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Today, the former rider, brother of Tomasz Gollob – Jacek Gollob, celebrates his 52nd birthday. In his career, he won the title of the Individual Champion of Poland twice, repeatedly appeared in the finals of the Golden Helmet, and won the Polish Championship of Club Pairs five times. If we add to this the medal of the Team World Championships in pairs, we have one of the speedway riders who went down in golden letters in the history of Polish speedway.

To this day, however, many fans wonder if Jacek Gollob could have achieved even more. Wasn’t the fact that he was overshadowed by his younger brother during most of his career in sports and media not prevented his greater successes? Did Jacek envy Tomasz’s successes? And finally, was it the younger brother who always had more support from his father, Władysław?

– This is a complex topic. For sure Jacek did not envy Tomek anything. I know a lot of things behind the scenes with the Gollob clan, and there has never been any hostility. Many times, even when they started cross country skiing, it happened that my father would allocate “better” equipment to Jacek, who handed it over to Tomasz. I remember many Polish technical speedway riders, the so-called “curb riders” and without a doubt Jacek was one of the best when it comes to racing technique. When Jacek and Tomek were to go hand in hand, the rivals were rightly afraid. Jacek was one of the best competitors to hold the curb. He achieved a lot in the speedway sport, but in my opinion he could do even more – tells us the current president of the Polonia Bydgoszcz, a friend of the Gollob clan – Jerzy Kanclerz

The Gollob brothers were necessarily compared frequently. Many people wondered if Jacek was predisposed to be as good a rider as the 2010 world champion.

– He probably did. Jacek certainly did not have enough talent. Tomek wanted something more all the time, he kept reaching new heights. I remember moments when Tomek was able to train at the stadium until 11pm. Jacek simply had more slack in himself and was a different character. He wasn’t totally “speedwayer”. There was also life besides speedway. So I will not compare their talents because they had similar ones. Jacek was perhaps less hardworking and more “lazy” to speedway than Tomek. If he were as careful as Tomek, he would have achieved even more in his already rich career – adds Jerzy Kanclerz.

Leszek Tillinger, a long-time president of the Polonia Bydgoszcz, worked with today’s jubilarian.

– Jack Gollob all the best. He was a very good rider without a doubt. When it comes to private qualities, he was actually, contrary to some opinions, a very calm boy – Leszek Tillinger tells us.

The Gollob clan ruled undividedly in Polish speedway for many years. There was an opinion that it was Jacek that was definitely the “pet” of his father, Władysław.

– I also have three sons. I love them the same, but each parent has a favorite. Perhaps Jacek was a “raisin” for Władek, but only because Władek wanted to show the public that Tomek was Tomek, but Jacek was not weaker than him. With his help, Władek wanted to prove that Jacek is also an excellent rider – comments Jerzy Kanclerz.

The second of our interlocutors fully agrees with this theory.

– Jacek spent much more time with his father than Tomek. He was favored by him. When he left Bydgoszcz for Piła, his father was with him all the time, and Tomek had to deal with himself. I guess it turned out for both of them to be good. Jacek won the Polish champion twice, and Tomek was on the world top. As for their talents, I will say that when they first appeared on the Polonia track, you could see the difference between Jacek and Tomek. Jacek was such a “laborer”, and Tomek showed that he had talent. Remember that Jacek in Polonia went through the second league before he joined Tomek’s level. Of course, with his work he came closer to the position of Tomek, but Tomek was definitely more predisposed from the very beginning. There is no doubt that Jacek was a very good rider in his best years, but not as perfect as Tomek – adds Leszek Tillinger.

The former boss of the Bydgoszcz club does not hide that contract talks regarding the starts of both brothers were not always easy, but they were always conducted by Władysław Gollob, who tried to share the profits equally.

– Contracts for them were negotiated by my dad and they were always to be approximated for both. Only when they left for Tarnów did they leave precisely because we wanted to differentiate the contracts due to the results that Jacek had weaker – sums up Leszek Tillinger.

Today, Jacek Gollob lives outside Bydgoszcz, but he does not forget about speedway.

– Jacek lives outside Bydgoszcz. In the last season, he probably “fell” to the club twice. We have occasional contact. Jaca hasn’t changed. He is still the same relaxed man, living here and now, that is today – says Jerzy Kanclerz

This is what the people who worked with and were friends with say about the anniversary. For many years, Jacek Gollob was one of the leading Polish competitors and many times he was able to race perfectly. What medals would his career have ended if there had been less “slack”? We won’t find out anymore, but let’s remember that man has to live not only on speedway. As Jacek Gollob showed, you can also achieve considerable successes in a relaxed manner.

Sebastian Sirek