Berwick Bandits

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Berwick Bandits
Berwickbandits.png
Club information
Track address Shielfield Park
Tweedmouth
Berwick-On-Tweed
Country England
Founded 1968; 49 years ago (1968)
Team manager Gary Havelock
Team captain Kevin Doolan
League SGB Championship
Website www.berwickbandits.co
Club facts
Colours Black and Gold
Track size 368 metres (402 yd)
Track record time 62.8 seconds
Track record date 15th August 2015
Track record holder Craig Cook
Current team
Rider CMA
England Lewis Bridger 8.53
Australia Kevin Doolan 6.99
France Dimitri Berge 6.91
Denmark Claus Vissing 6.80
England Liam Carr 4.69
Austria Danny Gappmaier 4.00
England Ryan Blacklock 2.00
Total 39.92
Major team honours
Div 2 KO Cup winners 1980, 1989
Div 1 Gold Cup winners 1991
Conference League 1994, 1995
Premier Four-Team Championship 2002, 2012
Conference League KO Cup Winners 1995

The Berwick Bandits are a speedway team based at Shielfield Park, Berwick upon Tweed, the club competes in the British SGB Championship.[1][2]

Club history[edit]

Berwick have been operational in consecutive seasons from 1968 through to the present day. For such a small club, Berwick have had relative success. They were Division 2 Knock-out cup winners in 1980 and 1989, and The Gold Cup, in their only top flight season in 1991 whilst owned by Entrepreneur Terry Lindon. To add to this there were two national league riders championships for Wayne Brown (1980) and Steve McDerrmott (1983).

In 1980 Berwick left Shielfield Park after a disagreement with the landlords Berwick Rangers FC They raced their remaining fixtures as 'Nomads' including racing the second leg of the KO cup final at Brough Park Newcastle.

In 1981 the Bandits were still homeless and carried on riding home fixtures at Barrow, Workington and Glasgow before being forced to quit NL racing after a protest from Edinburgh boss Mike Parker. The Bandits were, however, allowed to defend their KO cup reaching the final against Edinburgh which the Monarchs won

Between 1982 and 1995, Berwick Bandits were based at the Berrington Lough track near Ancroft, Northumberland.

On 9 July 1995 Bikes returned to Shielfield Park for the first time in 15 years so that council officials could carry out noise tests. On 17 August 1996 The Bandits returned to Shielfield Park for their second spell at the Tweedmouth track

Berwick won the Premier League Four-Team Championship in 2002. In 2005, Berwick enjoyed one of their most successful seasons ever; they were 2nd in the Premier League, semi-finalists of the Knock-out cup, semi-finalists of the Young Shield and had a series of impressive away wins. The highlight being the 53-38 away win over the Exeter Falcons.[3] In 2008 the Bandits made the final of the Young Shield, losing out to Workington Comets in what turned out to be promoter Peter Waite's last meeting in charge. For season 2009 the new promotion is spearheaded by longtime supporter and North Berwick butcher John Anderson, with popular Cornhill shopkeeper Linda Waite (no relation to Peter) joining John and his sons. On 26 July 2010 the Berwick promotion announced that there had been a change in ownership. Lynda Waite had stepped down from her role to concentrate on the family business at Cornhill village shop, she states she enjoyed every minute of her time at Berwick Speedway and will never forget it and will be proud to sponsor the 2010 Bordernapolis event so that her link with Berwick speedway would continue. After Lynda's departure, John Anderson then announced the new investor was George Hepburn, owner of Berwick building contractor George Hepburn and Son Ltd., a long term supporter of the Bandits and sponsor of rider Lee Complin. Following the announcement of George Hepburn's investment, it was then announced that Dave Peet (team manager, late 2008 - Mid 2010) had departed from the club and had been replaced by the track curator and staff manager Ian Rae. Rae’s association with speedway in Berwick-upon-Tweed extend back to his role as Stadium Manager at their Berrington Lough Stadium, followed by several years – up until 2001 – as team manager.

Berwick won the Premier League Four-Team Championship for a second time in 2012.

In 2015, the Bandits owner John Anderson, announced mid-season, amid a run of poor results and dwindling attendances that it was time for new blood to come aboard, either in the form of a takeover, or by an input of new ideas and capital investment.

The other option available was the closure of the club and the liquidation of the club assets.

After some months of apparent inactivity and inertia, 3 new Associate Directors came aboard, and the Bandits declared their intention to continue in advance of the Speedway Promoters Annual Meeting.

The Associate Directors were a trio of Berwick-based businessmen, with successful enterprises and connections in the Berwick community, something that had been identified as a weakness in the previous management structure.

The trio consisted of Michael Mullan of Castle Blinds, Dennis Hush of Ideal Carpets, and property investor Darren Amers.

In August 2016 it was announced that the trio of Hush, Mullan and Amers had resigned their positions

On September 4, 2016 Berwick Speedway issued a statement from Bandits Promoter and owner John Anderson, on behalf of his fellow directors Ryan Anderson and George Hepburn, that the 2016 season was to be their last in charge and the club was up for sale as a going concern and they were ready to talk to intersested parties

On the 21st October 2016 it was the club announced it had new owners 2016 Team manager Scott Courtney, his younger Brother Jamie Courtney and 1992 World Champion Gary Havelock Outgoing Promoter John Anderson said "We are pleased to have done a deal, properly and courteously, with Scott, Gary and Jamie" "It is good to know the club is passing into the hands of people who have all been steeped in speedway, probably since birth!"

"I can reveal we had other offers, but these are the guys we have chosen".

"After all, the continuation of the Bandits for their fiftieth season -- and hopefully for many, many more seasons after this – is the most important thing. This is what Heppy, Ryan and I felt was best for all concerned".

2016 Team[edit]

also rode

2015 Team[edit]

Also rode

2014 Team[edit]

Also rode

2013 Team[edit]

Also rode

2012 Team[edit]

Also rode

2011 Team[edit]

Also Rode

2010 Team[edit]

Also Rode

2009 Team[edit]

Also rode

2008 Team[edit]

Also Rode:

2007 Team[edit]

Also rode

2006 Team[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bamford, R & Jarvis J.(2001). Homes of British Speedway. ISBN 0-7524-2210-3
  2. ^ Berwick Advertiser
  3. ^ Oakes, P.(2006). Speedway Star Almanac. ISBN 0-9552376-1-0

External links[edit]