Another year of off track progress was made in building up the club. Len Priestley designed and set up the club’s website, which has been in use ever since. The concrete starting area was re-laid, along with improvements to the drainage system. Most club members purchased track suit tops, so we were smartly decked out at matches. We held our first annual fun ride and barbecue in July. The year rounded off with Steve Mills securing £5,000 funding from the National Lottery, to purchase a new officials and announcer’s cabin (now used as a storage cabin), ten new cycle speedway bikes from Biobike, Poland, and funding British Cycling Level 2 coaching courses for Mike Hack and Gary Nuttall.

It was a different tale on the track, as we struggled due to a lack of senior riders turning out. Mike Hack dislocated his shoulder in May, to rule him out for the rest of the season. A major boost was the signing of two Polish riders in mid-season, Tomasz Wlodarczyk and Przemek Binkowski, who began their long association with the club. The club’s u-13 riders showed great improvement in their second season, being the backbone of the club’s first Northern Junior League win since 1997. The riders also took the first four places in the Northern u-13 Grand Prix series and the first five places in the Manchester League u-13 Individual Final. The 1st team finished bottom, out of five teams, in the Midlands/ North League Division 2 and 7th, out of 8 teams, in the Northern Fours League. The Northern Junior League win was out of 7 teams competing. Damien Hack was top points scorer, with 157, with secondary registration rider, Mark Wylie, from Tameside, topping the race averages on 3.40.

1st Team Photo. Back, l-r: Mike Hack, Damien Hack, Roy Heslop, Mark Wylie, Przemek Binkowski, Steve Mills, Tomasz Wlodarczyk. Front, l-r: Marvin Kinlock, Becky Heslop.