PREVIEWS: Manchester League starts tomorrow

The Manchester league begins its season tomorrow (Wednesday 16th April) at Astley. Racing starts at 7pm, but as ever registrations and fees have to be paid, so don’t leave it till the last minute.

The season consists of a Round Robin of 6 matches, 2 each at Astley, Bury and Stockport. The top 16 scorers in each event then contest a Grand Final. Tom Whitwam, James Elston, Reece Pollitt and Terry Norman took the honours last year and will be looking to defend their trophies if eligible. Age categories are u/10/13/16 and Senior, all categories are strongly contested, as each riders score counts to the overall score of their team as well.
Expect to see Adam and Laura Watson, Mark Mulvey, Paul Fisher amongst the riders taking part.

The Manchester and Stockport District Cycle Speedway League (MSDCSL), was established back in the very early days of the sport, a very vibrant area for Cycle Speedway, it had 3 divisions of separate teams in its heyday. It produced many British Championship Teams, Chorlton Aces, Cheadle Hulme Rangers, Carrswood, Gorton, Offerton, Blackley and also a few characters in its time. Offerton Blackley Gorton and Carrswood were amongst clubs who also also claimed Junior Team glory.

Occasionally, the league would almagamate with Yorkshire helping to produce top teams such as Lindale, Halifax, Ivy House and Heckmondwike, along with the lovely tiny circuits at Elland, Greetland, Dodgeholme.

Individually it must have produced the most champions, with Lew Grepp, Brian Moston, Derek Garnett, Vic Hinchliffe, Kev Greenhalgh and John Watchman not forgetting, Jim Brett, George Russell and Don Williams in the junior events.

Perhaps not possible in today’s era, but Gorton’s Pete Bury rode in all 4 finals, Senior/ Junior Team and Senior/ Junior Individuals over the same weekend, winning the Junior Individual in 1963. Both Team Matches and third in the Senior. Not a bad weekends work. Mike Cockroft and Ken Taylor also refereed at the top level for many years, though with Mike the effects of his latest joke as you were getting set up, could be disastrous.