YOU weren’t a child in the 1980s unless you had or yearned for a BMX – it was the ultimate sporting accessory of the decade.

It wasn’t just about cycling – it was about gravity-defying jumps, crazy stunts and pulling off the longest wheelie possible without falling off.

Shortly after the BMX boom began in California in the 1960s, tracks began to spring up all across the US .

Interest in BMX exploded in the 1970s and the craze soon crossed the water to Europe. By 1982 it had its own international federation and a world championship competition circuit.

The sport eventually reached Southampton – as these images from the Daily Echo archives show.

BMX tracks sprung up in the city from North Baddesley to West End.