Saturday, July 11, 2009

Oldest Wall of Death Rider

Jerry De Roye
September 4, 1927
As of 1956

The oldest rider to regularly perform in public on the Wall of Death is Jerry De Roye (USA, b. Gerald Jones, September 4, 1927). He continues to present his Trick'n'Stunt performances on the vertical Wall of Death riding a 1927 V-Twin Indian Type 101 "Scout" motorcycle.

Jerry first watched a Wall of Death stunt when he was 11 years old on a visit to a local musement park and immediately decided it was all he wanted to do in life. However, when he approached riders to ask to be trained many were reluctant as competition in the business was fierce and the last thing they wanted was another rider on the circuit. By chance though, during a stay in hospital, he was browsing through a magazine when he saw an ad that asked for a Wall of Death rider. As soon as he left hospital he went to the address not expecting Eddie Monte to open the door. Monte a.k.a. Speedy Williams was Jerry's idol when he had regularly visited fair grounds as a youngster. After a few months of training Jerry was ready but there was one thing missing: a name. Shortening Gerald to Jerry, picking out Roye from a magazine about musicians and adding a little bit of French color, Jerry De Roye was born. He made his first ride in 1956 in Blackheath in the Midlands and hasn't stopped since. The only accident he has had in all these years is a broken thumb and the odd bump and bruise. Asked how long he will keep going he says, 'I'll never stop, it's in my blood".

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