Tribute courtesy of Phil Berrier, Roller Derby Forum
It was also thirty-three years ago, August 1, 1973, when the great SHIRLEY HARDMAN left us. I know some of you got to see her skate and she was simply amazing. Strong, colorful, rough... someone who really knew how to sell the game and rivalry. A powerhouse of a skater.
She was identified with National's Texas Outlaws, although it should come as no surprise that she was trained in the original Roller Derby. Shirley was memorable as #17 for the black and white jerseyed Outlaws. Of course, all that intense skating took such a toll on Hardman. She was seriously injured during an interleague series against the Bay Bombers in 1968 or 1969 and she was never the same.
Until the early 70s when she took over a completely different role as manager of the Los Angeles Thunderbirds.&bnsp; We didn't get to see Shirley and her 'ThunderBabes' on the East Coast, but maybe some of you who saw her in that new phase of her career can share a few memories.
Shirley Hardman will always be an incredible figure in the history of the banked track sport. Surely she is resting in peace, knowing that fans everywhere still love her and will never forget her
Shirley and her Thunderbabes......that brought back a lot of memories. Shirley was very popular as TBird Manager and I will always remember her with her "Equalizer"- her bat. She would use it frequently. I believe she skated a couple match races and was forced to skate one game on TV. She was aggressive and mean but the fans loved her. Thanks to Gary I was able to view Shirley as an Outlaw and the war she had with Terri Lynch. I also remember vividly that Sunday in August when Roller Games was shown on TV. Instead of the men skating the second period during opening phase, both teams lined up in front of their respective benches.....Dick Lane was in the center with the microphone as he announced the sudden tragic death of Shirley. He eulogized her, then asked for a moment of silence. He broke the moment's silence with a heart wrenching 'GO GO GO" which was Shirley's trademark battle cry.......a battle cry that all of Games heard since she did some training of the new rookies at that time.
Indeed a sad time in Roller Games.
Edward R. Meek