Ryder were runners in the night in 1986 when it came to Eurovision. But did they run away with the prize at the end of the night?
Ryder were a put together British band for the 1986 Eurovision Song Contest. Although they consisted of Dudley Phillips, Paul Robertson, Andy Ebsworth, Geoff Leach and Rob Terry, it was frontman Martin Maynard Williams (b.1951) who was the face of Ryder and that also went for the promotional artwork and single they recorded. Williams had been a small time actor, making brief, supporting roles in television shows of the 1980’s, a far cry from his famous father, actor Bill Maynard, who made his name as Selwyn Froggitt and appeared in many Carry On films of the 1960’s and 70’s. The group performed “Runner In The Night”, a song written by Maureen Darbyshire and Brian Wade for the 1986 Contest, which was being held in Norway.
They came seventh that night, not as well as Vikki had done the previous year, but at least another top ten finish for the UK, tieing with Belle and The Devotions and Bardo for the lowest placing in the 1980’s. The song gained 72 points from the jury. The track was not successful, however, with the critics or the public and when released as a single, it bombed, only just scraping into the top 100. Ryder did not record a follow up and disbanded that year. Little is know about ‘Maynard’ Williams since and there are no recent pictures of him. He generally quit acting and performing in the 1980’s, although he popped up in the little seen film ‘A Reel Life’ in 2018, the same year his dad died at the age of 89.
Check out our Eurovision where are they now special here