Peterborough Panthers

The Peterborough Panthers are a British speedway team based in Peterborough, England. They are three times champions of the United Kingdom, winning the highest level league in 1999, 2006 and 2021.

Peterborough Panthers
Club information
Track addressEast of England Showground
Peterborough
CountryEngland
Founded1970
Team managerRob Lyon
Team captainScott Nicholls
LeagueSGB Premiership
Websitepeterborough-speedway.com
Club facts
ColoursRed and Black
Track size337 Metres
Track record time57.2 seconds
Track record date19 July
Track record holderDan Bewley
Current team
Rider CMA
Denmark Bjarne Pedersen 6.33
Denmark Michael Palm Toft 7.17
England Chris Harris 7.02
Denmark Hans Andersen 7.05
England Scott Nicholls 6.71
Denmark Ulrich Østergaard 7.09
England Jordan Palin 1.00
Total 41.37
Major team honours
United Kingdom Champions1999, 2006, 2021
Division 1 KO Cup Winners1999, 2001
Division 1 Fours Winners1997
Elite Shield2007
Craven Shield1999
Division 2 Champions1992, 1998
Division 2 KO Cup Winners1992, 2017
Division 2 Pairs Winners1998
Division 2 Fours Winners1977, 1978, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1998
Division 3 Champions1997, 2002
Midland Development League Champions2017, 2018

HistoryEdit

1970–1994Edit

The Panthers inaugural season was in the 1970 British League Division Two season in which they finished in 10th place.[1] The team spent 25 consecutive seasons in Division 2 (British League Division 2 and the National League). Their best finish was winning the Division 2 title and Knockout Cup during the 1992 British League Division Two season.[2]

1995–2013Edit

The 1995 Premier League speedway season resulted in the merger of both divisions, meaning that the Panthers competed in the top division for the first time. The team dropped down a division in 1998, which brought immediate success, winning the 1998 Premier League speedway season. The following season they went up to the Elite League (Div 1) and completely rebuilt their team for the season. They brought in three Australians Jason Crump from Oxford Cheetahs, Ryan Sullivan from Poole Pirates and Craig Watson from Newport Wasps, in addition to recalling Zdeněk Tesař.[3] Poole ran Peterborough pipped Poole by one point and beat them in the cup final to achieve the league and cup double.[4]

Another Knockout Cup was added to the trophy cabinet in 2001 and the team won the title during the 2006 Elite League speedway season. Peterborough and Reading battled each other throughout the season finishing level on points in the regular season table before Peterborough edged Reading in the Play off final. Peterborough had a strong all round squad and included Danish trio of Hans Andersen, Jesper Jensen and Niels Kristian Iversen, in addition to Australian Ryan Sullivan.[5]

The team continued to compete in the highest league from 2007 to 2013, despite problems during the 2011 season. On 24 November 2010 following changes to the rules for rider averages made at the Annual General Meeting of the BSPA, the Peterborough Panthers and Coventry Bees walked out of the meeting.[6] As a result the BSPA omitted both teams from the 2011 Elite League for failing to declare their intent to compete.[7][8] The decision was the subject of a legal challenge by both clubs.[9] The BSPA offered a compromise which was initially rejected[10] until 8 April when both teams confirmed their starting places.[11]

The team had a record Elite League victory on 23 August 2013, beating Coventry Bees by 70 points to 20[12] and in 2017 the Panthers won the SGB Championship Fours at their home track.[13]

2014–presentEdit

The Panthers competed in the second division from 2014 to 2018. They won the 2017 division 2 Knockout Cup during the period. In 2019, the team rejoined the highest league called the SGB Premiership. In 2021, they won the highest league title for just the third time in their history. After finishing top of the regular season table by just one point, they overtook the long time leaders Wolverhampton Wolves and by virtue of finishing top they elected to play Wolves in the play off semi finals, rather than the third or fourth placed teams Belle Vue and Sheffield.[14] Peterborough then deservedly won the playoffs by beating Wolverhampton in the semifinals and Belle Vue in the final.[15]

Current squadEdit

Peterborough Panthers[16]Edit

Peterborough Thundercats PJLEdit

  •   Max Perry

Rest of Squad TBA

Season summaryEdit

Extended content
Year and league Position Notes
1970 British League Division Two season 10th
1971 British League Division Two season 16th
1972 British League Division Two season 3rd
1973 British League Division Two season 4th
1974 British League Division Two season 8th
1975 New National League season 18th
1976 National League season 9th
1977 National League season 5th
1978 National League season 6th
1979 National League season 8th
1980 National League season 8th
1981 National League season 9th
1982 National League season 13th
1983 National League season 12th
1984 National League season 15th
1985 National League season 7th
1986 National League season 10th
1987 National League season 5th
1988 National League season 8th
1989 National League season 11th
1990 National League season 10th
1991 British League Division Two season 12th
1992 British League Division Two season 1st Champions & Knockout Cup winners
1993 British League Division Two season 3rd
1994 British League Division Two season 5th
1995 Premier League speedway season 4th
1996 Premier League speedway season 2nd
1997 Elite League speedway season 10th
1998 Premier League speedway season 1st Champions
1999 Elite League speedway season 1st Champions & Knockout Cup winners
2000 Elite League speedway season 7th
2001 Elite League speedway season 5th Knockout Cup winners
2002 Elite League speedway season 5th
2003 Elite League speedway season 3rd
2004 Elite League speedway season 9th
2005 Elite League speedway season 3rd
2006 Elite League speedway season 1st Champions (PO winners)
2007 Elite League speedway season 3rd
2008 Elite League speedway season 9th
2009 Elite League speedway season 5th
2010 Elite League speedway season 3rd
2011 Elite League speedway season 6th
2012 Elite League speedway season 6th
2013 Elite League speedway season 7th
2014 Premier League speedway season 7th
2015 Premier League speedway season 4th lost in PO semi finals
2016 Premier League speedway season 8th
SGB Championship 2017 6th Knockout Cup winners
SGB Championship 2018 1st lost in PO semi finals
SGB Premiership 2019 7th
SGB Premiership 2021 1st champions

Season summary (juniors)Edit

Riders previous seasonsEdit

Extended content

2020 team

2019 team

Also rode:

2018 team

Also rode:

2017 team

Also rode:

2016 team

Also rode:

2015 team

Also Rode

2014 team

Also rode

2013 team

Also rode

HonoursEdit

Elite League League Champions (2) – 1999, 2006, 2021. Play Off’s (6) – 2002, 2003 2004, 2006, 2007 & 2010. Knockout Cup Winners (2) – 1999 & 2001. Knockout Cup Runners Up (1) - 2002. Craven Shield Winners (1) – 1999. Craven Shield Runners Up (1) – 2001. Elite Shield Winners (1) – 2007. Premiership Runners Up (1) – 1997. 4TT Champions (1) – 1997. Midland League Runners Up (1) - 2009. League Riders Champions (2) – J Crump 1999 & R Sullivan 2000. British Champions (1) – M Loram 2001. British U21 Champions (1) – D Howe 2000.

Premier League

League Champions (1) – 1998. League Runners Up (1) – 1996. KO Cup Runners Up (2) – 1996 & 1998. Young Shield Runners Up (1) - 1998. 4TT Champions (1) - 1998. 4TT Runners Up (2) – 1995 & 1996. League Riders Champion (2) – G Cunningham 1998; Ulrich Østergaard 2015. Pairs Champions (1) – G Cunningham & B Woodifield 1998.

British League (Div 2) – Seasons (9)

League Champions (1) – 1992. Ko Cup Winners (1) – 1992. Ko Cup Runners Up (1) – 1972. Premiership Winners (1) – 1993. 4TT Champions (1) – 1992.

National League – Seasons (16)

4TT Champions (4) – 1977, 1978, 1988, 1989. Gold Cup Runners Up (1) – 1991. League Riders Champion (1) – I Barney 1984.

Notable ridersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Rogers, Martin (1978). The Illustrated History of Speedway. Studio Publications (Ipswich) Ltd. p. 129. ISBN 0-904584-45-3.
  2. ^ "British League Tables - British League Era (1965-1990)". Official British Speedway website. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  3. ^ "HISTORY ARCHIVE". British Speedway. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  4. ^ "1999 league tables". Speedway GB.
  5. ^ "Speedway riders, history and results". wwosbackup. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Coventry Bees speedway future under threat". BBC Sport. BBC. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  7. ^ "British Speedway Statement". British Speedway Promoters' Association. 27 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Coventry Bees' Elite League exit confirmed by BSPA". BBC Sport. BBC. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Bees and Panthers launch legal challenge". BBC Sport. BBC. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
  10. ^ "British Speedway Statement". British Speedway Promoters' Association. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  11. ^ "BSPA confirm return of Coventry Bees and Peterborough". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 April 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Panthers Power to Record Win", speedwaygb.co, 24 August 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013
  13. ^ "Fours Glory for Panthers", speedwaygb.co, 6 August 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017
  14. ^ "PANTHERS FACE WOLVES IN PLAY-OFFS". Peterborough Speedway. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  15. ^ "PANTHERS CROWNED PREMIERSHIP CHAMPIONS". Peterborough Speedway. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  16. ^ "Peterborough Panthers Speedway Official Website: 2022 PETERBOROUGH PANTHERS".

External linksEdit