Dream Team : Tony McColl
I was taken to my first speedway meeting at that age of three, obviously I remember nothing of it, but there must have been something to keep me going for 20 years now. I am a Glasgow Tigers fan, who has lived through his worst nightmare, of having to watch the Monarchs for a season (1996). But I have to add, I didnt support them.
One of, if not the greatest Tiger of all time, his scoring record speaks for itself. His loyalty towards the Tigers, and sheer professionalism made him a firm favourite, and still is to this day. No one can ever forget those chants on the terraces, half the Glasgow support would chant Stevie, while the other half chant Lawson...Magic.
Mick was the key man in our double double years of 1993 and 94 (Yes Monarchs we actually managed to defend our title). There was nobody Mick could not beat, and the hero he often was. 1993 KO cup final, Jason Crump had been on a remarkable unbeaten run lasting several meetings, up steps wee Mick, Boom there you go Crumpie. Crump couldn't get near him. He did the same in the 95 all one league season with a lot of the top men, including Hancock.
Came into the side in 1992, a find of ex promoter Neil Mcfarlane. Struggled to say the least, and was nearly the one to be dropped to make way for the returning Shane Bowes (more on him later) but a good meeting at Powderhall saw the promotion drop Robert Csillik instead. Robert then went on in that same season to win the Division Two riders championship, beating Mick Poole in a run-off where Mick Poole basically tried every trick in the book to win. Robert led us to two League titles and two KO cups and will always be remembered with fondness within the Glasgow camp
This was a tough call, it was between Shane Parker and David Walsh, but Shane just gets it. Shane has been a revelation since joining Glasgow, digging us out of some tight spots at times. But it is not also Shane's riding that gives him this spot, it is the way he always takes time out to talk to any fan that may wish to ask a question, he is never too busy to help out the promotion by attending schools. A real team player.
Shane was probably my first speedway hero, I remember him on parade for the first time as a youngster. Bright Yellow leathers, Blonde spikey hair, and all the ladies screaming. Shane became a Tigers Legend in his time with us, coming back in '92 when we needed a lift. Staying on through the Glory years, but the race I will always remember Shane for is the 1992 interleague cup thingy Glasgow were against Cradley Heath at Shawfield, Glasgow needed a 4-2 in the last heat to win, Robert Nagy was miles clear, Bowes was second, but locked up and went to third, the Glasgow fans are like, that's ok we are still winning, but he locks up again, Now Greg Hancock goes into third, OH NO we think, but wait what's this, Shane diving up the inside of Greg to regain 3rd place, Speedway riding at its best.
James only spent half a season with the Tigers last year, but in that half a season we saw a rider who would do anything to win, he never gives up until he passes that line, he doesn't know how to. I was shocked that he was not picked up by any PL team at the start of this year, but now he has been signed for Berwick and although it had been stop start through injury, once he is back and gets a run of meetings under his belt, he will prove all the promoters who left him out wrong.
I watched Grant come through the ranks, starting at reserve for the Tigers in '97 and by mid '98 he was our third Heatleader, his overtakes around Shawfield were worth the admission money alone. He had a serious car accident which stopped his career, but he was back in the Conference last season scoring big points, so hopefully we will see Grant back in the red and white one day, and he can pick up where he left off, He is still young enough to become a big player in the PL.
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This article was first published on 27th July 2006
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