King's Lynn Stars
|King's Lynn Stars|
|Track address||Norfolk Arena
|Team manager||Rob Lyon|
|Colours||Blue, Yellow, Black|
|Track size||342 metres (374 yd)|
|Major team honours|
King's Lynn Stars are a motorcycle speedway team who compete in the British Elite League. The nickname "Stars" comes from the defunct Norwich Stars team. The team was founded in 1965 and has been running continually since then, except for 1996 when King's Lynn failed to have a team competing in the British league system.
|This section may be slanted towards recent events. (May 2012)|
The team has operated with a few different nicknames, including: the Knights; Silver Machine (as an additional nickname to the Knights) and the Stars. The team colours were originally green and yellow, taken directly from the Norwich Stars but in 1994 the green was replaced with blue, to match the blue and yellow of the King's Lynn official town crest. During their time as the Knights, silver and black became the prominent colours, but since reviving the Stars nickname they returned to using blue and yellow.
The promotion is run by Buster Chapman, a former junior rider at King's Lynn, who also owns the stadium (renamed the Norfolk Arena) at Saddlebow Road on the outskirts of King's Lynn. The team manager is Rob Lyon who in 2009 was selected to be Team Manager for the Great Britain team.
King's Lynn finished top of the Premier League table in 2006 but were the first such team not automatically crowned champions because it was the first season that the Premier League used the play-off system to decide the championship. However, the Stars beat the Sheffield Tigers in the play off final to be crowned champions. King's Lynn Stars also won the 2006 Premier Trophy and the 2006 Premier League Knockout Cup completing the treble for the year.
In 2007 the Stars once again won the Premier Trophy and Premier League Knock-out Cup. They also finished top of the Premier League table but that year the Stars were beaten by the Sheffield Tigers in the play-off semi-final. Rye House were ultimately crowned Premier League champions.
In 2008 the Stars were eliminated from the Premier Trophy and the Premier League Knockout Cup, but eventually finished third in the league. They then participated in the play-off promotion battle, where they lost on aggregate to Edinburgh in the final.
In 2009, for the second time in three years, the Stars won the treble: the first club ever to achieve this feat twice. The Stars were crowned league champions on 16 September 2009 but then lost on aggregate to the Edinburgh Monarchs in the promotion play-off final. The Stars also won the Premier Trophy on 30 September beating the Edinburgh Monarchs 99–92 on aggregate over two legs and in October the Stars won the Knock-Out Cup, beating the same Edinburgh Monarchs again on aggregate over two legs.
The 2010 season was hard hit by injuries to nearly all Stars riders and a dramatic drop off in form from the established heat leaders. King's Lynn ended up the season, trophy-less and left ownership pondering whether to make a move up from the Premier League.
The 2011 season saw King's Lynn move up to the Elite League, marking a return to the top flight of speedway for the Stars. Only Kozza Smith, Olly Allen and Tomas Topinka were kept on the squad, with the rest of the team brought in from other Elite squads. The Stars proved very competitive home and away and finished third in the League and qualified for the playoffs. They drew the Poole Pirates in the semi-finals but were crushed by the all conquering and eventual title winning Pirates. The season was a huge success on and off the track with crowds up from 2010 and the club competing with a team that most experts had deemed to finish close to the bottom of the pile before the season started
For the 2012 season, the Bjerre brothers returned to their parent club, Peterborough Panthers and the Stars and declined to renew with Olly Allen, who also joined the Panthers. The Stars picked up the highly rated young German, Kevin Woelbert who had shown great form when riding at Lynn with Edinburgh in the Premier League. Also the season sees the return of former Premier League favourite Daniel Nermark. To round out the starting 7 the Stars signed David Howe to double up and Polish flyer Maciej Janowski.
- Niels Kristian Iversen
- Mads Korneliussen
- Daniel Nermark
- Maciej Janowski
- Kevin Woelbert
- David Howe
- Mateusz Szczepaniak
- Joe Screen Double Up
- Kyle Howarth Double Up
- Jordan Frampton Double Up
- Dakota North Double Up
- Kozza Smith
- Sam Masters
- Filip Sitera
- Michael Palm Toft
Other team honours
- Inter League Knock-out Cup Winners – 1978, 1980
- Howard Cole became the first King's Lynn rider to reach a World Final in 1969.
- Ian Turner won the British Junior Championship in 1971.
- Terry Betts representing England along with Ray Wilson (Leicester Lions), won the 1972 World Pairs Final.
- Terry Betts was a member of the Great Britain team that won the World Team Cup in 1972 and 1973.
- Malcolm Simmons was a member of the Great Britain team that won the World Team Cup in 1972 and 1974.
- Michael Lee was a member of the England team that won the World Team Cup in 1977 & 1980.
- Michael Lee rode for King's Lynn when he won the 1980 Speedway World Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden.
- Dave Jessup representing England along with Peter Collins (Belle Vue Aces), won the 1980 World Pairs Final.
- Dave Jessup was a member of the England team that won the World Team Cup in 1980.
- Michael Lee won the 1981 World Longtrack Championship Final in Radgona, Yugoslavia.
- Tony Rickardsson rode for King's Lynn when he won the 1999 World Championship.
- Shane Parker won the South Australian Championship in 2001 and 2002.
- Darcy Ward won the World Under 21 Championship in 2009.