Dream Team : Mark Lucas
I'm a passionate speedway fan, whose family has followed the sport in Edinburgh since the fifties. My first meeting was in 1992 and the smell, noise and excitement has had me hooked ever since. So all in all now I've been a Monarchs/Speedway fan for the last 14 years!
The ultimate Speedway rider. He has brought to the sport not only tremendous excitement and skill, but more importantly he brought an immense amount of professionalism. Something that all rivals have looked up to and adopted in an attempt to emulate the world's greatest ever Speedway rider.
I always loved the way Per never gave up. His style was brilliant for a taller guy and his passing moves were always memorable. He had so many great meetings, but I'll always remember how he inspired Reading to the Fours in 1993. He passed riders like they were standing still that day and that always seemed to be the case when Per was on song. His run off win against Shawn Moran at Bradford for the World Title in 1990 was immense too!
Sudden Sam was such a treat to watch and added that amazing brand of showmanship that only the Americans seem to be able to bring. A constant threat in any race at his peak and his unbelievable desire to get the World Title was finally rewarded after years of fighting for it. The way he recovered from injury was always unbelievable and he never lost his bottle because of it. A true entertainer and another constant professional.
WamBam will always be one of my favorite riders. His determination to pass riders after his gating let him down time and time again was just amazing. He guested for the Monarchs on one occasion at Powderhall in 1995 and although he had bike problems he jumped on another's riders machine and still passed people like they'd stopped! His World title was well deserved - a true gentlemen of the sport.
I'm not Crumpy's biggest fan, but I just can't deny his outstanding ability and contribution to the sport. A true fighter and never-say-die kind of rider. He never gives up and is also a very hard rider - get in his way if you dare!! I first seen him as a 16 year old at Powderhall, riding with Peterborough and even then you could see a tremendous, emerging talent. He still has another world title in him and wouldn't be surprised if he did it in 2006.
The tail of my team will be filled by Monarchs! Vesa was a tremendous talent and such an exciting rider to watch. His gating was lightening fast and I believe if it wasn't for injury he would have went on to be a big force in the sport. He was always a threat in Scandanavia and helped put speedway back on track in Finland. His highlight for me came when he scored a paid maximum at Oxford for the Monarchs, completing two of his rides on borrowed machinery!
A tremendous servant to the sport. I have watched the 1982 World Final time and time again and he really did have the title in his grasp, until he rode a bad 3rd. His first ride in beating Penhall was unbelievable, especially when you consider how geared up Bruce would have been to have started with a win. He held him off superbly and it was such a shame he didn't take the title on the night. He brought the most exciting racing to the Monarchs when he joined and it was worth paying the admission money just to see Les ride. Although Peter Carr went on to achieve so much in his Monarchs career, Les will always be the greatest Monarch of all time.
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