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The First Team Match?
By Robert J. Rogers

Speedway in 1928 was normally regarded as being Solo events with team racing not coming in until 1929.

While researching into the first match at West Ham on 28th July 1928, I came across a poster in the Stratford Express.

It was for Dirt Track Racing at 'Kings Oak Speedway', High Beech, Loughton (Essex) on the same day at 3pm.

The match was ILFORD M.C.C vs AUSTRALIANS.

Mentioned on the posters for England there was Colin Watson and for the Australians Noel Johnson, so I assume they were 'Captains'. There is also another Australian, Ben Unwin mentioned on the poster.

It would seem there was a second half called the Ilford MCC Best Six.

The match was billed as 'A Struggle for Supremacy'.

The admission was 1-2 (6p) (Including tax)

Would anyone know if this was a team event or 'match racing', England vs Australia?


  • Nigel Bird:

    "The Ilford v Oz event is almost certain to be of the match race variety? Ben Unwin was often refered to as burnt onions. The first real team event was possibly Manchester White City v Barnsley 11th July 1928 followed by Sunbac club v Ilford club at Perry Barr 14th July 1928, next Barnsley v Man WC return match 22nd Aug 1928. Halifax, WC Tigers v York Wolves 23rd Aug 1928. There were at least another 8 home and away matches nearly all held in the north during Oct/Nov. Liverpool v Man WC score 55-32 on 17th Oct 1928, other tracks running team events included Salford, Middlesbrough,Leeds and Leicester. "

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