Sidecar Cross World bids farewell to Alan Tricker “Mr Sidecar Cross”

13/12/2017

The Sidecar Cross family turned out in force in Buckinghamshire, Great Britain this week to say a final farewell to one of the true legends and characters of the paddock.

A large group of over one hundred and fifty, including several former British Champions braved the icy conditions. Furthest travelled award was a dead heat between former ace passenger Mick Ripper for crossing the channel from his home in Normandy, and Nancy Thomas who made the journey from The Isle of Man. 

Alan Tricker was borne in 1929, so was not too far from achieving the ninety-year milestone. It was not so much for his great age however, for which he will be remembered, but more his passion for the sport of sidecar motocross, particularly in the South of England, where it was always very strong.

In the seventies, Alan became a regular face in the British Championship paddock, attending every single round, year after year. Sometimes he would make his own way, but as time when on he would join up with one team or another, becoming very much part of the crew.

I first met Alan around that time when I was a passenger. He always had a friendly wave and an “ear to ear” grin which seemed omni-present. Later when I took over the handlebars, making many expeditions into Europe, Alan was a regular supporter, sometimes in the most obscure parts of France or Germany. He never actually travelled in our truck, but somehow was always there.

As time went on, Alan's involvement extended to regular overseas trips with the top British teams chasing Grand Prix honours. His loveable personality was infectious, and he quickly wove his spell over the entire Grand Prix paddock, forging many life-long friendships with teams from across Europe.

One of his signatures was a distinctive yellow cap adorned with badges and mementos gathered from around the circuits on his many trips. Invariably there was a pen stuck in the cap or behind his ear. Alan was a family man, with a warmth and affection for all ages.

Many of the adults now involved in the sport, were then children, and knew Alan as a kind, friendly, and very amusing man to be around.

Tracy Thacker, herself a child when she first became aware of Alan's involvement, has very fond memories of some of the funniest moments in his company. Like so many of the youngsters, she was involved through her father's racing activities, and like my own children, grew up in the sidecar-cross paddock.

Tracy has been attending Grand Prix for well over two decades on a regular basis, writing for magazines, and publishing her own “real-time blog” of events as they unfold. She asked me to disclose some of those fond moments at Alan's funeral ceremony in Buckinghamshire earlier this week.

One particular gem she related, was the time when Alan, who had only a smattering of French, leapt out of the truck to ask directions.

Imagine the face on the French peasant when confronted with “J'ai perdu mon crayon au jardin de ma tante”. Literally translated, this means “I have lost my pencil in my Auntie's garden”. Either way, Alan always seemed to be able to find the correct road to the circuit, and normal service was resumed.

Sidecar-Cross is a family sport, it is a family environment, and the closeness of that family exists today across Europe, if not the world.. At the heart of that tightly-knit community, are individuals who bring the family together.

Alan Tricker was one of those people who took others to his heart, brought happiness and pleasure to so many, and will always be remembered as “Mr Sidecar Cross”. It was only fitting that the celebration of his life ended with three rousing cheers and a long round of applause.

Alan, we will all miss you, we all salute you and you will forever be in our thoughts.

From Barry Nutley