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The Northern Cup

Few Tigers fans were aware of the state of play in this competition as practically nothing had been written about it in the program and no mention was made in the Scottish regional section in the Speedway Star. As far as Glasgow was concerned this was very much a “ghost” competition.

Eric Boothroyd had reopened Middlesbrough under an open licence and rather than stage a series of meaningless challenge matches had devised the Northern Cup competition. Halifax, Sheffield and Newcastle had sufficient open dates to allow them to race each other and were enthusiastic participants. Glasgow and Edinburgh were keen to take the booking at Middlesbrough but did not feel they had sufficient home dates to race all the other teams. Indeed with C-R-A-D-L-E-Y spelling “rain”, they could not have fulfilled these obligations. Scores in the British League meetings would be used instead. They did agree to stage a home meeting against the Bears, but both ran out of suitable dates. In any case Middlesbrough’s “team” had disappeared! The Bears used three guest heatleaders in all Northern Cup meetings and had hoped to develop their own second strings. They tracked guys like Alan Jay, Kevin Torpie and Vic Lonsdale. The former had been injured riding for Kings Lynn, while the other two had retired and drifted into obscurity.

For the record, Halifax won the Cup, three points clear of Sheffield.

 

 

                         Home    Race Pts               Away    Race Pts                        Tot 

                    P   W     L   For   Ag   MP     W    L    For   Ag    MP   BP       Pts

 

Halifax       10    5      0    256  134     5        2     3    191     198     2     5         12

Sheffield    10    5      0     233  155    5        1     4    166     222     1      3          9

Newcastle   10   5      0    241   147    5        0     5    164      225     0    3.5       8.5

Glasgow      9     4     0    172    139    4        1     4    149     239     1      0         5

Edinburgh   9     3     1    178    133    3        0     5    134     256     0      1         4

Mid’sboro 10     2     3    195    194    2        0     3     98      135     0      0.5      0.5

   

 

 

 

 

November

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final British League fixtures were raced off on October 24th when Newcastle and Wimbledon beat Belle Vue and Poole respectively. The Cradley versus Edinburgh fixture was never staged leaving the final table looking like

Tigers had finished eighth which was to prove to be their highest position in the British League. After a shaky start to the season when Charlie Monk suffered terrible bike problems, their home form was the equal of just about any team in the league, with only Swindon coming out on top at the White City. Away from home, they often put up a good show without really worrying their hosts. Bluey Scott’s absence was adequately covered by the new rider replacement rule although this was not always used to best advantage. However young Jim McMillan gained valuable experience, which was to pay dividends later at a time when Tigers really needed it.

 

 

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The 1966 team: Back Row (l to r) Templeton, Monk Mattingly Coombes, Wells, and Redmond

Front row  McMillan and Scott

 

Ian Hoskins went on a well-deserved holiday to Norway where he had signed a young Norwegian called Oyvind Berg, who would later become one of the most popular Tigers of all time.

Some sick minds were around at this time and some minor local papers seemed prepare to publish any sensational story from any source without checking its veracity. In quick succession, Trevor Redmond was called upon to deny stories that Charlie Monk had been banned for life for unspecified reasons and later that he had been killed in Australia.  Neither had a shred of truth!

Tigers’ fans were cheered by speculation in the Speedway Star that Graham Coombes might be on his way back to Glasgow although there was concern when Eric Linden suggested Trevor Redmond might be too occupied in restarting speedway in Cornwall to continue commuting to Glasgow each week. Bluey Scott , although going to Australia was reported to be buying a house in Motherwell and seemed certain to return for the 1967 season. Also a training track was to open in Breich in West Lothian.

 

Tigers’ supporters were stunned when they first heard the news that Trevor Redmond had sold his interest in the Tigers to Borders farmer Danny Taylor. On reflection it was realized that Trevor was first and foremost an entrepreneur and a pioneer and that the weekly grind of travelling the length of the country was taking its toll. Equally, he was a shrewd businessman and would have known that the line of the proposed M8 motorway extension cut through the east end of the White City stadium, casting doubts over the Tigers’ long term future there. Although this was unlikely to be a problem for a number of years, there were other, more immediate, concerns to be considered. Despite a successful season, crowds had levelled out from the highs of the previous term, when Tigers led the British League and Charlie Monk looked like conquering the speedway world. Monk was now living in Wakefield and was contemplating a transfer request to a track nearer this base.

 

Maury Mattingly and Bluey Scott were both in the veteran category. Maury was an ever present during the last season and seemed to have sorted out his travelling arrangements so that, unlike previous years, he had not missed any flights north. Perhaps he was leaving earlier or perhaps he was no longer using the risky standby tickets. However he seemed to be plagued almost continually by mechanical problems, and his future with the Tigers was uncertain.  Although Bluey had returned to Australia as soon as the season had finished, he was reported to be buying a house in Motherwell, so it seemed highly likely that he would be planning to ride again he following year, but like Mattingly he could not be expected to ride forever and the thorny problem of attracting heat leader to Scotland would again raise its head. All in all this was an opportune time to sell

 

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Tigers’ new promoter Danny Taylor planning the new season with Ian Hoskins

 

 

Trevor was reportedly going to be involved in forming a Cornish League, with Plymouth joining St Austell and Newton Abbott in a junior league venture. Nothing came of this although Plymouth, under the Mawdsley and Lansdale banner, were founder members of British League Division Two in 1968. Other plans to develop speedway in California never got off the ground and little was heard of him for a couple of years, during which he devoted more time to his farm.

               

 

1966 Averages

 

 

 

Jonny Faafeng                Meetings    Points       BP         Total         Rides          CMA

KO Cup   Away                     1                1           0               1               2              2.00

        

British League Home            13             52         10             62             43             5.77         

British League Away            14             44         11             55             44             5.00

       

Scottish Cup Home                1               2            1               3               4             3.00          

Scottish Cup Away                1               0            0               0               2             0.00         

 

 

Overall Home                       14              54         11             55             47             5.74       

Overall Away                       16              45         11             56             48             4.58        

Overall Total                       30             99         22            111            95              5.11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maury Mattingly             Meetings    Points       BP         Total         Rides         CMA

KO Cup   Away                      1               7              0              7               5              5.60

       

British League Home            18             110          12          122             67             7.28         

British League Away            18               89            9            98             71             5.52

       

Scottish Cup Home                1                11           0            11                5             8.80          

Scottish Cup Away                1                10           1            11                6             7.33         

 

 

Overall Home                       19             121         12           133              72            7.39        

Overall Away                       20             106         10           116              82            5.66       

Overall Total                       39             227         22           249            154           6.47

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill McMillan                   Meetings    Points       BP         Total         Rides         CMA

KO Cup   Away                      1               2             0                2               5             1.60

       

British League Home             18             86           26            112             64            7.00          

British League Away             18             43           10              53             67            3.16

       

Scottish Cup Home                1                6            2                8               5             6.40          

Scottish Cup Away                1                5            2                7               5             5.60         

 

 

Overall Home                       19              92           28             120            69            6.96        

Overall Away                        20             50           12               62            77            3.22       

Overall Total                       39             142          40             182           146           4.97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Monk                   Meetings    Points       BP         Total         Rides         CMA

KO Cup   Away                      1               13           0              13              5             10.40

       

British League Home            18             171          3             174             70             9.94         

British League Away            18             178          1             179             83             8.63

       

Scottish Cup Home                1               15           0             15                5            12.00          

Scottish Cup Away                1               14           1             15                6            10.00         

 

 

Overall Home                       19             186           3           189              75           10.08        

Overall Away                       20             205           2           207              94             8.81      

Overall Total                       39            391           5            396            169            9.37

 

 

Jim McMillan                 Meetings    Points       BP         Total         Rides         CMA

British League Home             5              12           3             15              11             5.45         

British League Away             8                5           3               8              15             2.13

       

Scottish Cup Home                1               4            0              4                 3             5.33          

 

 

Overall Home                         6              16           3             19              14            5.64        

Overall Away                         8                5           3               8              15            2.13       

Overall Total                       14              21           6              27             29           3.79

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alf Wells                          Meetings    Points       BP         Total         Rides         CMA

KO Cup   Away                       1              6            0              6               5              4.80

 

 

British League Home             18           153          15           168            73             9.21

British League Away             16             83           12            95             66            5.76

 

 

Scottish Cup Home                1               12           0              12               5             9.60          

Scottish Cup Away                1                 6           0                6               5             4.00         

       

Overall Home                        19           165          15            180            78             9.23        

Overall Away                        18             95          12            107             77            5.56       

Overall Total                        37           260         27             287            155           7.41

 

 

 

 

Bluey Scott                       Meetings    Points       BP         Total         Rides         CMA

KO Cup   Away                      1               6            1                7              5             5.60

       

British League Home            14              88         11             99              51            7.76         

British League Away              7              39           4             41              29            5.93

       

Overall Home                       14              88         11              99              51            7.76        

Overall Away                         8              45           5              50              34            5.88       

Overall Total                       22            133         16            149            185           7.01

 

 

 

 

Willie Templeton            Meetings    Points       BP         Total         Rides         CMA

KO Cup   Away                      1               4            2               6               5             4.80

       

British League Home            18           137          23            160            73            8.77         

British League Away            18             76          11             87              72            4.83

       

Scottish Cup Home                1               7             3             10                5             8.00          

Scottish Cup Away                1               8             1               9                6             6.00         

 

 

Overall Home                       19            144         26            170              78            8.72        

Overall Away                       20              88         14            102              83            4.92       

Overall Total                       39            232         40            272            161            6.76

 

 

 

 

Also Rode                         Meetings    Points       BP         Total         Rides         CMA

Graham Coombes                   2               8            4              12                8             6.00

Joe Hicks                                2               0            0               0                 4             0.00

Jack Monteith                         1               0            0               0                 2             0.00       

 

 

Guests                         

Ian Champion   (L Eaton)      1               3             1               4                 4             4.00

Tom Leadbetter (L Eaton)     1               1             0               1                 2             2.00

Dai Evans (Wolverhampton) 1               0            0               0                 2             0.00    

Doug Templeton (Glasgow)  1               3            0               3                 4             3.00

Roy Trigg   (West Ham)        1               9            0               9                 4             9.00

Ray Wilson (K Lynn)            1               5            2               7                 4             7.00