jon R
Subject: where was david on this years tour

I tuned in every day to The Tour but NO DAVID!!! All I got was mike smith who knows about as much on the tour as I do about climbing L,alp duez. Was he on eurosport europe rather than eurosport uk. Missed THE MAN terribly. It was’nt the same Tour. Where is he. Is he coming back to the uk broadcasts?

jon r


From: Bryan L
Subject: David Duffield

Hullo there.

I found your site this morning, while trying to find out the situation with David Duffield. It wasn’t until he was eased out of the Tour that I realised who it was who made watching the cycling so interesting. He has not been treated well by Eurosport. I will still try and watch the Vuelta when I’m off work, but it won’t be the same. Cheers.

Bryan L



From: Alan W
Subject: The Great Man


Where is David Duffield? The Tour de France wasn’t the same without him. Is he ill? Has he been Sacked?

Please reply if you have any information.


A Fan.



From: Alan N
Subject: The Great Man

Hi is the great man o.k? he seems a bit “under the weather” at the moment has he been ill?? not being nosey just concern from an OLD blrc (tootingb.c.) man — used to ride alongside the likes of alfie angers and co. — mass starts at crystal palace!!! give my regards to the lad and wish him well! alan n.


From: Elaine
Subject: Emailing: London Sept 04 024


Thought you might like this picture of me with the great Mr Duffield – a personal hero! It was taken on 5th September this year. He had just finished commentating on the final stage of the Tour of Britain and was about to rush off to catch a flight to Spain to cover La Vuelta.
Elaine 🙂


David Duffield Reader Submissions Part 9

We got so many emails about DD over the summer that this update is a 2page job. Or 3 pages if you count the amazing collection that Jim sent in

From: DJ

Subject: DDisms

Having watched a few of the stages of the TDF, and been amazed at some of the things this commentator has been saying, I thought I’d search for a pic of him on the net… and I found myself at this site… the relief ! i’m not alone !

my favourite so far : ” ..and all these people have come out to see these riders and in enjoy the sunshine, some of them havn’t got many clothes on, and here comes Christy (anderson) to join me, she hasn’t got many clothes on either, I can see her gorgeous body, thanx christy you,ve ruined my day, no you havent you’ve made my day, er…. whatever..er…whats happening”

Regards, Dom J, London.

The whole christie anderson thing must have been down to the extraordinary hot weather that was sweeping across Europe in Summer 2003. I was waiting for him to introduce her as Chesty Anderson. Maybe next year someone can call her that when chatting to him between stages and then it will be subconciously lodged in his brain and come out in the next day’s stage?


From: Feargal Mc
Subject: Duffield

http://filmtalk.guardian.co.uk/[email protected]@.4a915e80/ [expired link]


Glad to see there are other great places to talk about DD and spread the word!


From: Aaron C
Subject: David Duffield
I thought you might like to include this in the next update of your Duffield page.
As I write I’m listening to stage 16 of le TdF over the Eurosport website, which is great. I couldn’t think of any Duffieldisms you don’t have, but he just said something which I though was quite typical. Ludovic Turpin of Ag2R is trying to escape the peloton…
“Turpin looks to be bridging the gap to Hamilton. Not Dick Turpin. My horse, my horse, my kingdom for a horse. No, that’s not right. For once I’m not the only one that’s confused. He was a highwayman on the North Road, but no relation to this Turpin…….” Just crazy. And he’s constantly flirting with Christie Anderson.
More to the point, you wanted any pictures or autographs of the maestro for the page. Well I have both. I was lucky enough to bump into him at the Paris-Roubaix this year, while searching for riders’ autographs at the team presentation in Compiègne on the Saturday. The photo was taken while David was in full flow explaining to me the best route to take and the best places to stop to catch the race. He was happy to talk with me, and just seems to have a lot of time for people. It made my day.



The autograph is on the cover of the race brochure, with a load of riders’ autographs. His is the only near-legible one though.

Great site by the way, and maybe I could join you on one of your easy club rides in the near future.

Ludovic Turpin, jeez that’s asking for trouble really isn’t it having a name like that?! Sort of like when he uttered “Its carpets for Kurtens” earlier in the season. Glad to see you met him and got a great photo. Did anyone ever get back to you about coming on the rides I don’t think I’ve seen you out (ok we get over 70 out most Saturdays now so it isn’t always easy spotting people but I would always seek out another Duffield fan!



From: Rob C
Subject: From Rob

> I can’t be sure that these haven’t been mentioned before but here goes: > > In the 1997 tour the time trial was sponsored by Festina, as was one of the teams. A Festina rider (it may have been Virenque) was waiting for the off and had a large reflective visor on the front of his helmet which was reflecting the word Festina from the ramp in front of him. DD sees this and comments ‘Would you look at that Stephen, they’ve even managed to get their team name onto their visors’ > > From this year’s (2003) stage finishing at Luz Ardiden: > > Armstrong has fallen off once and pulled his foot out, there’s general moaning in the commentary box from both DD and Christy about the part that spectators might play in the outcome of the tour. The camera then pans to the fans at one the hairpins picking out a ‘ghoul’ dressed in a white shroud, a green painted face holding a green flare in either hand. The commentary goes quiet while the great man considers his reaction, and then in a quiet voice he says ‘ Oh lord, there’s one born every minute’. > > I fell off the couch laughing at that one. That’s why it’s worth listening to him for 7 hours, in all that time of rambling there’s bound to be the odd nugget. > > > > Rob C

Just the odd nugget?!?!?!


From: Steve
Subject: The Duffer

mentioned this very site today, though he seemed to mangle the URL (no surprise there)- Steve

Thats part of the fun for us now – all the variations of ww.adiscombecc.org under the sun!


From: Rik
Subject: Duff Section

Just been looking at your site after DD plugged it on air today – excellent stuff!
Don’t know if you’ve covered these, but with Christi Anderson on the tour this year DD’s thoughts seem to be headed in one direction – there were couple of corkers a few days back – talking about Lance Armstrong (?):

“He’s got really massive hung, er lungs”

…and of the Euskatel (?) team:

“They’ve got some of the breast climbers in the world”

Lots of mentions of “red ink” this year – what could that be?

Poor old Duff seems to be taking a real bashing this year on the Eurosport message board – but I think you’re right – people expect DD and Sean Kelly to be Liggett and Sherwen but forget that they (L&S) never talk for more than fifteen minutes and they are commentating on edited highlights put together after the stage.



I think the Red Ink means the red wine that is imbibed by the commentary team most nights! L&S have been good but if you want to experience the real drama of the race as well as getting a feel for what happens to the tour caravan between the stages as it winds its way around France then DD is definitely your man.


From: Ian G
Subject: Duffisms

Hello How about adding “too as well” to the list of duffisms and from today

“before you put your stilettos in the proverbial” – before you put your foot in it (Christie)

“and people say no David I think you’ve got it wrong again” – I got it right -for once

Keep up the good work

Ian G



From: Ian G
Subject: Duffisms


A couple more,

“you don’t touch a mans f***** hat” -2001 Giro I think

and another one from yesterday, (TDF 2003) “those of you who watch all day, off sick or unemployed”

Pure Class.

Long may he Reign

Ian G

The Giro one is a bit steep isnt it? And don’t forget those that are burying Granny whenever there is a major mountain stage on!


From: Charlie B
Subject: David Duffield


Just spent a glorious couple of hours reading through your site and particularly enjoyed the Duffield tribute. Spot on, all of it (apart from the guy who doesn’t like Duffield, but then there are people who don’t like Monty Python too… ;o) ). One Duffieldism seems to have been missed:

“Giants of the road.” As in “It’s fantastic to see all these people up on this hill to see these giants of the road, some of them probably got up before me and my fabulous local breakfast of corn-fed starling pie and a piece of Russell’s baguette” or something.

Anyway… Honours List. I was astonished to find that the man still hasn’t been honoured and thought that you guys would be in a better position to get a nomination form in (as I’m based in Cyprus for a while). So here’s what you need to do:


Listing his amazing personal achievements, the introduction of BMXing to the UK and his phenomenal services to sportscasting would present a great case for at least an MBE (OBE would be well deserved. Dammit, just knight him and be done!)

If you want some help compiling the case, just ask, I’m happy to pitch in. It’s a great idea.

Finally, I found your club site when looking for (and failing to find) a club in my own manor of Wimbledon, and am seriously considering the idea of forming a socially-minded club to cover our area. Have a home base in mind, just need some pointers to get going. Do you have a constitution or articles? And would you mind if I and possibly a couple of others tagged along over the winter to see how a clearly popular and enjoyable club runs itself?


Charlie B

Thats a great idea. We will definitely be in touch and if anyone else wants to get an honour moving then please do – the more people working on this the better. Please come out with us Charlie whenever you want – we have a weekly email rides list that lists everything going on in our Agreeable world which currently comes out every Thursday – get signed up for that and come along whenever you fancy.


From: David Mc
Subject: David Duffieldisms

How about this observation from the great man heard on describing a rider at the upper age level of the peloton:

‘Anno domino is catching up with him!’ Emphasis on the incorrect latin declension of the noun dominus and turning ‘after the lord’ into a game often played in pubs!




I too have noticed that he speaks Latin like a native!


From: Tony C
Subject: Hello

where is a picture of christy anderson

A quick press of the old buttons on the ww gogle site throws up the following http://www.prikandribs.com.au/  and here you can see how DD can get distracted so easily!

More here on Phil Anderson’s site [page expired – divorce may have something to do with that?!]


From: Bob A
Subject: David Duffield!!

Thought you might be interested in the article and piccy of David I have done in www.colin-lewis.co.uk newsletter this week. After I had finished I found your website!! Bob Aske

Brits Abroad!!


“David Duffield
The man behind the Eurosport Voice of Cycling at the Nat Champs.
Ever been stuck in a hot box and had to talk for sometimes up to 6 hours about cycling??
David Duffield is a confessed “Rabbit On Man” and of course is a “Brit Abroad” doing more than his bit for British Cycling and certainly qualifies for a mention in this column.
I met David at the National Championships in Wales recently (hence the piccy) and spent a pleasant 5 minutes chatting.
I had on my Colin Lewis Cycles shirt and he new all the ins and outs of our shop at Paignton.
David is just 72 years young and in his heyday was well known for breaking many British Distance records, as well as working for Moulton and Raleigh.
I have cousin who is a non cyclists who watches the cycling just to listen to David!!
So we have heard the voice but never see the person, so above might be your first view of him!!
If you want to know more this Cycling Club have some pages dedicated to him with piccies of him on his trike!!”

Thanks for spreading the word Bob!


From: Pail S
Subject: Duffield is God

Quite simply the most endearing and entertaining man ever to be let loose on the airwaves. I think it says something for the genuis of the man that my girlfriend, who has no interest in cycling whatsoever, sits through hours and hours of the T d F every year just to listen to the arcane old buffoon whittering on.

Viva le Duffield!

Paul, Reading

Its gonna be a sad day when DD hangs up his Yellow Microphone…