Belle Vue Aces

Last updated

Belle Vue Aces Speedway Team
Belle Vue Aces logo.svg
Club information
Track address National Speedway Stadium
Kirkmanshulme Lane
Team manager Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Lemon
League SGB Premiership
Club facts
ColoursRed, White and Black
Track size347 meters
Track record time58.18 secs (4 laps)
Track record date26 August 2019
Track record holder Dan Bewley
Current team
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Brady Kurtz 7.54
Flag of England.svg Charles Wright 6.51
Flag of England.svg Dan Bewley 5.98
Flag of England.svg Steve Worrall 5.53
Flag of England.svg Richie Worrall 5.09
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Jye Etheridge 4.35
Flag of England.svg Tom Brennan 3.93
Major team honours
British League Champions1970, 1971, 1972, 1982, 1993
British League Knockout Cup Winners1972, 1973, 1975
Elite League Knockout Cup Winners2005
SGB Premiership KO Cup2017
British League Pairs Champions 1984
Elite League Pairs Champions 2006
National League Champions1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1963
National Trophy Winners1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1958, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978
Northern League Champions1930, 1931
Northern KO Cup Winners1931
National League Cup Winners1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1946
British League Cup Winners1983
English Speedway Trophy (Reserves)1938
Britannia Shield1957, 1958, 1960
Midland Development League Champions2013
Darcy Ward, as a guest, and James Wright Speedway Riders.jpg
Darcy Ward, as a guest, and James Wright

The Belle Vue Aces are a British speedway team from Manchester in the north west of England.



Racing first took place in 1928 at the Belle Vue greyhound stadium in Kirkmanshulme Lane before moving the following year to a specially built stadium nearby on Hyde Road. The club raced there until 1987 when the stadium was demolished. The club moved to a new track at its original home and remained there before moving to the National Speedway Stadium in 2016. [1]

Current team performances in Speedway's First Division since 2013 [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

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

Hyde Road Stadium

Hyde Road had a 40,000 capacity with a track length of 382 metres (418 yards), and was built around an existing athletics and cycling track. It is alleged that Britain’s first open grass-track event took place here on 25 February 1928. Later, with the grass gone, it was claimed to be the first purpose built speedway track in Britain. The opening speedway meeting here was staged on 23 March 1929, when Arthur Franklyn won the Golden Helmet.

Belle Vue resigned from league racing (English Dirt Track League) in 1929, stating that it wasn’t popular enough. In 1930 they were leading members of the uncompleted Northern League. In 1931 Belle Vue reserves took over Harringay’s fixtures, after they had withdrawn from the Southern League. This meant the Aces had a team in both the Northern and Southern Leagues although they were often referred to as Manchester in the Southern League.

Belle Vue again had two teams in 1934, one in the National League and the other, known as the Goats, in the reserve league. Liverpool transferred their provincial league operation to Belle Vue in 1937, so again, Belle Vue had a team in both leagues.

Belle Vue was the only track to continue operating throughout the Second World War, [9] running a total of 176 meetings during the war years, which were attended by a total of 2,816,000 people. The winners of the wartime British Individual Championships were:

After the war, team racing resumed, with the Aces taking their place in the 1946 National League, and subsequently Division One the following year. There was sadness on 13 September 1947 however, when manager E.O. Spence died. Johnnie Hoskins took over from Alice Hart as promoter in 1953.

With so few tracks running, the Aces found themselves in the 11 team National League in 1957. A change in promoter occurred in 1960 with Ken Sharples taking charge. Harold Jackson took over as Speedway Manager in 1964, prior to the Aces becoming founder members of the British League in 1965. Dent Oliver became Speedway Manager in 1967, and remained in that position until 1973.

Frank Varey took over as Speedway Manager in 1974, before Jack Fearnley took up the reins in 1974. In 1982, former World Stock-Car Champion Stuart Bamforth became promoter. The stadium was also used for Stock Car racing right up to its closure in 1987.

Following the announcement that Bamforth had sold the stadium for redevelopment, the last speedway meeting was staged on 1 November 1987, when a double header took place. Firstly, Belle Vue defeated the Coventry Bees in a replay of the League Cup before losing to the Cradley Heath Heathens in the final league match ever raced at Hyde Road.

Kirkmanshulme Lane

Belle Vue Stadium, Manchester Manchester-belle-vue-stadium-01.JPG
Belle Vue Stadium, Manchester

The greyhound track at Belle Vue Stadium (Kirkmanshulme Lane) was the first to open in Britain when, on 24 July 1926, some 1,700 enthusiasts witnessed a dog called Mistley win the very first race. A grass-track meeting took place here on 5 May 1928, with Syd Jackson emerging as the winner. The dirt track was stated to be similar in size and shape to Wimbledon and Harringay, with the first meeting going ahead on 28 July 1928, when Frank Arthur won the Golden Helmet.

When the stadium at Hyde Road was sold in 1987, the Aces moved back to the Greyhound Stadium, under the promotion of Peter Collins, John Perrin and Don Bowes. The opening meeting of the new era of the Aces was held on 1 April 1988, and saw Belle Vue take on Bradford Dukes in the Frank Varey Northern Trophy. However, the match was abandoned after just two heats due to a waterlogged track (rain), with the Aces leading the match.

Due to other commitments Collins resigned from his promotional position in 1989, leaving Perrin and Bowes in charge of the Aces. With the amalgamation of the two leagues, Belle Vue became members of the British League Division One in 1991.

A further management change in 1994 saw George Carswell link with Perrin and Bowes as co-promoter. Both divisions of the British League joined together to form a 21 team Premier League in 1995, with the Aces becoming founder members.

A further promoting change in 1995 saw John Hall replace Don Bowes, to link up with Perrin and Carswell. The Premier League broke in two at the end of 1996, with the Aces becoming members of the new Elite League, where they have remain up until the present day.

A change of promotion occurred in late 2004 as John Perrin sold the club to Workington promoters Tony Mole and Ian Thomas. This was Thomas's second stint in charge of The Aces. A further change in ownership occurred in December 2006 as ex-captain Chris Morton along with David Gordon bought the club from Tony Mole and Ian Thomas. [10]

Belle Vue rode at Kirkmanshulme Lane until the end of the 2015 season before moving to the newly built National Speedway Stadium in 2016.

Throughout its history the team has produced five world Speedway World Champions and two Under-21 World Champions. [11]

National Speedway Stadium

The Aces moved to a new purpose-built stadium in Gorton in 2016, which also serves as the national stadium for British speedway. [12] Following early teething troubles with the track surface which led to meetings being postponed, the Belle Vue team had a successful season and finished the league programme at the top. However, following matches with Lakeside Hammers (won) the Aces lost to Wolverhampton Wolves in the two-leg Play-off finals.

The track has since become widely regarded as the best in the UK. It has hosted the British Final since 2016 and a number of international meetings.

Full season summary

Extended content
Year and leaguePositionNotes
1929 Speedway English Dirt Track League N/Awithdrew, results expunged
1930 Speedway Northern League 1stchampions
1931 Speedway Northern League 1stchampions
1931 Speedway Southern League 8thtook over fixtures of Harringay Canaries
1932 Speedway National League 3rd
1933 Speedway National League 1stchampions & National Trophy
1934 Speedway National League 1stchampions, National Trophy & ACU Cup
1935 Speedway National League 1stchampions, National Trophy & ACU Cup
1936 Speedway National League 1stchampions, National Trophy & ACU Cup
1937 Speedway National League 4th National Trophy & ACU Cup
1938 Speedway National League 5th
1939 Speedway National League 1st++when league suspended & National Trophy
1946 Speedway National League 2nd National Trophy & ACU Cup
1947 Speedway National League 2nd National Trophy
1948 Speedway National League 5th
1949 Speedway National League 2nd National Trophy
1950 Speedway National League 2nd
1951 Speedway National League 2nd
1952 Speedway National League 6th
1953 Speedway National League 8th
1954 Speedway National League 7th
1955 Speedway National League 2nd
1956 Speedway National League 5th
1957 Speedway National League 2nd
1958 Speedway National League 5th National Trophy
1959 Speedway National League 9th
1960 Speedway National League 2nd
1961 Speedway National League 4th
1962 Speedway National League 4th
1963 Speedway National League 1stchampions
1964 Speedway National League 4th
1965 British League season 14th
1966 British League season 13th
1967 British League season 16th
1968 British League season 10th
1969 British League season 2nd
1970 British League season 1stchampions
1971 British League season 1stchampions
1972 British League season 1stchampions & Knockout Cup winners
1973 British League season 6th Knockout Cup winners
1974 British League season 2nd
1975 British League season 2nd Knockout Cup winners
1976 British League season 2nd
1977 British League season 5th
1978 British League season 2nd
1979 British League season 10th
1980 British League season 3rd
1981 British League season 4th
1982 British League season 1stchampions
1983 British League season 5thLeague Cup winners
1984 British League season 2nd
1985 British League season 6th
1986 British League season 10th
1987 British League season 9th
1988 British League season 2nd
1989 British League season 4th
1990 British League season 3rd
1991 British League season 4th
1992 British League season 6th
1993 British League season 1stchampions
1994 British League season 11th
1995 Premier League speedway season 2nd
1996 Premier League speedway season 6th
1997 Elite League speedway season 6th
1998 Elite League speedway season 2nd
1999 Elite League speedway season 6th
2000 Elite League speedway season 9th
2001 Elite League speedway season 9th
2002 Elite League speedway season 8th
2003 Elite League speedway season 7th
2004 Elite League speedway season 7th
2005 Elite League speedway season 1stPO final & Knockout Cup winners
2006 Elite League speedway season 5thBelle Vue Aces
2007 Elite League speedway season 10th
2008 Elite League speedway season 7th
2009 Elite League speedway season 9th
2010 Elite League speedway season 8th
2011 Elite League speedway season 7th
2012 Elite League speedway season 10th
2013 Elite League speedway season 9th
2014 Elite League speedway season 8th
2015 Elite League speedway season 4thPO final
2016 Elite League 1stPO final
SGB Premiership 2017 3rd Knockout Cup winners
SGB Premiership 2018 4th
SGB Premiership 2019 5th
SGB Premiership 2021 tbc

2020 Line-up


Previous Teams

Notable riders

Individual World Champions

Individual Under-21 World Champions

Club honours

^ not completed

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  2. Elite League 2013 Table
  3. Elite League 2014 Table
  4. Elite League 2015 Table
  5. Elite League 2016 Table
  6. Premiership 2017 Table
  7. Premiership 2018 Table
  8. Premiership 2019 Table
  9. James, T. & Stephenson, B. (2003).Speedway in Manchester, Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN   0-7524-3000-9
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  11. Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN   0-7524-2402-5
  12. Ankers, Wayne (2014) "Work starts on Gorton's new National Speedway Stadium as part of £11m investment in Belle Vue sports village", Manchester Evening News , 16 October 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014
  13. "Meet the Aces". Belle Vue Speedway. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
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