Eddie Kidd "The Black Knight" — United Kingdom
Eddie Kidd "The Black Knight" hails from London, England. Eddie was England's answer to America's Evel Knievel. He made over 12,000 jumps in his career and never broke a bone until his fateful jump in 1996 that sent him into retirement. He even beat Robbie Knievel in a jump off in 1993.
He was inspired to jump after seeing the 1971 movie, "Evel Knievel" starring George Hamilton. Like many kids in the early 1970's after watching the movie, he lined up eleven of his schoolmates and jumped them on his bicycle. Just four years later, he won a junior world record by jumping over eight buses on a motorcycle.
Eddie started jumping off ramps on a bicycle, then when he was 15 years old, he got his first motorcycle. His first public jump took place in 1974.
In September of 1975, when Eddie was 17 years old, he attempted to jump 13 double-decker buses at the Highbury Stadium in London. Eddie tipped the last bus and had to lay down the bike upon landing. He only suffered a dislocated shoulder.
Eddie went back and jumped 14 double-decker buses on April 8, 1978 before 30,000 fans. He flew 190 feet! Eddie was only 19 years old when he made the jump.
At the age of 20, he cleared an 80 foot gap where an English railway bridge use to be a movie. Other movies stunts include a jump for the movie "Hanover Street" starring Harrison Ford. He flew 160 feet and cleared a 80 foot ravine with a dummy strapped to his back.
Photo: Eddie Kidd jumping 32 cars at Brands hatch Racing Circuit circa 1982. Thanks Lee Sobol!
After thousands of jumps, Eddie went to China and jumped the Great Wall of China. The two big highlights of his life was winning the World Jumping Championship against Robbie Knievel and jumping the Great Wall of China.
On August 5, 1996 Eddie had a serious crash that put an end to his jumping career. He was doing a show for the "Bulldog Bash". His mechanic warned him not to make the jump, but Eddie didn't want to let 5,000 people down who came out to see him.
The 36 year old cleared the 17 yard jump over a speeding car, but crashed upon landing. He knocked himself out on the tank of his bike and fell 20 feet down a ravine and landed on his head. He broke his pelvis, collarbone and 6 vertebrae in this neck. He also suffered brain damage that has put Eddie in a wheelchair.
Today he spends hours in physical therapy. Eddie has jumped everything but his dream now is to walk again, then get in his car and go wherever he wants to go. June 2011, Eddie Kidd completed the London Marathon!
Eddie wrote is autobiography and it can be purchased at Amazon.com. The book is entitled, "Crawling from the Wreckage".
Eddie Kidd performing, August 2002. (Thanks to Lee Sobol for the photos!)