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Nightmare Team : Steve Harland

Steve nominates his Middlesbrough Nightmare team.

Mick Conroy
Poor Mick lasted a handful of matches at the beginning of the 1978 season. An Aussie with connections at Leicester through promoter Ron Wilson. He could gate but couldn't handle the tight bands at Cleveland Park and by the time the riders had exited the second bend he was stone last. He left Teesside and moved to Weymouth where he was equally unsuccessful.

Mike Beaumont
In 1976 promoter Ron Wilson announced Teesside had signed a World Champion. His name was Mike Beaumont. He came from Thirsk, North Yorkshire and was a haulage contractor by day and a grasstrack champion on his bike. Shame was that Mike spent a season and a half trying to fathom out how to ride Cleveland Park. Being used to the wide open spaces of the grasstrack was entirely different to riding a track where you had to think twice before negotiating the bends. His one claim to fame came against Edinburgh Monarchs in 1977 when the notorious Jack Millen elbowed him off his bike exiting the fourth bend at Cleveland Park as Millen came round again Beaumont ran over and punched him. The two riders had to be seperated and the commotion continued in the pits as several hundred Teesside supporters went to sort Millen out! In 1977 he soon lost his place at reserve and moved on to Scunthorpe's wide open spaces of Quibell Park. He was no good there either!!

Brian Whaley
In 1970 promoter Ron Wilson announced a major signing. His name was Brian Whaley. The son of ex-Glasgow promoter Les Whaley he had ridden to a five ride 15-point maximum for Berwick Bandits against Middlesbrough in the first meeting of the new era in 1968. Whaley had left Berwick to work on the US Apollo. Teesside fans wished he had stayed there. His comeback was dismal barely scoring a point in the few meetings he rode in and he was allowed to leave and join neighbours Sunderland in 1971 where he maintained a four point average in a mediocre side.

Kevin Brice
Kev had ridden for mainly southern teams when he was signed as a stop gap signing in a season (I think it was 1991) when rider after rider was getting injured. His signing was seen as a coup as Steve Wilcock had remembered him from his one season at Rye House, a useful second string. Unfortunately for Kev the team at the time could not afford to carry any passengers and after two maybe three last places on his debut he was replaced never to be seen again.

Martin Peterca
Desperate times call for desperate situations. The leagues had amalgamated in 1995 and Middlesbrough were woefully weak. Ipswich's Shane Parker the only signing of any note until former Glasgow rider Robert Nagy was signed. To make up the averages a Slovenian Champion called Martin Peterca was signed on an assessed average in which he had no hope in attaining. The fans were told he had good equipment and was well turned out, which was a shame really because he couldn't race a speedway bike. Even when he got in front of an opposing rider he would shut off well before entering the bends and it wasn't long before he was getting tailed off at the back. Nothing has been heard of him since.

Lars Munkedal
How Edinburgh supporters must have laughed when they heard we had signed this Danish rider. Not that Lars couldn't ride a bike but if he didn't make the gate and was last he would tootle round way behind showing no interest in challenging for third place. A total enigma.

Roland Tebbs
Great on the grasstracks but 'Tebbsy' was a big lad and speedway didn't come easy to him, though he talked a good game! He didn't have a bad 1985 season at reserve but then Brian Havelock was team manager and you took notice of what he said. 'Tebbsy' lost his place at Middlesbrough and joined neighbours Newcastle in 1987 but didn't find speedway any easier.

 

This article was first published prior to October 2002

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