Hull Vikings

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Hull Vikings
Club information
Track address Craven Park
Hull
Country England
Founded 1995
Closed 2005
Team manager Eric Boocock
Team captain Paul Thorp
League Premier
Club facts
Colours Blue and White
Track size 346 metres (378 yd)
Track record time 64.4 seconds[1]
Track record date 30 June 2004
Track record holder Magnus Karlsson
Major team honours
Premier League Champions 2004
Premier League KO Cup 2001, 2004
Craven Shield Winners 2004

The Hull Vikings were a speedway team from Hull, England.

The team originated as the 'Hull Angels', based at Hedon on the outskirts of Hull between 1947 and mid-1949. When speedway came back to Hull in 1971, the team were known as the Vikings and raced at the Boulevard, a 380 metres (420 yards) long track. The Boulevard was famous as the long time home of Rugby Football League team Hull F.C..

During the years of racing at The Boulevard, the Vikings had the dubious distinction of being the very last league speedway team ever to appear at the famous West Ham Stadium, on 23 May 1972, when they beat the closing West Ham Hammers 40–38.

Promotional changes, falling crowds and financial problems eventually saw the Vikings demise. On 5 April 1995, speedway came back to Hull, this time at Craven Park, the home of the city's other rugby league team, Hull Kingston Rovers.[2] The 346 metres (378 yards) long speedway track ran inside the greyhound dog racing track.

Although the Vikings have raced in speedway's top flight, the Elite League in 1999, it was in the Premier League where they enjoyed the most success, racing to the treble in 2004.

By becoming Premier League Champions, holders of the Knock-Out Cup and the Craven Shield, the team became the most successful sporting team in Hull's history, in terms of awards.

However, just one year later, in 2005, the club was forced to close its doors due to a spate of crippling financial problems. Although potential new owners have been mooted, the team remains homeless.

World Champions who rode for the Vikings in the 1970s included New Zealanders Ivan Mauger and Barry Briggs, along with Egon Müller from West Germany who rode a single season in Hull in 1976. While Mauger and Briggs had already won World Championships before joining Hull, Müller would not win the title until 1983, though like Mauger he was a World Long Track Champion having won the title in 1974 and 1975.

The prospect of speedway returning to Hull would require a new venue to be built as The Boulevard was closed in 2009 and demolished in 2010 while Craven Park was redeveloped after the Vikings departure with the speedway track removed and the ground becoming a rectangular sports venue suited to rugby league.

Notable riders[edit]

References[edit]

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