Three new club partners came on board – Crown Football Ltd, DG Optical and
SMD Tyres, to join the four from the previous year. Anita Green, Corrie
Burgess and Gareth Paine joined the Committee, although the latter was
replaced by Mark Grantham in mid season. We received a £2,000 grant from
Wigan Council to buy eight spinning bikes. The club generated income in
excess of £14,000, as we enjoyed the reduced time and costs of track
maintenance of the new track. Mike Hack won three major awards – Cycle
Speedway Referee of the Year, Wigan and Gt. Manchester Unsung Hero in Sport
awards. The ladies road section was replaced with a mixed road section. We
finished the year with 85 cycle speedway riders, 8 road riders, 7 off road
riders and 15 officials/ volunteers.
Lee Phillips took over as 1st team manager and immediately instilled a real
purpose and motivation to succeed. In the Northern League Division 1, we
raced unbeaten after a 2 points opening day defeat at Stockport, beating the
same team in a Play-off at Bury, to win the league for the first time. The
title was won despite losing top rider Damian Zareba with a back injury
early on in the season. We finished 2nd in the Northern Cup Final, Northern
Fours League and Manchester League Division 2. Janine Paine led the 2nd team
to a Northern League Division 2 title victory, again for the first time,
overhauling nearest rivals Bury in the last two races of the last match of
the season to pip them. Will Evans’ team won Division 3 for the fifth
successive year, to make it an unprecedented Northern League treble win and
our most successful season on the track.
The juniors won the Northern group of the BYJL and new Little League, to
qualify for the national series. We also won the Manchester League Division
2 and Northern Junior League. Fixture congestion ruled us out of entering
the British Club Championship. John White won the U-12 British Grand Prix
series, whilst Max Evans and Mick Knowles rode for Gt. Britain at junior and
veterans level in Australia. Reece Pollitt was again the club’s top scorer,
with 425 points, and topped the race averages, on 3.54.
1st team photo, back row, l-r: Paul Graham, Emily Burgess, Kyle Holland,
Mark Grantham, Max Evans, Mick Knowles, Janine Paine. Kneeling, l-r: Lee
Phillips, Ciaran Collins, Reece Pollitt.