Bandits get new owners for season

Berwick Speedway are to race on into their 50th year in 2017 after new owners were announced at the weekend.

The Bandits, who were put up for sale shortly before the end of the 2016 campaign by John Anderson and his fellow directors, have been taken over as a going concern by an alliance of brothers Scott and Jamie Courtney, together with 1992 world champion Gary Havelock.

Havelock, after four years of running the team at Elite League Coventry, will step into the role of manager, with last year’s manager, Scott Courtney taking on the role of promoter, along with club stalwart Dennis McCleary.

On announcing the take-over, outgoing owner Anderson said: “We are pleased to have done a deal, properly and courteously, with Scott, Gary and Jamie.

“It is good to know the club is passing into the hands of people who have all been steeped in speedway, probably since birth!

“We had other offers, but these are the guys we have chosen.

“After all, the continuation of the Bandits for their 50th season, and hopefully for many, many more seasons after this, is the most important thing. This is what Heppy (George Hepburn), Ryan 
(Anderson) and I felt was best for all concerned.”

In wishing the club well for the future Anderson said he would like to thank everyone who had contributed to help in the running of speedway at Berwick with him since 2008.

“Everyone has been great, and I cannot mention them all,” he stated. “However, I want to specifically and personally thank Dennis McCleary, Ian Rae and Dick Barrie for so much, often unseen, assistance.”

Fans were updated on the situation when the Berwick Speedway Supporters’ Club held their end of season function in the Black and Gold social club on Saturday when Liam Carr was named as ‘Bandit of the Year.’

Scott Courtney said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to take Berwick speedway into its 50th year anniversary and beyond.

“We have lots of exciting plans for our journey ahead and we can begin team building after the annual BSPA AGM in early November.

“Entertainment is the key for us and no stone will be left unturned in our mission to bring that to Shielfield Park.

“It’s important, however, that we acknowledge the efforts and thank the outgoing directors John Anderson, George Hepburn, Ryan Anderson and George Fairgrieve.”