IT was the ultimate sporting accessory of the 1980s, BMX was cycling with attitude.

It required a crash helmet, you could do gravity-defying stunts, wheelies were a legitimate sporting accomplishment and, best of all, you got muddy.

Now a recognised extreme sport, the BMX boom began in California in the 1960s.

Soon tracks began to spring up across the US, to the delight of an army of teenage boys, hungry for a low-cost competitive sport.

Interest in BMX exploded in the 1970s and the craze swept across Europe.

By 1982 BMX had its own international federation and a world championship competition circuit.

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As this picture from the Daily Echo archives shows, the sport also found its way to Southampton.

During the 1980s, BMX tracks began springing up across the city from North Baddesley to West End and boys as young as five began joining local clubs and taking part in competitions