Oxford Cheetahs

Last updated

Oxford Cheetahs
Club information
Track address Oxford Stadium
Sandy Lane
Country England
Website Official Website Supporters Club Website
Club facts
ColoursBlue and Yellow
Track size297 metres (325 yd)
Major team honours
United Kingdom Champions 1964, 1985, 1986, 1989, 2001
Knockout Cup Winners 1964, 1985, 1986
UK Division Three Winners 1950
National Trophy (div 3) winners 1950
Premier League Fours 1994, 1996
Gold Cup Winners1989
League Cup Winners (Shared)1986
Premiership Winners1987
Midland Cup Winners1975, 1985, 1986
Britannia Shield Winners1964
Craven Shield Winners2005

The Oxford Cheetahs were a British speedway team [1] based at Oxford Stadium, in Oxford, England. They were founded in 1939 and were five times champions of Britain, in 1964, 1985, 1986, 1989 and 2001. The club folded in 2007.


Throughout their history they ran under two other names, from 1972 to 1975, they were known as Oxford Rebels [2] and from 2003 to 2005, they were known as Oxford Silver Machine. They also ran junior sides known as the Oxford Cubs, Oxford Silver Machine Academy and Oxford Lions.

The Club Today

Despite having no league speedway, there are still a number of committed fans keen to see the return of speedway to Oxford. Two supporters groups, the Oxford Speedway Supporters Club (OSSC) and Save Oxford Speedway (SOS) hold regular events and trips for Oxford fans and actively campaign for the return of speedway to Oxford. [3]



The Oxford Motorcycle Speedway Club moved to Oxford Stadium in 1939 from a grass circuit in Sandford-on-Thames. The Secretary Ted Mander orchestrated the move and the first individual meeting was held on Easter Saturday 8 April 1939 won by Roy Duke. The club contested team meetings against Smallford, Wisbech, High Beech and Reading. [4]

Racing resumed on 28 April 1940, with guest teams racing. This was followed by just two meetings in 1941 before Mander announced that racing would be suspended for the duration of the war. Despite the war ending in 1945 there was no racing from 1942-48. However during 1948 the stadium owner Leslie Calcutt unsuccessfully applied to the Speedway Control Board for a licence to race in the Third Division. [4]


Following major track renovations in 1949, the club joined the 1949 Speedway National League Division Three. The club took the nickname 'Cheetahs' following a competition for the general public, held by the local Oxford Mail newspaper. The team manager was Ron Bear and the club colours were dark blue and yellow, with the first match being an away fixture at Exeter on 18 April 1949. Oxford lost heavily 60-24 and three days later lost to Hastings 47-37 in their first home fixture. [4] The Cheetahs finished in last place during their inaugural season and used 24 different riders. The following season they won the division 3 league and cup double and were promoted to Division two in 1951. After finishing bottom of the division two in 1952 they rode in the third division called the Southern League in 1953 but following a league restructure returned to division two in 1954. [5]


Following a league merger the Cheetahs rode in the top tier for the first time in 1957. After struggling in the top division for several years they dramatically won the top tier league for the first time in 1964 [6] despite finishing last the season before with many of the same riders. The winning team consisted of Arne Pander, Colin Gooddy, Colin McKee, Danny Dunton, Eddie Reeves, George Major, Jack Geran, Jimmy Gooch, John Bishop, Ron How and Ronnie Genz. They also completed a treble by winning the National Trophy and Britannia Shield. The team failed to emulate the success in the following seasons finishing mid-table for the next 7 years. [5]


From 1972 to 1975, they were known as Oxford Rebels under promoters Danny Dunton and Bob Dugard. Following the threat of track closure [7] the promoters started a new team at White City called the White City Rebels leaving Oxford with no team or riders.


A new Oxford team were formed and entered division two, [8] they took back the name Cheetahs with new promoters Harry Bastable and Tony Allsop after a committee of fans had created a "Save Our Stadium" campaign over the previous winter. [9] The team competed for eight years in the division.

Speedway at Oxford in 1981 Speedway at Oxford Stadium - geograph.org.uk - 1808350.jpg
Speedway at Oxford in 1981


The golden period of Oxford speedway started in 1984. The stadium owners Northern Sports, headed by David Hawkins, invested heavily into the stadium with a £1.5 million three tier grandstand restaurant and sports centre. Hawkins installed Bernard Crapper and John Payne as speedway co-promoters and the team were entered for the 1984 British League season (the top league tier), with a new team that included Danish international Hans Nielsen (signed for £30,000) and Simon Wigg (£25,000). [10] The team were champions of Britain in 1985, 1986 and 1989. In addition they won two British League Knockout Cups, a League Cup, Premiership and Gold Cup and paraded through Oxford on an open top bus. [11]


Northern Sports parent company Hawkins of Harrow began to run into financial trouble and the team suffered lack of investment, Hans Nielsen left and the team applied to and raced in division two. They won the division two fours championship in 1994. [12] Northern Sports were later liquidated, meaning the team was not financed by the stadium owners. Additionally in 1995 and 1996 there was only one division of British speedway meaning the Oxford Cheetahs returned to the top division under independent promoters. [5] In 1997, another league restructure resulted in a new Elite League with the Premier League becoming division two, Oxford competed in the latter.


The team competed in the Elite League under new promotion from 1998 and in 2001 won their fifth top tier title. The team consisted of Aleš Dryml Jr., Andrew Appleton, Brian Andersen, Davey Watt, Leigh Adams, Lukáš Dryml, Steve Johnston and Todd Wiltshire and was promoted by Steve Purchase.


The Oxford Cheetahs were renamed for three seasons as the Oxford Silver Machine under the promotion of Nigel Wagstaff. [13] In 2006 they reverted to their original name which was apt because it was their final full season as a top tier speedway team.


Until 30 May 2007, they rode in the Elite League and operated a junior side known as the Oxford Lions which competed in the Conference League. In a statement issued by the British Speedway Promoters Association on 31 May 2007, their owner Colin Horton closed the club as a result of only 400–500 regular supporters attending home fixtures, and losing several thousand pounds every week. [14]

In June 2007, businessman Allen Trump invested in the club (also sponsoring the club via LCD Publishing) to secure the lease on the track and the Cheetahs completed the 2007 season in the Conference League, replacing the Lions. [15]


After the 2007 season, owner Allen Trump planned to bring the Cheetahs back into the Premier League for 2008. [16] However, Trump was unable to secure a deal with landlords, the Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) to continue speedway racing at the Cowley stadium and handed the promotion back to the BSPA. [17] [18]

During the summer of 2008 Nick Andrews was granted permission to organise Conference League challenge fixtures featuring a touring side of ex-Oxford riders with a view to entering the team in the Premier League in 2009. Unfortunately, negotiations with the GRA were again unsuccessful and speedway did not return to Oxford. [19]


[20] [21] [22]

1949 Alex GrayAlf Elliott (capt)Alf ViccaryBert CroucherBill DowntonBill KempBill ReynoldsBob Aldridge
Bob McFarlaneCliff LadbrookeDennis GrayErnie RawlinsErnie SteersFrank BoyleFred VivianJames Osborne
Jim BoydJimmy CoyJimmy WrightJoe PeckJohnny FryMaurice HutchensPeter LloydRoy Court
1950 Bill KempBill OsborneBob McFarlaneBrian WilsonBuster BrownColin ClarkeEric IronsErnie Rawlins
Frank BoyleFrank JohnsonHarry SaundersJimmy WrightPat ClarkeRon Carvill
1951 Bill KempBill OsborneBob McFarlaneBrian WilsonColin ClarkeCyril QuickDoug IbleEric Irons
Ernie RawlinsFrank BoyleHarry SaundersHerby KingPat ClarkeRoger Wise
1952 Bill KempBill OsborneErnie LessiterErnie RawlinsFrank BoyleHarry SaundersHerby KingJim Boyd
Jim GregoryLen GloverPat ClarkeRay TerryRon WilsonTony WintourVic Taylor
1953 Benny KingBill CodlingBill OsborneBill KempBob McFarlaneFrank BoyleFrank JohnsonHerby King
Jim BoydJim GregoryJim TolleyPeter RobinsonRay MooreRon Wilson
1954 Bill OsborneBill ThatcherBob BakerBob McFarlaneBob WellsDennis NewtonFrank JohnsonFred Curtis
Jim GregoryJim TebbyNobby StockPeter Robinson Ronnie Genz
1955 Bill ThatcherBob BakerBob WellsDennis NewtonFred CurtisMaury CourtnellPeter RobinsonReg Trott
Ronnie Genz Terry Courtnell
1956 Bill ThatcherBob BakerDennis NewtonHowdy ByfordJim TebbyMaury CourtnellPat ClarkePeter Robinson
Ronnie Genz Roy BowersTerry CourtnellTommy Miller
1957 Danny Dunton Dennis NewtonFrank JohnsonGordon McGregorHowdy Byford Jack Biggs Jimmy SquibbMaury McDermott
Ray Cresp Ronnie Genz Roy Bowers
1958 Alan LunnArthur WrightBrian MillerCharlie New Colin Gooddy Dave StillDennis NewtonEric Boothroyd
Frank JohnsonGordon McGregorHowdy ByfordReg Duval Ronnie Genz Roy Bowers
1959 Arne Pander Arthur WrightCliff Cox Colin Gooddy Gordon McGregorHowdy ByfordKen AdamsNick Nicholls
Ronnie Genz Roy Bowers
1960 Arne Pander Bob DugardCliff Cox Colin Gooddy Danny Dunton Dave HankinsDave Still Eric Boothroyd
Gordon McGregorGordon OwenHowdy Byford Jack Biggs Jimmy GleedJohn KeyKen AdamsRay Liston
Ronnie Genz Roy BowersTed Connor
1961 Arne Pander Bengt Brannefors Danny Dunton George Major Gordon McGregorHowdy Byford Jack Biggs Jim Tebby
John BishopReg Duval Ronnie Genz Roy Bowers
1962 Alf Hagon Colin Gooddy Danny Dunton Gordon McGregor Jack Biggs Jack Geran John BelcherJohn Bishop
John Hook Per Tage Svensson Reg Duval Ronnie Genz
1963 Alf Hagon Arne Pander Chum Taylor Colin Gooddy Danny Dunton George Major Glyn Chandler Jack Geran
John Bishop Ronnie Genz Trevor Hedge
1964 Arne Pander Colin Gooddy Colin McKee Danny Dunton Eddie Reeves George Major Jack Geran Jimmy Gooch
John Bishop Ron How Ronnie Genz
1965 Arne Pander Bill Finch Danny Dunton Eddie ReevesGlyn Chandler Jimmy Gooch Jimmy HeardJohn Belcher
John BishopJohn HensleyJohn HookJohn LeaderKen ValeMaury McDermott Ron How Stan Stevens
Tyburn GallowsWayne Barry
1966 Arne Pander Des Lukehurst Eddie Reeves Jimmy Gooch John BishopMaury McDermottPete SeatonTony Clarke
1967 Arne Pander Colin Gooddy Des Lukehurst Eddie ReevesJoe WeichlbauerKen Vale Leo McAuliffe Maury McDermott
Pete Seaton Rick Timmo Roy Trigg Ted SpittlesTim Bungay
1968 Arne Pander Colin Gooddy Eddie ReevesGodtfred AndreasenJohn BishopJohn Poyser Leo McAuliffe Mick Bell
Pete Seaton Rick Timmo Ronnie Genz Ted Spittles
1969 Colin Gooddy Conny Samuelsson David CraneEddie Reeves George Major John BishopKen Vale Leo McAuliffe
Mick Bell Peter Jarman Pete SaundersPete Seaton Rick Timmo Ronnie Genz
1970 Andy Ross Colin Gooddy Eddie Reeves George Major Hasse Holmqvist Mick Bell Pat JohnsonPaul O'Neil
Peter Jarman Pete SaundersPete Seaton Rick Timmo Ronnie Genz
1971 Arthur Price Brian ClarkCol Cottrell Colin Gooddy John Davis John Jackson Ken McKinlay Laurie Sims
Norman Strachan Øyvind S. Berg Pete SaundersPete SeatonRichard Greer Rick Timmo Ronnie Genz Tommy Roper
1972 Bobby McNeil Colin Gooddy Gary Middleton Gordon Kennett John Davis Julian Wigg Ken McKinlay Laurie Sims
Malcolm Ballard Norman Strachan Øyvind S. Berg Paul GachetPreben Rosenkilde Rick Timmo Roger JohnsSvein Kaasa
1973 Bob Kilby Bobby McNeilEddie Reeves Gordon Kennett Hasse Holmqvist John Davis John Dews Malcolm Ballard
Rick Timmo Roger Johns Tony Lomas
1974 Bob Kilby Bobby McNeilBrian Clark Gordon Kennett Henk Steman John Davis John Dews Martin Yeates
Paul Gachet Peter Jarman Richard Greer Rick Timmo Trevor Greer Ulf Lövaas
1975 Brian ClarkDag LovaasEddie Davidsson Gordon Kennett Hasse Holmqvist Helgi LangliJohn DewsPaul Gachet
Richard Greer Richard Hellsen Trevor Greer
1976 Andy Bales Brian Leonard Carl Askew Colin Meredith Harry Maclean Jim WellsKevin YoungMalcolm Corradine
Mick Handley Phil Bass Pip Lamb Roy Sizmore Steve Holden
1977 Brian Leonard Colin Meredith Gerald SmithermanGreg JoyntKevin PooleKevin YoungMalcolm Holloway Martin Yeates
Mick Handley Paul SharePhil Bass Pip Lamb Richie CaulwellRoy Sizmore
1978 Brian Leonard Carl Askew Colin Meredith Dave Shields George Hunter James MooreJohn HackJohn Homer
Les SawyerMick Blaynee Mick Handley Pip Lamb Richie Caulwell
1979 Carl Askew Colin Ackroyd Colin Meredith Dave McKenzieDenzil Kent George Hunter Gary AinslieGreg Irving
John BarkerJohn GrahameJohn HackKeith ChapmanKen FearonLes RumseyMichael Holding Mick Handley
Pip Lamb Rob Dole
1980 Alan WilliamsAndy PasseyBilly Spiers Bruce Cribb Chris SullyColin AckroydDave PerksDerek Harrison
John GrahameJohn HackKevin BowenMick Fletcher Mick Handley Paul EvittsRay CaruanaSteve Crockett
Trevor Greer
1981 Alan MacLeanAndy Passey Arnold Haley Arthur Price Ashley PullenColin AckroydDave PerksDerek Harrison
John GrahameMick Fletcher Mick Handley Paul Evitts
1982 Andy PasseyAshley PullenBill BarrettBrian WoodwardColin AckroydGary ChessellGeorge WellsGraham Drury
John FranklandKeith BoothKevin LockKevin SmartMartin SatchellMick Fletcher Mick Handley Pete Erskine
Scott Cook Simon Cross Wayne Jackson
1983 Gary ChessellGraham DruryIan ClarkKeith BoothKevin SmartMark ChessellMark MinettMark Summerfield
Mike WildingNigel De'athNigel SparshottSteve CrockettWayne Jackson
1984 Andrew Silver Dave PerksDavid Tyler Hans Nielsen Ian Clark Jens Rasmussen Jimmy McMillanKevin Smart
Klaus Lausch Mark Chessell Martin Yeates Marvyn Cox Melvyn Taylor Nigel De'athNigel Sparshott Simon Wigg
1985 Alastair Stevens Andy Grahame Hans Nielsen Jens Rasmussen Jon Surman Klaus Lausch Marvyn Cox
Melvyn Taylor Nigel De'athNigel Sparshott Simon Wigg Troy Butler
1986 Alastair Stevens Andy Grahame Hans Nielsen Jeremy LuckhurstJon SurmanKevin Smart Marvyn Cox Nigel De'ath
Per Sorensen Simon Wigg
1987 Alastair Stevens Andy Grahame Hans Nielsen Jens Rasmussen Jon SurmanKevin SmartMark Carlson Marvyn Cox
Neil McCarthyNigel De'athNigel GreenhalghNigel SparshottPeter Lloyd Troy Butler Wayne Ross
1988 Alastair Stevens Einar Kyllingstad Glenn Doyle Hans Nielsen Jon SurmanLars Munkedal Martin Dugard Marvyn Cox
Nigel De'athPaul MuchenePeter Lloyd Simon Wigg Spencer Timmo
1989 Andy Grahame Colin White Hans Nielsen Kevin Pitts Martin Dugard Marvyn Cox Paul DugardPaul Muchene
Simon Wigg Troy Butler
1990 Alastair Stevens Dean Barker Hans Nielsen John BostinJon SurmanKevin PittsKieran McCullagh Martin Dugard
Paul DugardSean McCullagh Simon Wigg Troy Butler Wayne Parker
1991 Craig Boyce Darren Grayling Dean Barker Glenn Cunningham Hans Nielsen Kieran McCullaghJon SurmanLance Sealey
Mark Carlson Martin Dugard Peter SchroeckSpencer TimmoTony Primmer
1992 Darren Sumner Dean Barker Glenn Cunningham Hans Nielsen Mark Carlson Martin Dugard Morten AndersenSpencer Timmo
Troy Butler
1993 Alan Grahame Andy HackettAndy MeredithCarl BlackbirdChris CobbyDarren AndrewsDavid ClarkeDavid Smart
Gary SweetMark BlackbirdPaul BlackbirdPeter GlanzRene MadsenSpencer TimmoTony LangdonWayne Parker
1994 Alan Grahame Andy MeredithDarren AndrewsDarren SumnerDavid SmartMartin GoodwinMick PooleNiklas Karlsson
Rene MadsenSpencer Timmo Stefan Ekberg Stephen Morris
1995 Armando Castagna Daniel Andersson David Steen Jimmy Nilsen Martin Goodwin Michael Coles Rene MadsenSteve Bishop
1996 Bohumil Brhel Carl Checketts Lawrence Hare Mark Frost Mark Lemon Martin GoodwinMartin Willis Marvyn Cox
Philippe Berge Tomáš Topinka
1997 Anthony BarlowDarren AndrewsGavin Hedge Jason Bunyan Jeremy LuckhurstKrister Marsh Lawrence Hare Mikael Teurnberg
Neville TatumPhilippe BergeSimon Wolstenholme
1998 Jan Stæchmann Jason Crump Lawrence Hare Paul Hurry Steve Johnston Steve Schofield Todd Wiltshire
1999 Alun Rossiter Craig Boyce Jan Stæchmann Lawrence Hare Paul Hurry Steve Johnston Todd Wiltshire
2000 Aleš Dryml Jr. Andrew Appleton Brian Andersen Jan Stæchmann Jimmy Nilsen Jon Underwood Lukáš Dryml Mark Lemon
Roman Povazhny Steve Johnston Todd Wiltshire
2001 Aleš Dryml Jr. Andrew Appleton Brian Andersen Davey Watt Leigh Adams Lukáš Dryml Steve Johnston Todd Wiltshire
2002 Aleš Dryml Jr. Alun Rossiter Andrew Appleton Brian Andersen Davey Watt Jamie SmithJoachim Kugelmann Leigh Adams
Lukáš Dryml Mark Lemon Steve Johnston
2003 Andy Smith Charlie Gjedde Craig Boyce Darren AndrewsEmil Kramer Greg Hancock Henning Bager Jamie Smith
Jan Stæchmann Jernej Kolenko Kai Laukkanen Luboš Tomíček Jr. Matej Ferjan Nicki Pedersen Niels K. Iversen Niklas Klingberg
Sebastian Ułamek Todd Wiltshire Travis McGowan
2004 Brent Werner Craig Boyce Emil Kramer Greg Hancock Jonas Davidsson Niels K. Iversen Rafal Dobrucki Ryan Fisher
Sebastian Ułamek Tom P. Madsen Travis McGowan
2005 Stefan Andersson Tomasz Bajerski Craig Branney Lukáš Dryml Freddie Eriksson Renat Gafurov Henrik Gustafsson Billy Hamill
Greg Hancock Niels Kristian Iversen Jesper B Jensen Tobias Kroner Tom P. Madsen Travis McGowan Chris Mills Kjasts Puodžuks
Paweł Staszek Luboš Tomíček Jr.
2006 Eric Andersson Stanisław Burza Aleš Dryml Jr. Freddie Eriksson David Howe Tomasz Piszcz Adam Pietraszko Tony Rickardsson
Adam Skórnicki Luboš Tomíček Jr. Davey Watt Todd Wiltshire
2007+ Eric Andersson Aleš Dryml Jr. Freddie Eriksson Jesper B Jensen Steve Johnston Tom P. Madsen Henrik Møller Piotr Protasiewicz
Chris Schramm Andy Smith Luboš Tomíček Jr.
2007 Andrew BarghMattie BatesDanny BetsonDan Blake Jordan Frampton Brendan JohnsonGeorge PiperLee Smethills
Sam MartinScott Campos

+ Elite League side withdrew from league

Season summary (juniors)

Extended content
Year and leaguePositionNotes
1997 Speedway Conference League 9thCubs
2003 Speedway Conference League 3rdSilver Machine Academy
2004 Speedway Conference League 3rdSilver Machine Academy
2005 Speedway Conference League 1stSilver Machine Academy, (Champions)
2007 Speedway Conference League 2ndLions (then Cheetahs when 1st team folded)

See also

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