Les Collins

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Les Collins
Les Collins winner Potters.jpg
Personal information
Nationality  England
Date of birth (1958-05-24) May 24, 1958 (age 56)
Place of birth    Manchester, England
Current club information
Career status Retired
Career history
Crewe Kings
Belle Vue Aces
Stoke Potters
Leicester Lions
Sheffield Tigers
King's Lynn Stars
Edinburgh Monarchs
Cradley/Stoke Heathens
Glasgow Tigers
Workington Comets
1975
1975–1979, 1988
1976, 1997
1980–1983
1984–1985
1986, 1988
1986–1995
1996
1999–2001, 2003
2002
Individual honours
British Under-21 Champion
British League Riders Champion
Intercontinental Champion
Scottish Open Champion
1977
1980
1982
1986
Team honours
British League Division Two Fours Winner
National League Pairs Champion
1993
1986

Leslie 'Les' Collins (born 24 May 1958 in Manchester, England) is a former speedway rider.[1] He finished runner-up in the 1982 Speedway World Championship as well as winning the Intercontinental Final in 1982, the British Under-21 Championship in 1977 and the British League Riders' Championship in 1980.

Career[edit]

Crewe, Stoke & Belle Vue[edit]

Les started his career with the Crewe Kings before moving Belle Vue Aces. He was loaned to the Stoke Potters in 1976 but in 1977 he made a place with the Aces his own, riding alongside brother Peter and family friend Chris Morton.

Leicester Lions & 1982 World Individual Final[edit]

Les moved to the Leicester Lions in 1980 where he stayed until 1983. It was the 1982 season however that proved to be the high point of Les' career. He qualified for his first and only Speedway World Championship final, winning the Inter Continental title on the way. He finished runner-up that day, despite being the only rider to beat the eventual and defending champion, home town (Los Angeles) hero Bruce Penhall. The final was held at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

An incident involving Penhall and the late Kenny Carter in heat 14 saw Carter excluded. Both riders were being beaten by Peter Collins at the point of the crash. Despite protests by Carter it was he who was excluded rather than Penhall; If Penhall had been excluded then the title may have headed in Les' direction. Older brother Peter had been comfortably leading the race when Carter fell. Penhall won the re-run from Peter Collins and Australia's Phil Crump.[2]

Sheffield & Edinburgh[edit]

In 1984 Les moved to the Sheffield Tigers, still in the top flight British League. In 1986 he dropped down to the National League and signed for the Edinburgh Monarchs, where he rode for ten seasons. In his first season with the Monarchs he became Pairs champion with Doug Wyer. The Monarchs won the National League Four Team Tournament in 1993 with Les in the team.

Cradley Heath, Stoke[edit]

1996 saw Les riding in the top flight again, with the Cradley Heathens at Stoke followed by a year in the Premier League back with the Stoke Potters. Les missed the whole of the 1998 season but in 1999 he returned to the sport with Edinburgh's rivals, the Glasgow Tigers.

Glasgow[edit]

It was at Glasgow in the 2001 and 2002 seasons he rode with his son Aidan. The 2002 team was unique as there was a second father and son connection. Former Leicester team-mate Mark Courtney was also in the line-up with his son Scott.

Les had a spell in 2002 with the Workington Comets but returned to Glasgow in 2003 where he was again ever present, as he was in 2000 and 2001.

Family[edit]

Les has four brothers all of whom were speedway riders, 1976 World Champion Peter, Phil, Neil and Stephen. His son Aidan and nephew Chris were also riders but have both retired from the sport.

World Final Appearances[edit]

Individual World Championship[edit]

Individual Under-21 World Championship[edit]

* Known as the European Under-21 Championship. Meeting declared after 12 heats due to rain.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oakes, Peter (2004). British Speedway Who's who. ISBN 978-0-948882-81-4. 
  2. ^ Bamford, Robert; Shailes, Glynn (2002). Speedway World Championship. Arcadia Publishing (SC). p. 183. ISBN 978-0-7524-2402-6. 

External links[edit]