It's All About You... Nick Taylor
Tell us about your introduction to speedway
It was back in 1987 and my best mate had been to a meeting at Wimbledon for the first time and was raving about it the following day (and this bloke called Mark Doodar, who I found out was actually Martin Dugard!). I decided that I would pop down the next week to see what it was like. The Dons were racing Milton Keynes in the National League, which they won 42-36, and from that moment on I was hooked and very rarely missed a meeting home or away up to the closure in 1991.
Tell us about your favourite meeting of all time
Too many to choose from, but Wimbledon's 1988 KO Cup meetings against Mildenhall do stand out as an epic. We lost the first leg 37-59 at West Row but managed to draw the tie on aggregate with a 59-37 win in the second leg. In the replay the Dons won the first leg at home by just 5 points so of course the 'Bog Moggies' were confident of going through. The second leg seemed to be going the way of Mildenhall until a downpour hit the track, out came the sawdust, which suited the Dons, and we went on to win the meeting by 50-46.
Tell us about your favourite rider of all time
Roger Johns who (I don�t care what cert ain people say) is �Mr Wimbledon� is my all time favourite Wimbledon rider, his outside-inside moves on the last bend of the last lap at Plough Lane were just amazing. Away from Wimbledon Shawn Moran was one of the greatest entertainers I have ever had the pleasure in seeing race.
Tell us about your favourite track/stadium
Any track that has dirt on it that allows for overtaking. The one track that I thought was superb whenever I went was Long Eaton. Out of the current tracks I have to say that Somerset stands out from the rest. And it won't be a surprise to hear that my favourite Stadium was Plough Lane.
What are the best things about speedway?
The friendliness of the fans, being able to approach the riders, and the lasting friendships that can be made. We are just one big family in the end........with the odd petty fall out along the way! I was honoured to have former Wimbledon riders Wayne Broadhurst and Matt Wright as ushers at my wedding, now in what other sport would a regular supporter manage this!?
What are the worst things about speedway?
The Grand Prix tracks, why Ole Olsen insists on thinking that a slick track creates good entertainment is beyond me, I no longer bother watching the GP's on TV anymore as they just bore me. Also the incessant changing and fiddling of the rules each year, my choice would be to tear the current rule book up and start fresh. Start by getting rid of the current Tactical[sic] moves and bring back the old TacSub rule at least then the Team Managers earnt their pay.
What one thing would you do to improve speedway?
Either put dirt on tracks, or slow the bikes down. Get the promoters out there promoting their teams, and bring in an Independent Team to run the sport. At least then the sport has the chance of surviving to it's centenary.
Tell us about a rider you wish you'd seen
Tommy Jansson, he is a legend among Wimbledon fans. He has a special place in the hearts of all Dons' supporters, strangely enough even in those like myself that never had the pleasure in seeing him ride. Taken from us way too soon. RIP Tommy.
What does the future hold for speedway?
If things don't alter then only doom and gloom I'm afraid. There is not enough happening at Grass-Roots level to bring on the youngsters. I had a brief outline that I sent to the BSPA regarding how the sport needs to be run at grass-roots, but received absolutely no response (did I expect anything else really, to be honest no!). It just sums up the clandestine attitude that seems to be portrayed from those that run the sport. What the heck would a regular supporter know about running a professional[sic] sport? Some would be of the opinion that we couldn't do much worse!
This article was first published on 21st January 2010
"My old mate Nick is famous! I met Nick way back in 1989 when he was an honourary "Pit Bend Loonie" and we have been mates ever since and attended many a meeting together over the years. He has some very good ideas about this great sport of ours, maybe more people should listen to him!"
"100% agree Roger Johns (Mr Wimbledon). Tommy Janssons appeal you just had to see the way he rode at plough lane and elsewhere to understand his ability and the reason why people felt he would have been World champion. Get the book Tommy Jansson (Legend who died young) by Magnus Nystrom. If nothing else it will explain his place in the hearts of all Dons supporters."
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