Sid Patterson and Swansea

John Garland in British "Cycling" 1949

Patterson returned to Europe in June. He sprinted a lot in the summer, but gave no sign of really mastering Schandorff, Heid, Bannister and the Frenchmen. Until Copenhagen.

There he not only mastered them, he slaughtered them, and came back to England for the Meeting of Champions to show us the manner in which he had done so.

It was at this meeting in September that we at home saw for the first time a real giant in every sense of the word, among amateur sprinting. It was a rapid transformation.

He started racing when he was 13 and won his first event, a 25 mile road race, one year later. The Patterson of today is 22 years old, stands 5 ft. 11 in. and is burly, weighing 14 st. 7 lbs.

Greg Griffiths in Bicycling Australia magazine 2000 

The cycling record of Sid Patterson will never be eclipsed. The man was unique, truly 'The Greatest'. He was able to overcome odds like no other before him. Apart from dominating Australian track carnivals for the bulk of his career, and winning numerous six-day races, Patto's greatest achievement is one that set him apart from every man on Earth. This achievement is the fact that he was not only World Sprint Champion but also World Pursuit Champion! This feat will remain alone not only unequalled but in all probability, untried.

Bill Gilbride

"I get emotional when I talk about Sid. One of the nicest guys you’d ever find. He’d won the Commonwealth games and then he won the World Championship and he called in here on his way. I had a race against him. Around the back track at Fremantle, I’m thinking “Patto’s the world champion, how often do you get to race against a world champion?” And I’m up there, I turned around and I worked him up the bank and got him in a bad position - I thought “you bastard, I’ve gotcha!", you know? And he’s turned around and leant on me. And he’s bigger than me and he practically pushed me halfway across the oval! I couldn’t hold him, he was too strong. That night we went out to a party, Mr Brown, he was the President of the Cycling Association, they had a party at his place. I think Patto spent all night long nursing somebody’s little baby. I don’t know whose baby it was but Patto walked around all night long nursing this little kid. He was such a lovely bloke. Nicest guy in the world... boy, he could ride!"

Harold Durant

"I was involved with Sid Patterson. Sid was seven times Champion of the World. We were very good friends, in fact he used to stay at my home when he was here. He had a particular popular size frame; a lot of blokes used to say “I want Patterson’s size”. The frame didn’t make the champion! “

He rode a Malvern Star in Melbourne and during the World Championships but I convinced him that he should be on a Swansea when he was in West Australia. I took him to the company’s accountant, Ken Pettit, and came to an arrangement. Sid always rode one of our bikes when he was in Western Australia. Bruce Small wasn’t very happy but there wasn’t anything he could do about it. Sid was far too popular for Bruce to interfere with what Sid was doing."

Bill Okely, Sid Patterson and Bill Gilbride with Patterson’s Swansea. photo courtesy Bill Gilbride

Bill Okely, Sid Patterson and Bill Gilbride with Patterson’s Swansea. photo courtesy Bill Gilbride

Bill Gilbride and Sid Patterson. photo courtesy Bill Gilbride

Bill Gilbride and Sid Patterson. photo courtesy Bill Gilbride