Kevin Little - Northern Soul
Kevin Little's decision to join Redcar will make him, we believe, the only rider to have appeared for all six of the most Northernmost clubs.
We better start off by clarifying exactly who these clubs are, as nothing is ever quite straightforward in Speedway. The teams in question are:
If we stick with these groupings then it keeps things simpler - especially given that Glasgow have ridden home meetings at Workington and both Edinburgh and Glasgow spent time at Coatbridge.
We should also clarify that we're discounting guest bookings for obvious reasons. The fact that Berwick were not formed until 1968 and Workington 1970 means that we can concern ourselves with the modern era only.
Kevin Little started his career at Glasgow in 1988 and was named in the Tigers team at the start of the following season. He appeared in their opening league match at Hackney, but that proved to be his sole official appearance for the Tigers. He did appear in subsequent challenge matches but moved on to Berwick later in the season. Nonetheless he was a genuine Tiger for a few months. He's subsequently appeared for Berwick, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Workington and is poised to race for Redcar. We don't believe that anyone else can equal that claim to fame. Kevin has somehow also found time to appear for Belle Vue, Coventry and Bradford.
His nearest challengers, and there's three we can think of, have all appeared for five of these teams. They are:
Blackburn appeared for Workington in their troubled 1981 campaign and had a short and controversial spell with Middlesbrough in 1988. Both McAllan and Beveridge have spent time in the reserve berths of all these clubs as they made their way in the sport. Beveridge's time with Berwick was during their Conference League years but we feel that still counts under our, admittedly arbitrary, criteria.
We can think of three others who narrowly miss out on being five club men. Dave Younghusband can claim to have been rider, manager or promoter at all of the clubs except Glasgow. Mark Courtney rode for Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Berwick and Glasgow, he was also 'tea-boy' at Workington's Derwent Park in the seventies but we don't think that counts. Gordon Whitaker is, surprisingly, another that nearly qualifies. He had short spells with Edinburgh, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Glasgow - but he also appeared for Workington Tigers in 1987. The rules we lay out above state that Workington Tigers were really Glasgow, so Gordon doesn't quite make it.
Paul Thorp is another who could have turned out for five of the clubs, although in fact he's only actually raced for three of them! He had some rides at Workington in the early eighties before spells with Berwick and Newcastle. He got as far as appearing in an Edinburgh team picture in the mid-eighties before opting to move elsewhere and he agreed a deal with Glasgow in 2000 but pulled out of the deal when it became apparent that Hull were rejoining the Premier League.
Riders that have ridden for four of the clubs are not so difficult to find, we can think of the following but there are probably more. Clubs in brackets are the ones they did NOT represent.
There are many riders that have ridden for three of the clubs, probably far too many to list. Certainly amongst that number we can include Kenny McKinna, our old friend Dave Gifford, Sean Courtney, three of the Collins family, Stewart McDonald, Rob Maxfield, Rob Woffinden, Geoff Powell, Stuart Swales, Brian Turner, Barry Campbell, Harry McLean, Rusty Harrison, Jesper Olsen, David Meldrum, Nigel Close, Terry Kelly, The Templeton Brothers, Scott Lamb, Buzz Burrows, Bobby Beaton and Brian Collins.
Please let us know if we've missed any five or four club men, or if in fact this article is flawed and someone else can claim to have ridden for all 6. Remember though that guest bookings do not count!
This article was first published on 3rd March 2006
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