Steve Lawson

  • Name Steve Lawson
  • Date of Birth 11th December , 1957
  • Age 62
  • Hometown Wokington, England

  • First Tigers appearance: Guested in 2 matches in 1974 as 16 year old. 25th & 26th August at Workington and Barrow, both challenge matches. Scored 1 point from 3 rides at Workington and 4+2 from 5 rides at Barrow. Both were Tigers defeats.

    Joined Tigers in 1977/78 close season as a replacement for Edinburgh bound Brian Collins. Previously rode four seasons for Workington, finishing as their top rider in 1977.

    First match as a Tigers rider was v Edinburgh at Powderhall in a 60-17 challenge match defeat., scoring 3+1 from 3 rides.

    Next night at Berwick much of the same as Tigers again lost 60-17 in a challenge match. Steve scored 3 points from 5 rides.

    First victory riding for the Tigers came the following day at Blantyre, a 49-28 challenge match win over Workington, out third match in 3 days. Steve began with a tapes exclusion but then won his next 3 races.

    In 1978 Steve topped the Tigers averages with a figure of 7.93, his lowest in the 15 seasons he rode for Glasgow. He scored 11 maximums that year, 2 were away from home, at Workington in the league and at Edinburgh in the Fours qualifier.

    In 1978 Steve rode in the Tigers side that won the Scottish Cup, beating Berwick in the semi-final and home and away victories over Edinburgh in the final. Steve scored a 12 point maximum in the home legs of both matches.

    In 1979 Steve upped his average to 9.19, scoring 11 full and 2 paid maximums in all competitions.

    Steve unsuccessfully challenged Tom Owen for the Silver Helmet, losing 2-0 at both Blantyre and Newcastle.

    Steve rode three times for England in the National League England v Scotland series.

    Tigers retained Scottish Cup overcoming a 24 point first leg deficit. Steve scored a maximum in the 2nd leg. Steve and Merv Janke both missed the first leg at Berwick and Tigers had no facility for either of their top two.

    1980 was the first year that Steve achieved a 10 point average (10.07). He had a colossal 11.48 home average, only dropping ten points in 19 home league matches.

    He scored 14 league maximums plus a maximum in each of the two legs of our KO Cup defeat by Edinburgh.

    In the Inter-League Cup match against Cradley Heath at Blantyre, Steve defeated soon to be world champion Bruce Penhall in heat 1, setting a new track record.

    In 1981 Steve achieved the highest average of his career (10.53) from 37 league matches, only bettered by Canterbury’s Mike Ferreira. His home figures were even better than in 1980. In 1981 he dropped only 8 points at home in 18 league matches for a 11.56 home figure. Tigers fifth place finish in the league was our best since the 1950s.

    Steve won the Silver Helmet in June defeating holder Martin Yeates 2-1 at Weymouth and 2-1 at Glasgow. He lost the next month to Mike Ferreira, 2-1 in the deciding leg at Stoke.

    He scored 11 points in a 64-43 England win over Scotland at Edinburgh.

    Between 1st August 1980 and 19th June 1981 Steve had an amazing run of consistency at Blantyre, achieving a feat rarely mentioned when his Tigers career is talked about. Ray Bales beat Steve winning heat 1 of the match against Mildenhall on 1st August 1980. On 19th June 1981, again against Mildenhall, Ian Gledhill beat Steve in heat 6. In between these two league matches Steve scored fourteen straight league maximums at Blantyre, meaning he went 60 straight league races undefeated by an opponent at home. An astonishing feat that no Tigers rider since has even threatened, not even Shane Parker!

    In 1982 Steve won the first ever race at Craighead Park on his way to a 15 point maximum against Rye House.

    For the third successive season Steve recorded a ten point average (10.40), in a weak Tigers team where his only real support in the side came from Kenny McKinna.

    Steve won his first 28 races at Craighead Park. His first defeat came in his fourth ride of the Glasgow Fours qualifying round on 18th June when he fell and was excluded. He finished off the season at Blantyre with 24 races undefeated by an opponent. He dropped 16 points in the league at home.

    These figures meant that in three seasons (80, 81 & 82), Steve dropped 34 points from 243 rides in 55 league matches. Astonishing consistency and it also involved Tigers changing their home track during that sequence.

    Steve scored 520 points from 36 league matches in 1982. At the time that is still the largest amount of points scored by a Tigers rider in the league in a single season. I’m fairly sure that Steve got in the Guinness Book of Records with this statistic, as it was the most league points ever scored by a rider in a season. Robert Nagy is the only rider to better this figure with 528 points in 1993.

    Steve held the Silver Helmet for the entire 1982 season. In the monthly challenges he defeated Steve Wilcock (Middlesbrough), Steve Naylor (Rye House), John Barker (Exeter) and Simon Wigg (Weymouth). His win at Blantyre against Simon Wigg at Craighead Park was run before the Glasgow v Weymouth match, in what was probably the wettest meeting ever run by Glasgow speedway. Steve never defended it at the start of 1983 season due to illness, forfeiting to Middlesbrough’s Paul Price.

    He rode three times in the National League v Young England series. Riding for the NL at Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Edinburgh. No surprise Steve wasn’t selected for the match at Exeter. He hated the place.

    Tigers began 1983 with the strongest heat leader trio in the league. This was Steve, Jimmy McMillan and Kenny McKinna, although Kenny departed in mid-May for Belle Vue.

    Steve just missed out on finishing with a ten point average for the fourth successive season by one point. His final average being 9.98. Also it was the first time in his six seasons at Glasgow that he didn’t finish top of the averages. Jimmy McMillan finished top with a 10.03 figure, the difference between him and Steve being all of 3 points.

    Steve partnered by Jimmy McMillan finished runners up in the National League Pairs at Belle Vue, only being denied victory by Jimmy suffering a last bend machine failure while well ahead.

    Steve was back to a ten point average the following year, 1984, with a 10.41 figure, in a very weak Tigers side. His away average that year of 9.97 from 15 league matches was the highest away average of his career. Steve topped the National League averages for that year.

    Steve saw the light that season when he rode in the two Scotland v England matches in 1984. The big surprise was that he rode for Scotland! He scored 6 at Edinburgh and 12 at Long Eaton in what was a drawn series. Steve riding for Scotland wasn’t as bad as Sean Courtney riding for both England and Scotland in the series. Not surprisingly a full Scotland v England match hasn’t been staged since.

    Steve’s scoring tailed off slightly in the following two seasons, the last at Craighead Park. The track became squarer, Making it more difficult to ride and pass on. His figures were 9.35 in 1985 and 9.13 in 1986. Still easily good enough to top the Tigers averages in what were possibly the worst Tigers sides in our history. We still didn’t finish bottom of the league in these years and most visiting sides hated the Craighead Park track. Steve still managed to score 506 and 456 points in all matches for the Tigers in those seasons., which are impressive numbers.

    1987 is best glossed over as it was not the Tigers finest hour, as they attempted to race their home matches at Workington’s Derwent Park. The team were eventually thrown out the league after they had changed their name to Workington Tigers. All scores that year were expunged from speedway record books.

    1988 and the Tigers were re-born at Shawfield. Steve won the first ever race at Shawfield from Les Collins, Jeremy Luckhurst and Martin McKinna. Steve finished 1988 second in Tigers averages with a 8.78 average including 3 maximums. A year when Tigers won an away league match in England, at Middlesbrough, for the first time since 1981.

    Steve won the 1988 Scottish Open at Powderhall, the last Tigers rider to win the event and the first Tiger to win it in Edinburgh since Tommy Miller in 1953.

    On 20th May 1988 Steve’s testimonial meeting was held at Shawfield, and was a testimonial meeting ever more deserved? He was due to hold the meeting the previous season, but the Tigers uncertain status and nomadic existence resulted in it being held over to the following season. The meeting was seven man team event: 261 Tigers v Les Collins All-Stars. Les’s team won 41-37.

    Steve had a similar season in 1989 with a 8.90 average, once again finishing behind Kenny McKinna in the averages. Tigers were solid at Shawfield that year but poor on the road, with only one away win at Newcastle.

    In 1990 Steve was back at the top of the averages with an 8.88 figure as he led the Tigers to the first National Trophy in our history. The National Series win marked the end of a long wait for Glasgow for some silverware. Stoke and Wimbledon were defeated in the final leg at Shawfield as Tigers won by 3 points on aggregate from Wimbledon.

    Scores of 13 and paid 17 from Steve helped Tigers win the Scottish Cup for the first time since 1979.

    In 1991 Tigers finished runners up to Arena Essex in both the League and KO Cup. Steve had figures of 8.29 for the season finishing behind Shane Bowes in Tigers averages.

    1992 was Steve’s final season. A 7.95 average from 18 league matches brought the curtain down on a glittering Tigers career.

    His final Tigers match was on 18th October 1992 v Edinburgh in BL Div 2 fixture. Tigers won 48-42, Steve scored 10 from 4 rides, signing off with a win in heat 13 beating Kenny McKinna and Michael Coles.

    Steve announced his retirement at the Tigers end of season dance in October 1992.

    Steve was captain of the Tigers from the beginning of the 1981 season until he retired at the end of 1992. The longest serving captain in the history of the club.

    He topped the Tigers averages in 10 of his 15 seasons with the club.

    4,981 points from 452 league matches. 89 full and 11 paid maximums in league matches. Tigers career league average of 9.37 from 452 matches.

  • Glasgow career:

    • 1978 – 1992. 15 seasons

    Club honours:

    • National Series winner 1990
    • Scottish Cup winner 1978, 1979, 1990, 1991
    • National League Pairs runner up 1983
    • British League Division 2 runner up 1991
    • Knock Out Cup runner up 1991

    Internationals:

    • Great Britain (1), England (4), National League (5)

    Miscellaneous:

    • Scottish Open Champion 1988
    • Silver Helmet holder for entire 1982 season
    • Scored 4,981 points from 452 league matches
    • 89 maximums and 11 paid maximums
    • Longest serving Glasgow captain. 12 seasons.
    • Topped Glasgow averages in 9 different seasons.
    • 10 point average in 4 different seasons, highest 10.53 (1981)