Dream Team : Kev Pattinson
I've supported Edinburgh ever since 1991 on a regular basis - so since I was able to drive!! This was kind of a necessity, as I lived until 2005 in Carlisle some 100 miles south of Edinburgh! Now I live in Germany, but will be returning in the not too distant future to support the team through our push for 2009 Elite-ism!!! Why Edinburgh? They were the last team I saw at my local track of Workington before they closed in the late 80's. A 4TT (remember them anybody?) in which Doug Wyer and Les Collins raced to 12pt maximums... Could never go back to supporting Workington now although if Edinburgh don't win the league, I'd like to see the Comets do it...
The modern day legend of Armadale. Eight unbelievable seasons as a Monarch and was the highlight of the night when he was on track. A showman of the sport, who really knew how to wind the crowd of certain tracks up without really showing off about it - this proving the respect he had as he was the one most away supporters feared doing the damage. From a racing point of view, all of the moves he made and the pressure races he won are too many to mention... But a selection include - The last heat deciders at Reading and Sheffield in the KO Cup (97 & 99 respectively) - The double overtake of Stonehewer and Stead to avoid a run-off for the bonus point against Workington - Every one of his Scottish Open wins - all from the back - Paid 18 pointer at Shawfield - Winning his final race in the 97 Cup final against Oxford having 5 minutes before smashed through the 4th bend fence. A true legend of Armadale whose domination will doubtedly never be repeated.
If Peter was the legend of Armadale, then the Maestro was the legend of Powderhall. His skill, balance and overtaking ability was truly unbelievable and whilst PC mainly relied on the inside, Les Collins could scrape the fence, hug the white line or force his way through gaps that just didn't exist. His last heat deciders with David Bargh and Mark Thorpe from Newcastle, Martin Goodwin of Rye House and Nigel Crabtree/David Walsh were worth the entrance money alone. He was the master of last bend overtakes and was one of the few riders where the race wasn't decided until it crossed the line. But for me, the one memory that stands out more than any other was heat one of the '94 KO Cup final at Powderhall against Glasgow... The powerful opening duo of Robert Nagy and Mick Powell gated, team-rode perfectly and led for 3 and 3/4 laps until Les hit the outside on the final turn (before the dirt had started to move out) and overtook both to win by the breadth of a tyre. Mike Hunter's commentary makes the hair on your neck stand on end to this day... This all in front of a capacity crowd of 4000+... He was Mr. Powderhall.
One of the most stylish riders ever to have worn Edinburgh's colours... Relied heavily on gating ability, which thankfully was one of his strong points, but in main, his 1st and 2nd turn work was what he'll be remembered for. Countless times, shut the opposition out, and knew mostly where to go to let his partner through. Also a one in his earlier years for last heat deciders and was one of the very few who could actually keep up with Peter Carr when attempting a team ride!!! Even the likes of McKinna, Grieves etc couldn't keep up with him at times - but Eriksson just seemed to be able to be on the limit in Ht15's with Carr.
Remember seeing him on video as a wild starter in his early years with Edinburgh - especially at Milton Keynes - cutting through the opposition with no fear and sometimes no control - starkly in contrast to Les Collins who went to an immaculate 18pt maximum. However, whilst they were his learning years, and Belle Vue in the Elite league were his stature building years, Edinburgh in 2003 was the year that he came, saw and conquered. He said he would come back and captain Edinburgh to our first Premier league title, and he did just that. In my mind, he had no equal in the league with the exception probably at Sheffield (but that's nothing new for Monarchs!) but never has anyone seen at Edinburgh somebody remain so calm under pressure races. Going into heat 15's away from home with a 2pt lead and knowing that a win in the race would secure the match, he made it every time... Never looking for his partner in these races but was totally focused on what was required. Will always be remebered as the man captaining the Monarchs to their first PL title, and the best man in the league of 2003... Rightly so.
In some ways, from the same mould as Frede Schott with sheer determination and powerful riding, without really reaching the same level of authority as Schott. He's in there as he's probably one of the best team men ever to have ridden for Edinburgh in the time I've supported them. Formed a formidable partnership with Scott Lamb - who without Andersen, wouldn't have been the force he was. Unfortunately his career was cut short by a bad accident at Hull on a night that also saw David Walsh race his last ride, for he surely could've had more good years ahead of him. Finally, anyone who can score 20 at Shielfield deserves to be in the top 7.
He was always the man from Glasgow that Edinburgh loved to boo and it took a while for him to win the Edinburgh faithful over. But when he did, he was one of the most formidable and motivational riders ever to captain Edinburgh. Always the first out with a bike when a team mate was in trouble, was always the first to give advice to younger members of the team, whilst also being one of the most knowledgeable and respected ambassadors for the sport. The best memory though is his classic one-liner at the 4's at Peterbourough in '93. When interviewed by Peter Oakes on the mic after he'd got drenched by one of the many showers that day, Peter Oakes said "Now there's a few Monarchs supporters here wearing grass skirts and some words on the backside of their pants about a certain Glasgow promoter (Neil MacFarlane at the time). Kenny's reply? "Well it's written in the right place isn't it!" Classic.
After a match winning performance as a guest at Rye House, he decided to make the mammoth trek to Edinburgh every week and whilst never really being a 9 or 10pt average man, he was always one of the spectacular riders that Edinburgh tend to have from time to time. His leg trailing style was always worth watching as you never really knew if he would stay on the bike or not! Sometimes not, but when he fell, it was always when he was trying an outragous pass on somebody he shouldn't have been anywhere near to! High point was the 21 point maximum he raced to at Powderhall - I think I'm right in saying the first Monarch to race to a 21pointer. A great loss to the sport after suffering paralysing injuries and proof if ever needed what these guys put on the line, in the line of entertaining us the crowd. (He gets the No.7 place just ahead of Michael Coles who also underwent the mammoth trek from the South of England to Edinburgh purely because one of them had to!!)
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