Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Two minutes, all four riders

Does this give a clue to where I was on Sunday past?

It all started earlier this year, when I was reminiscing with friends about happy days supporting Glasgow Tigers at the White City Stadium in the 1960s.

I discovered that the speedway team was still in existence, and I resolved to make a trip down memory lane to see if the sport had changed from 50 years ago. The track now is at Ashfield, and I found my way to Hawthorn Street on Sunday. I must admit not to having big expectations. As it turned out, it was a splendid day!

Meet Roary, the current Glasgow Tigers mascot.

It is the end of the season, and Sunday's match was the Premier League playoff quarter final second leg. The Tigers had lost the away first leg against Plymouth Devils, and needed to overcome a small two point difference with a win on Sunday, to progress in the competition.

I had forgotten just how fast the riders gate and tussle on the first bend! Standing hair on the back of the neck, after fifty years! The bikes do 0-60 mph in three seconds. Heat 2, sponsored by Ambulance Scotland!

Wheelies seemed to be appropriate when a 5-1 score was recorded.

I was just tickled that Dr Who has a role as the team manager! Fascinating to see what was going on in the pits area.

The visitors had a mascot too, here looking somewhat dejected as the match slipped away from his side.

I had just said to myself that it had been a crash free meeting. But, with the win already in the bag, Tigers' Kauko Nieminen took a nasty looking tumble, high side off his bike, and was immediately surrounded by the first aid team. Remarkably, he was soon on his feet, apparently none the worse for the experience. They make them tough.

The tapes go up.

It didn't take me long to find out who the stars of the 2015 team are. I did appreciate the maximum scored by captain Aaron Summers, and the paid maximum by Richard Lawson.

Back in 1965, I was in the Charlie Monk fan club! Read about his career here.

I was just delighted to be at Ashfield to see the Tigers win, and progress to the semifinals of the Premier League. You can read the match report on the Tigers' website here and here.

Good luck to the team against Somerset later this week.

What a nostalgia trip Sunday was. Many things the same - the great family sport, the noise, the excitement, the smells, the PA - I could almost hear Don Cumming!  

Fifty years ago this programme was bought at an outing to the White City. Perhaps some things have changed in the intervening years, and I don't mean the price of the programme.

Photos © Skip Cottage 

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