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  • Vale: Geoff “Cob” Owen

    Today the Australian Flag flies at half mast at Sungold Stadium, Premier Speedway, Warrnambool to acknowledge the sad passing of Geoff Owen, or Cob as he was known to most. A Life Member of the Original Warrnambool Hot Rod Club and by extension the Premier Speedway Club.

    Cob passed yesterday after some complications with surgery that related to a long battle will illness.

    How does one best sum up Cob Owen and his contribution to the Premier Speedway Club and the sport of Speedway? The answer is to let him do it himself, using an extract of his from the Club’s 50th Anniversary book as produced back in 2007.

    It read:

    Geoff (Cob) Owen – Past President

    Premier Speedway 50 Years? Hard to believe! I have been President, Committee Man and Member for most of those years and involved with the building of both tracks and the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic from day one. Through this great sport, which has only become more exciting over the years, I have made many friends – local, interstate and international - and it makes all the work done by volunteers and sponsors over the years seem worthwhile.

    If I had a wish list it would be to build a roof over the track and spectator area to the benefit of spectators and competitors. Surely with government and council backing, this could be achieved and celebrated at our 55th anniversary.

    Congratulations Premier Speedway on your 50th.

    That right there about sums up Cob Owen. The humility to suggest he was a part of the Club from Day dot. To then suggest he was just a part of the first Classic, which actually occurred under his reign as Club President was typically understated. Then to finish, it was Cob the visionary….. a roof for the track and the spectators…. To be funded with government and council backing…. I guess that is a barrow we will have to push out of respect for one of the genuine Forefathers of the Premier Speedway Club.

    As recently as last January, Cob made it his business to call to the track, post the Classic weekend, his pride obvious, to acknowledge yet another hosting of Australia’s biggest Speedway event, its origins of course can be traced directly back to Cob among others.

    The compliments would flow, then there would be a quick whack for local Government. “The Council need to show some support, we bring millions to this town”, he would say in his distinctive tone. Then the visionary for the future would surface with a quick witted “But you need to do this to make it better”, he was the master of keeping everyone on their toes.

    Those unscripted visits, the advice, the compliments will all be missed and it is while remembering all of those traits that the Management, Board and Members along with competitors and officials from all around Australia offer their condolences to Faye and the extended family of Geoffrey…. No that doesn’t sound right…. To Cob Owen on his sad passing. Our thoughts are with you all.

    Rest in Peace Cob sound in the knowledge we will try and continue to uphold the traditions you were such a large part of creating.
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