October 1 Tigers v Edinburgh/Newcastle Select (Challenge)
Surprisingly this fixture was not replaced by restaging the Tigers v Sheffield meeting. However it proved academic as the rains came once again! This time the postponement was called at 5pm and broadcast on the radio in an attempt to prevent supporters from making an unnecessary journey. This was now the third home fixture to be rained off. The program notes now confirmed that Bluey Scott was not going back to Australia for the winter and would be a definite starter for 1966. Graham Coombes was undecided about going home, while Bruce Ovenden had a good reason to head for New Zealand – he was getting married! Trevor Redmond was keeping his fingers crossed that Bruce Ovenden would be returning.
October 7 Glasgow Open Championship
A Thursday night and for once a better night weatherwise but there was a gloomy feeling as Charlie Monk was in dispute with the promotion and was refusing to ride in Glasgow EVER AGAIN!
Barry Briggs and Olle Nygren were to be racing for the Golden Helmet in Edinburgh the following night and readily accepted this booking. Barry won the event with fifteen points while Olle was third. Bluey Scott and Graham Coombes were the top Tigers with eight points each. A cine camera was the prize for the top Tiger and a run off was required. Sverre Harrfeldt, obviously forgiven after his KO Cup tantrum, and Olle Nygren were tied for second place and they too would need to race off. Trevor Redmond very economically staged just one race with all four in it! Harrfeldt and Scott came out on top in their respective duels. Bruce Ovenden made his last White City appearance, scoring two points on borrowed machinery.
Trevor Redmond’s program notes again commented on the position of the four ANZAC Tigers who may or may not be going home. A daily newspaper had carried the story that all four would be going home and none would be returning. The same story appeared in the Speedway Star, where for good measure, it added that Willie Templeton was only on loan to the Tigers and speculated that he would be recalled to Edinburgh for the next season. Trevor hit out at these stories as being malicious and stated Bluey Scott was definitely wintering in Lanarkshire and that both Charlie Monk and Bruce Ovenden would be coming back for next season. He went on to say that Graham Coombes was undecided about what to do.
October 8 Hackney 54 Tigers 24 (British League)
A real end of season affair! Charlie Monk won his first race and then had three second places but surprisingly did not get a tactical substitute ride. Apart from a couple of second places by Nils Paulsen and Maury Mattingly, Tigers had little to offer. Colin Pratt, who again scored a maximum against the Tigers in London, retained is Silver Sash title by beating Charlie Monk. Hawks were certainly a different team to the one hammered at the beginning of the season in Glasgow
Monk 9; Paulsen 5; Mattingly 4; Templeton 4; Coombes 1; Scott 1; McMillan 0:
Pratt 12; Jackson 12; Trigg 8; Davies 6; L McGillivray 6; Brown 6;Byford 4:
October 14 Tigers 33 Halifax 44 (British League)
The Management Committee ruled that the 31-17 score line at the time of the recent abandonment was not conclusive and that the meeting must be restaged. Another Thursday night meeting was required as the Tigers were due to be at Wolverhampton the following night As usual when Halifax were the visitors, it was a damp night and the times were well into the eighties on a wet track.
Charlie Monk returned to the White City after last weeks’ absence so presumably his differences had now been resolved to his satisfaction. Tigers were without Nils Paulsen who apparently injured his shoulder at Hackney, presumably in a second half heat. Joe Hicks made his home debut.
Graham Coombes fell in his first ride while attempting to split the strong Eric Boocock / Tommy Roper pairing. On returning to the pits he discovered he had broken his frame and he was out for the night. With the Maury Mattingly / Bill McMillan pairing decidedly ill at ease in the heavy conditions, Tigers were nine points down after heat seven. The next three races saw tactical substitute rides given to Tigers only effective riders, Bluey Scott, Willie Templeton and Charlie Monk. However only minor inroads were made into the deficit and Tigers entered heat twelve seven points down but it really was all over. The Tigers pair programmed for his heat, Maury Mattingly and Graham Coombes had both withdrawn from the meeting, leaving Joe Hicks as Tigers sole representative. Halifax eventually ran out 44-33 victors in a meeting where they provided nine heat winners.
The program notes wished the departed Bruce Ovenden all the best but no longer included him in the list of riders likely to be appearing for Tigers in the following season!
Monk 13; Scott 10; Templeton 6; Mattingly 2; Hicks 1; McMillan 1; Coombes 0:
Boocock 10; Younghusband 9; Kingston 8; Boothroyd 7; Elliott 5; Roper 4; Gavros 1:
October 15 Wolverhampton 56 Tigers 21 (British League)
Tigers travelled with only six riders and borrowed second halfer Trevor Chamberlain to make up their numbers. At first glance it looked like another poor performance where the home crowd got little entertainment. However this was not the case. Wolves were in rampant form and the previous week had beaten Newport 64-14, a record that was to stand for nearly fifteen years. Jim Airey was the unfortunate Wolf who spoiled the perfect record although in his defence it should be pointed out that he fell, remounted and passed a visitor in the fateful heat.
Jarman and Francis were unbeaten for the homesters but Charlie Monk ended the maximum hopes of Andrews, Sweetman and Maxted. Experienced Midland’s reporter, Peter Morrish wrote that most Tigers provided at least one good race and that Bluey Scott and Graham Coombes were always up with the leaders and their two point totals were poor rewards for determined performances. Former Wolf, Maury Mattingly , had a great race with Andrews and Sweetman but once again the Tigers were on the wrong end of a close decision.
Monk 10; Templeton 3; Mattingly 3; Scott 2; Coombes 2; McMillan 1; Chamberlain 0:
Jarman 12; Francis11; Sweetman 11; Maxted 9; Andrews 7; Guasco 5; Sharples 1:
October 16 British League Riders Championship at Belle Vue
Charlie Monk made a good start and had five points after his first two rides but faded as the track became progressively heavier under the continual Manchester rain. He finished a creditable sixth with nine points. The rostrum was shared by
Barry Briggs (Swindon) 14
Jimmy Gooch ( Oxford ) 13
Cyril Maidment (Belle Vue) 12
Barry Briggs would go on to make this event his own winning the next five stagings
Some good news for Tigers fans, Glasgow’s Mae Marr won the 1965 Speedway Queen competition.
October 21 Tigers 37 Sheffield 41 (British League)
And so the final curtain! And for once a dry night! Maury Mattingly could not make it to the White City as his flight was fog bound in London. With the second half being curtailed due to the firework exhibition, no juniors were present and Tigers had to track a six-man team. They had only one rider in two heats where the lone, and perhaps lonely, Tiger finished on the wrong end of a 5-1 in both cases. Bluey Scott finished the season on a high note with a paid maximum while Charlie Monk only lost to White City specialist, Jack Kitchen. Graham Coombes and Willie Templeton both had their moments, winning heats four an eight respectively but in the final analysis Tigers could not overcome the loss of three regulars. The firework display brought one of the most eventful seasons in Tigers history to a fitting end.
While the crowd was leaving the stadium, a small figure clad in leathers a couple of sizes too big but with a red football jersey holding them in place went out on to the track. Despite being a bit tentative down the straights, he attacked the corners with some style. Those present had witnessed the White City debut of one of the finest Tigers of all time, Jim McMillan
Monk 11; Scott 11; Templeton 7; Coombes 4; McMillan 3; Hicks 1:
Kitchen 8; Featherby 7; Dews 6; Bales 6; Jay 6; Paulson 4; Crane 4:
Edinburgh Monarchs had completed their fixtures by early October and were selected to tour Poland, racing against six club sides in just over a week. Recognising that the Monarchs were under strength, the BSPA allowed four riders from Long Eaton and Newport to bolster their side. Ray Wilson and Norman Storer from the Archers and Jon Erskine and Geoff Penniket of Wasps joined their party.
Although never really likely to win any of their meetings, they gave a good account of themselves in the earlier meetings before machine problems and fatigue took their toll, culminating in a 60-18 defeat in the final meeting at Krakow.
Tigers ended up thirteenth in the first ever British League but this position was depressed by the defeats in their last two home meetings. Had they been able to track anything like a full team they would surely have won both fixtures and would have nestled in mid table. However it certainly was an improvement on the previous years wooden spoon! Glasgow could be pleased with their season and they actually scored more race points at home than any of the top five sides.
Home Race Pts Away Race Pts Match
Mtgs W D L For Ag W D L For Ag Pts
West Ham 34 16 0 1 781 542 7 1 9 649 673 47
Wimbledon 34 15 1 1 767 553 7 1 9 629 692 46
Coventry 34 16 0 1 769 549 4 0 13 615 709 40
Oxford 34 14 0 3 717 607 5 2 10 591 733 40
Halifax 34 13 3 1 754 564 5 0 11 568 676 39
Newport 34 17 0 0 802 523 2 0 15 558 765 38
Wolves 34 15 1 1 819 506 3 0 14 610 710 37
Hackney 34 16 0 1 784 538 2 1 14 544 782 37
Exeter 34 16 0 1 787 539 2 0 15 539 785 36
Poole 34 14 0 3 780 540 3 1 13 598 726 35
Sheffield 34 14 1 2 761 564 2 1 14 539 782 34
Newcastle 34 14 1 2 782 543 2 0 15 581 739 33
Glasgow 34 13 0 4 784 540 2 1 14 531 789 31
Belle Vue 34 15 0 2 792 532 0 0 17 536 780 30
Swindon 34 12 1 4 744 577 1 1 15 601 723 28
Cradley 34 10 1 5 621 626 1 0 16 511 812 23
Edinburgh 34 11 0 6 680 641 0 0 17 493 830 22
L Eaton 34 5 0 12 631 685 2 0 15 476 849 14
Interesting to note also that the top four were all former National League tracks that had managed to retain strong heat leader trios!