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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hull Vikings
Club information
Track addressThe Boulevard Stadium
and Craven Park
Hull
CountryEngland
Founded1971
Closed2005
Team managerEric Boocock
Team captainPaul Thorp
LeaguePremier
Club facts
ColoursBlue and White
Track size346 metres (378 yd)
Track record time64.4 seconds[1]
Track record date30 June 2004
Track record holderMagnus Karlsson
Major team honours
Premier League Champions2004
Premier League KO Cup2001, 2004
Craven Shield Winners2004
Inter League Fours Winners1979

The Hull Vikings were a speedway team from Hull, England, who operated primarily from The Boulevard (stadium) and Craven Park from 1971 to 2005.[2][3]

History

The team originated as the Hull Angels and were based at Hedon Stadium in Hedon on the outskirts of Hull between 1947 and mid-1949.[4] Their inaugural league season was in the 1948 Speedway National League Division Three where they finished 9th. The team withdrew during the 1949 season and were replaced by the Swindon Robins[5][6]

When speedway came back to Hull for the 1971 British League Division Two season, the team were known as the Vikings and raced at the Boulevard, a 380 metres (420 yards) long track. The Boulevard was famous as the long time home of Rugby Football League team Hull FC. During the years of racing at The Boulevard, the Vikings had the dubious distinction of being the last league speedway team ever to appear at the famous West Ham Stadium, on 23 May 1972, when they beat the closing West Ham Hammers 40–38. The team raced at the Boulevard for 11 seasons[7] and in 1978 they signed the legendary New Zealander Ivan Mauger, a five times world champion at the time. The team finished third in the league during 1978 and then finished second the following season, during the 1979 British League season.[8] The 1979 season also saw Mauger become the world champion for a record sixth time.[9] Promotional changes, falling crowds and financial problems eventually saw the Vikings demise after the 1981 season.

On 5 April 1995, speedway came back to Hull, this time at Craven Park, the home of the city's other rugby league team, Hull Kingston Rovers.[10] The 346 metres (378 yards) long speedway track ran inside the greyhound racing racing track.

Although the Vikings have raced in speedway's top flight, the Elite League in 1999, it was in the Premier League where they enjoyed the most success, racing to the treble in 2004. By becoming Premier League Champions, holders of the Knockout Cup and the Craven Shield, the team became the most successful sporting team in Hull's history, in terms of awards. However, just one year later, in 2005, the club was forced to close its doors due to a spate of crippling financial problems. Although potential new owners have been mooted, the team remains homeless.

The prospect of speedway returning to Hull would require a new venue to be built as The Boulevard was closed in 2009 and demolished in 2010 while Craven Park was redeveloped after the Vikings departure with the speedway track removed and the ground becoming a rectangular sports venue suited to rugby league.

Season summary

Extended content
Year and league Position Notes
1948 Speedway National League Division Three 9th as Hull Angels
1949 Speedway National League Division Three N/A replaced by Swindon Robins
1971 British League Division Two season 6th
1972 British League Division Two season 8th
1973 British League Division Two season 12th
1974 British League season 16th
1975 British League season 14th
1976 British League season 12th
1977 British League season 14th
1978 British League season 3rd
1979 British League season 2nd
1980 British League season 12th
1981 British League season 12th
1995 Premier League speedway season 16th
1996 Premier League speedway season 7th
1997 Premier League speedway season 9th
1998 Premier League speedway season 4th
1999 Elite League speedway season 7th
2000 Premier League speedway season 3rd
2001 Premier League speedway season 2nd Knockout Cup div 2 winners
2002 Premier League speedway season 5th
2003 Premier League speedway season 18th
2004 Premier League speedway season 1st champions & Knockout Cup div 2 winners
2005 Premier League speedway season 13th

Notable riders

World Champions who rode for the Vikings in the 1970s included New Zealanders Ivan Mauger and Barry Briggs, along with Egon Müller from West Germany who rode a single season in Hull in 1976. While Mauger and Briggs had already won World Championships before joining Hull, Müller would not win the title until 1983, though like Mauger he was a World Long Track Champion having won the title in 1974 and 1975.

References

  1. ^ Oakes, P (2006). Speedway Star Almanac. Pinegen Ltd. ISBN 0-9552376-1-0.
  2. ^ "Hull Speedway (Craven Park)". Defunct Speedway Tracks. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Hull Speedway (Boulevard)". Defunct Speedway Tracks. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Hull Speedway (Hedon)". Defunct Speedway Tracks. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  5. ^ "BRITISH LEAGUE TABLES - POST-WAR ERA (1946-1964)". Official British Speedway website. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  6. ^ "Year by Year". Speedway Researcher. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  7. ^ Rogers, Martin (1978). The Illustrated History of Speedway. Studio Publications (Ipswich) Ltd. p. 129. ISBN 0-904584-45-3.
  8. ^ "British League Tables - British League Era (1965-1990)". Official British Speedway website. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  9. ^ Bott, Richard (1980). The Peter Collins Speedway Book No.4. Stanley Paul & Co Ltd. p. 22. ISBN 0-09-141751-1.
  10. ^ Bamford, R & Jarvis J.(2001). Homes of British Speedway. ISBN 0-7524-2210-3
This page was last edited on 2 November 2021, at 02:51
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