Known universally as ‘Debbo’, Eric was a star of both dirt and tar tracks; a tenacious but fair rider who never gave anything less than 100%. In the pits at any race meeting, you could always hear Debbo before you could see him; his roaring laughter rising above all the other noise. A truck driver most of his working life, Eric lived at Georges Hall in Sydney, beside Bankstown Airport. As well as motorcycles, Debbo raced Hydroplanes and won the NSW Championship on Kogarah Bay in 1963 and 1964 in his own Jaguar-engined boat.
Of all his achievements, which included an Australian Senior Dirt Track title at Junee in 1958, his most memorable performance came at Bathurst in 1968 when, after winning the Unlimited B Grade with a new lap record on the Corish Vincent, he looked set to take out the Unlimited Grand Prix until a loose float bowl slowed him and allowed Jack Ahearn through to take the win with Eric second. When Historic racing began in the mid ‘seventies, Eric jumped straight in, riding his own Vincent/Norton and a 350cc Manx Norton owned by his long time friend Norm Aldridge. In later life Eric became a keen rally goer and a member (and later patron) of the Illawarra branch of the Classic & Enthusiasts, riding an ES2 Norton and a 1938 MSS Velocette. A fall from his Suzuki road bike two years ago sent him into hospital, and his health gradually deteriorated after that.