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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

Tigers Scorers

Monk 9; Paulsen 5; Mattingly 4; Templeton 4; Coombes 1; Scott 1; McMillan 0:

Hackney Scorers

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!

Tigers Scorers

Monk 13; Scott 10; Templeton 6; Mattingly 2; Hicks 1; McMillan 1; Coombes 0:

Halifax Scorers

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.

Tigers Scorers

Monk 10; Templeton 3; Mattingly 3; Scott 2; Coombes 2; McMillan 1; Chamberlain 0:

Wolverhampton Scorers

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

Tigers Scorers

Monk 11; Scott 11; Templeton 7; Coombes 4; McMillan 3; Hicks 1:

Sheffield Scorers

Kitchen 8; Featherby 7; Dews 6; Bales 6; Jay 6; Paulson 4; Crane 4:



Elsewhere :

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!