Dream Team : Malcolm Watling
In this new feature we invite you to select your own dream team.
Sheffield fan Malcolm Watling kicks us off.
Joined the club in the early eighties and stayed with us until closure in 1988. Quite simply the best rider I have ever seen. 'Shooey' was virtually unbeatable around Owlerton and could score big points at any track in the land. His best years were probably 1984 and 1985 when he was possibly the best rider in the World. He moved on to Belle Vue when we closed and a few Tigers fans were always happy to trek over the Pennines to watch him.
Shawn rejoined us in 1994 and should have proved the top man in the second division. Unfortunately his signing proved to be a costly mistake as he retired early in the season. However the good memories vastly outweigh the bad and Shawn would always be number one in my side.
Elder brother of Shawn and arguably an even more talented rider. Lacked the dedication and professionalism of his brother but had just as much flair and charisma. Always had time for the fans and could have achieved so much more if he had remained focussed. Could probably still score big in today's premier league.
The B52 Bomber was a good second string in our British League days but really came into his own when he rejoined us in 1991. The Tigers were at that time in Division Two and PC formed a strong spearhead with Neil Evitts and Louis Carr. He was always a joy to watch blitzing round our pacy circuit. Sadly, over time the relationship soured and he moved on to Belle Vue.
Carl had long ridden for local rivals Long Eaton and been a constant thorn in our side. The chance to bring him to Owlerton was one not to be missed and he joined us in 1998. His impact was immediate as he gave the side a credibility it had previously lacked. His departure to Workington was greeted with much regret. Remains a great favourite and I like to think he'll return one day.
The blow of losing Stoney was cushioned by the delight of Sean's return. Sean rode for us in the eighties and looked an excellent prospect. He enjoyed a reasonably successful career in the top flight, principally with Coventry and Bradford, but was frozen out of a team place in 1998. He would have been an excellent capture for us but his average was too high. Eventually he landed a place with Belle Vue and he ended the season with a low enough average to be allowed to drop down.
He signed for us over the winter and turned in a season of individual brilliance. He was the club captain and the main reason that we won the league. He stayed with us in 2000 and it's hard to imagine him ever moving on again.
Not everyone's cup of tea but a great favourite of mine. The wildman livened up many a meeting with his, frankly, outrageous riding. Roman didn't care if a gap existed or not - he was going through. In the second division he was a big scorer and he did well enough in the original premier league. On track he was entertainment personified, off track he was a moody, unreliable and unpredictable individual. No team should be without a nutter, Roman is mine.
Former Bradford junior who had experienced mixed fortunes in the early years of his career. Looked an excellent prospect in his outings with Belle Vue but had drifted back into Conference League racing. Snapped up by Sheffield in 1998 as a lower order rider but quickly proved to be capable of much more. An entertaining and controversial rider that never gives less than his best. His improvement was a factor in the '99 title win.
This article was first published prior to October 2002
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