Your tributes to Evel Knievel

Published: 06 December 2007

Evel Knievel’s death at the age of 69 prompted you to send dozens of tribute emails to MCN, some of which we’ve included in the special 16-page Evel Knievel tribute in the MCN issue December 12. 

Evel was our friend in high school.  Tom Olsen is my brother (I'm Nancy, two years younger,) and he and Evel were constant buddies. Evel took me out three times. I talked with him a few weeks ago, the night after his appearance on The Hour of Power aired on television. I am very proud to call him my friend. He tried to help my brother come to Jesus in his last days.  I know Evel is with Jesus now, and I'm so thrilled he was recently saved. 
Nancy Morse, USA

Evel was an inspiration to me when I was a kid growing up in Hawaii. I had my heroes like my dad who was a cop and taught me to always try again if you fail because the reward will be sweeter when you succeed. Well, Evel was a real life superhero who happened to echo the same words my father told me. When I got to meet Evel in Hawaii I thought I met Superman, and in my heart I did.
Years later I got to meet Evel again in Las Vegas for his birthday at the Harley-Davidson shop. Again, I was meeting Superman, the world was safe because he was there with the same belief in his eyes. He signed my helmet and I said thank you for being here and for being an inspiration all my life, Evel looked at me and said no, thank you for being there for me. He will always be the real superman.
Aloha Evel may all your jumps in heaven be successful and are your golf games be under par.
Kimo Maiwela, Hawaii

I had a chance to meet and chat with Evel (Bob) in 1969 in North Hollywood, California, he was staying in the same place as my family on Ventura Boulevard. At that time he was recovering from the Caesar’s Palace accident still on crutches.
I have always been thankful to him, as I had a 3 year old son (also named Bob) that while walking by the swimming pool he just jumped right into the deep section and went straight to the bottom. Evel was sitting in a chair near the pool and without hesitation got up and jumped in the pool and pulled my son out. We as a family have told everyone this over the years and how grateful we were to him.
He was a really great person to talk with and I am sure my son will meet him again in Heaven.
God Bless his family.
Evon Habel, Illinois USA

I was saddened to hear of Knievel's passing, and I am proud to be able to say that I was there at Wembley in 1975 to watch the greatest nutter on two wheels take a stab at jumping 13 buses.
His son can do all he wants, but there will only, ever, be the one Evel Knievel. I bet he jumped over them pearly gates - on a Harley!
Andy Airey

I saw the legendary Mr Knievel jump at Wembley Stadium in the mid-seventies as a 10 year old boy. The support show was the dismal prospect of watching a fat man belly flop into a foot of water from the top of a ladder. The crowd took great delight in telling him to 'Jump, for
God’s sake jump!' because he took ages to dive/flop successfully. Then Evel roared down the ramp and flew over a whole fleet of big red buses but disaster, (I can still hear the crowd gasp) his bike crashed into the barrier because he had already fallen off. Battered but OK he announced his retirement. I was taken by my Dad who had an AJS 650 single cylinder at the time. I have been a fan of motorbikes ever-since and owned many big Japanese bikes. Evel Knievel is a biking hero and legend and always will be.
Keith Edwards

As a kid in the 80s I grew up watching the Dukes of Hazzard, The Fall Guy with Lee Majors and Knight Rider, and they all had great stunts but they were no match for the ultimate daredevil.
Evel, you were a true daredevil in every sense of the word - no other daredevil can match your legendary status except maybe for Bubba Blackwell, the only rider to jump the XR750 since Evel Knievel. God bless you Evel you are now in a better place.
Jesse Hale,

As a lifelong fan, I'm numb at the moment, the news has hit me like a brick. We all knew that Evel was unwell and pretty frail for some time, but just like the Daredevil of old, he'd keep bouncing back.
The guy had nerves (and balls) of steel, and what he achieved using that 'Iron horse' Harley is still amazing today. Today's stunt riders may travel further and higher but look at what they are using!
Growing up in the 70's, I would regularly 'borrow' my brother’s copy of the MCN to look out for and read up on Evel's current and planned exploits. His visit to the UK, to jump at Wembley was very highly anticipated.
The memories come flooding back off the times I've enjoyed, watching, listening and reading about my hero, can't believe that we've reached the final chapter.
Mike Robins, Liskeard

I knew Evel back in the 90's through a great friend, Rob Sauer who was also a great friend to Evel.  We played golf together, had drinks together on several occasions and he was just a real person.  I'll never forget the time back in November 1999 when my Dad was dying from colon cancer, Evel called and spoke to my Dad, who he never met to let him know he was thinking about him and praying for him.
To the whole Knievel Family, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.  I will never forget Evel, not as the icon but as the MAN.  God Bless all of you.
Paul J Sofia, North Carolina USA

The guy was a true legend, jumping bikes that shouldn’t be jumped. His toys were an inspiration, his attitude was infectious, his stunts were....well, crazy.
My tribute helmet says it all, I have worn my Evel replica Arai RX7 with pride for 4 years. The gold lines are even 22ct gold!  He is the only guy who’s hit the floor more than me!
Mark Wilson,

I remember going to Wembley to watch Evel jump the buses with my Dad. On all of the practice runs it seemed to me that he knew that he was going to make the long distance he had to jump. But as a true professional he took he took the jump and crashed on the landing ramp.
I remember he walked up the ramp - even though later we found out that he had broken his pelvis – just to address the crowd and thanked all who had turned up. I was a child then, now I am 46 and I’ll never forget him. What a hero.
Gary Morris,

Every boy wanted to be just like the man, we had these toy bikes that sat in stands, you wound them up & they would shoot off over what ever you aimed it at - usually a long jump.
Watching him on TV was amazing. There was nobody else like him. A world legend.
Jason Cassar, Lincolnshire

I watched all the jumps and that is why I wanted to learn to ride so bad as a kid. When I got my first dirtbike I would ride it all the time did little jumps because I wanted to be like Evel Knievel. But I have a curved spine so my doctors had my family sell all my dirtbikes. But I had all of the toys and the game.      

Steve Mitchell

Dear Knievel Family                                                     

December 10th , 2007
I grew up watching all of Evel Knievel stunts and they were amazing to say the least.

I just know Evel is up in Heaven right now jumping amazing canyons and beautiful fountains and having a blast.
May God give you all the comfort at this difficult time and keep you all in his prayers. Your whole family will be in our family’s prayers.
With Deepest Sympathy,
Craig and Lisa Kouros and Family
Lake Zurich, Illinois.

Many thanks to Evel for the first and best of daredevils. He can now soar over the clouds with his wings.

Nancy Trest