Swindon Robins

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Swindon Robins
The Abbey Stadium, the home of Swindon Robins
Club information
Track addressAbbey Stadium, Blunsdon, Swindon
Team managerAlun Rossiter
Team captainJason Doyle
LeagueSGB Premiership
Club facts
ColoursRed, White and Black.
Track size315 metres (344 yd)
Track record time58.86 seconds
Track record date6 May 2019
Track record holderBrady Kurtz
Major team honours
League Champions1957, 1967, 2012, 2017, 2019
Knockout Cup winners2019
Div 2 Champions1956
Div 2 KO Cup Winners2000
Elite League Pairs Champions2004, 2005
Elite Shield Winners2008, 2013, 2018
Midland Cup1967
Charity Shield2018

The Swindon Speedway team, also known as the Swindon Robins, are an English motorcycle speedway team established in 1949 that have competed primarily in the top division of speedway league competition in the United Kingdom. They are five times league champions of the United Kingdom.[1]

The club have raced on their home track at the Abbey Stadium, Lady Lane, Blunsdon since their inception.



The formation of the club followed the sport's prehistory in the town at the now-demolished Gorse Hill Aerodrome, where dirt track racing had taken place since 1928.[2]

The birth of the Robins was a product of the partnership of Bristol speedway manager Reg Witcomb and businessman Bert Hearse. Under their direction, a 410-yard (370 m) cinder track was built.[3]

The first meeting, a non-league home challenge match, took place on 23 July 1949 against future rivals Oxford, and an official attendance figure of 8,000 was given, although employees of the club believe that 10,000 would be closer to the truth. The Robins lost their debut meeting 39–45 in a meeting that saw Ginger Nicholls top score for the home side with 11 points on his wedding day. In the process he won the first-ever race, was beaten by an opponent only once, and set the first-ever track record at 82.8 seconds. The team then joined the 1949 Speedway National League Division Three taking over the fixtures of the Hull Angels, who withdrew from the league. Swindon finished in 11th place.[4]


The first silverware came to the club in 1956 and 1957; they won the 1956 Speedway National League Division Two and then the following year joined the highest league, that of the 1957 Speedway National League, where they secured back to back league titles.[5] The next major success came during the 1967 British League season when Swindon won their second highest league title. Swindon finished with four riders with averages over eight, Barry Briggs topped the entire league with 11.05 but the contributions from Martin Ashby (8.83), Bob Kilby (8.61) and Mike Broadbank (8.55) were pivotal in the Swindon's success.[6]

The club did not experience further success until they won the Div 2 KO Cup during the 2000 Premier League speedway season and nine years later during the 2009 Elite League speedway season the Robins finished first in the regular season table but lost in the play off final.


Current team performances in Speedway's First Division since 2013[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Teams no longer participating in the league are not included on the graph. When a team's figure rises from zero, that indicates having moved up to the Premiership after the previous season

Following difficult campaigns in 2010 and 2011, Swindon signed Denmark's Peter Kildemand, former world #5 Hans Andersen and Australian international Troy Batchelor, who rode for the Robins in 2008 and part of the 2009 season. Alun Rossiter also returned as team manager after a 2-year spell with Coventry, with whom he won the Elite League in 2010. In 2012, the Robins won the Elite League title after beating the Poole Pirates 95–89 on aggregate following a 45-year wait for glory.

In 2013, 2014 and 2015, the Robins made the semi-finals of the playoffs, but failed to advance further. At the start of the 2015 season, Swindon Robins No 1 Adrian Miedziński was injured in the first meeting at the Abbey vs Poole Pirates, with Peter Kildemand filling in on a temporary basis before the club signed Australian international Darcy Ward. However, Ward suffered a career-ending accident while riding in Poland, and Kildemand once again stepped in to complete the season.

The 2016 Swindon Robins team was nicknamed Roscos Roo's, because it contained five Australians in addition to the required two British reserves. In 2017, the Robins won the League Championship against Wolverhampton Wolves despite losing the first leg at their home track.

A new stadium was planned to be built for the 2018 season.[14] At the start of the 2019 season, the Abbey Stadium was to be reduced in size to 320 metres from its original 363 metres; the track record holder on the old track size was Leigh Adams, with a time of 63.86 seconds, on 31 August 2009.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 SGB Premiership was cancelled.[15] In January 2021, the Robins confirmed their withdrawal from the 2021 season, citing uncertainty around the sport and the potential redevelopment of their stadium.[16] In October 2021 the Robins promotor, Terry Robins, confirmed that the team would not be fielding a team in the 2022 season due to uncertainty over when the new stadium would be completed.[17]

Season summary[edit]

Extended content
Year and league Position Notes
1949 Speedway National League Division Three 11th replaced Hull Angels
1950 Speedway National League Division Three 4th
1951 Speedway National League Division Three 5th
1952 Speedway Southern League 6th
1953 Speedway Southern League 4th
1954 Speedway National League Division Two 3rd
1955 Speedway National League Division Two 8th
1956 Speedway National League Division Two 1st champions
1957 Speedway National League 1st champions
1958 Speedway National League 6th
1959 Speedway National League 8th
1960 Speedway National League 10th
1961 Speedway National League 5th
1962 Speedway National League 6th
1963 Speedway National League 5th
1964 Speedway National League 5th
1965 British League season 15th
1966 British League season 3rd
1967 British League season 1st champions
1968 British League season 11th
1969 British League season 10th
1970 British League season 16th
1971 British League season 5th
1972 British League season 15th
1973 British League season 13th
1974 British League season 12th
1975 British League season 18th
1976 British League season 5th
1977 British League season 11th
1978 British League season 16th
1979 British League season 8th
1980 British League season 8th
1981 British League season 3rd
1982 British League season 8th
1983 British League season 15th
1984 British League season 9th
1985 British League season 8th
1986 British League season 8th
1987 British League season 3rd
1988 British League season 7th
1989 British League season 6th
1990 British League season 6th
1991 British League season 13th
1992 British League season 13th
1993 British League Division Two season 4th
1994 British League Division Two season 4th
1995 Premier League speedway season 11th
1996 Premier League speedway season 4th
1997 Elite League speedway season 3rd
1998 Elite League speedway season 4th
1999 Premier League speedway season 4th
2000 Premier League speedway season 2nd Knockout Cup winners
2001 Premier League speedway season 5th
2002 Premier League speedway season 6th
2003 Premier League speedway season 4th
2004 Elite League speedway season 6th
2005 Elite League speedway season 7th
2006 Elite League speedway season 3rd PO semi final
2007 Elite League speedway season 2nd lost in PO final
2008 Elite League speedway season 3rd PO semi final
2009 Elite League speedway season 1st lost in PO final
2010 Elite League speedway season 6th
2011 Elite League speedway season 10th
2012 Elite League speedway season 2nd champions, won play off final
2013 Elite League speedway season 2nd PO semi final
2014 Elite League speedway season 4th PO semi final
2015 Elite League speedway season 3rd PO semi final
2016 Elite League 5th
SGB Premiership 2017 1st champions, won play off final
SGB Premiership 2018 5th
SGB Premiership 2019 2nd champions, won play off final & Knockout Cup winners

Season summary (juniors)[edit]

Extended content
Year and league Position Notes
1996 Speedway Conference League 5th Sprockets
1997 Speedway Conference League 7th Raven Sprockets (with Reading)
2003 Speedway Conference League 5th Sprockets
2004 Speedway Conference League 10th Sprockets

Riders previous seasons[edit]

Extended content

2019 team

2018 team

2018 Team

2017 team

2016 team

2010 team

2009 team

Also Rode:

2008 team

Also Rode:

2007 team

Also rode:

2006 team

Club honours[edit]

  • National League Champions: 1957
  • British League Champions: 1967
  • Elite League Champions: 2012
  • SGB Premiership Champions: 2017, 2019
  • National League Division Two Champions: 1956
  • Premiership Supporters KO Cup Winners: 2019
  • Premier League KO Cup Winners: 2000
  • Premier League Four-Team Championship Winners: 2003
  • Young Shield Winners: 2000
  • Midland Cup Winners: 1967, 1968, 1994
  • Elite Shield Winners: 2008, 2018

Elite League Pairs Championship

British League Division Two Best Pairs

Individual honours[edit]

World Champion

World Under-21 Champion

World Ice Speedway Champion

British Speedway Championship

British League Riders' Championship

British League Division Two Riders Championship

All-time points scorers[edit]

Rider Total Points Average
Leigh Adams 6442.5 9.72
Martin Ashby 5476.5 8.61
Phil Crump 4254 9.52
Mike Broadbank 4239 7.84
Bob Kilby 4192 7.95
Jimmy Nilsen 3815 8.41
Barry Briggs 3681 10.71
Ian Williams 3452.5 7.54
Brian Karger 2754 7.60
Neil Street 1802.5 7.45

Notable riders[edit]


  1. ^ "Result: Thursday October 17", speedwaygb.co.uk, 17 October 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2019
  2. ^ Bamford, Robert; Shailes, Glynn (1999). 50 Years of Swindon Speedway. Bamford and Shailes.
  3. ^ Bamford, Robert; Shailes, Glynn (2002). Speedway In The Thames Valley. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0752424084.
  4. ^ Rogers, Martin (1978). The Illustrated History of Speedway. Studio Publications (Ipswich) Ltd. p. 129. ISBN 0-904584-45-3.
  5. ^ "BRITISH LEAGUE TABLES - POST-WAR ERA (1946-1964)". Official British Speedway website. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  6. ^ "HISTORY ARCHIVE". British Speedway. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  7. ^ Elite League 2013 Table
  8. ^ Elite League 2014 Table
  9. ^ Elite League 2015 Table
  10. ^ Elite League 2016 Table
  11. ^ Premiership 2017 Table
  12. ^ Premiership 2018 Table
  13. ^ Premiership 2019 Table
  14. ^ Bamford, Robert (2005). Swindon Speedway: The Definitive History of the Robins. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0752427482.
  15. ^ Rose, Dan (21 July 2020). "Professional league speedway in the UK cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 13 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "Swindon withdraw from 2021 Premiership". BBC Sport. 11 January 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  17. ^ "Swindon withdraw from 2022 Premiership". Swindon Robins website. 5 October 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  18. ^ Bamford, Robert; Shailes, Glynn (2003). 50 Greats: Swindon Speedway. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0752427482.

External links[edit]