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Cycle Speedway Teams Down the Ages

Leicestershire : Castle Donington Black Knights

About the team

The Black Knights were formed in 1981 by Rob Marchant and Tom Lawton. Both had been riding for Long Eaton Bees, but became disillusioned by their set up.

Having contacts in Castle Donington, they arranged a film show in the local community hall, where over 60 people attended.

Having acquired use of the Community College grounds, they set up a track on the tarmac surface for some local lads to have a go, these lads using the bikes provided by Rob & Tom. They then rode some challenge matches against some of the Long Eaton riders who had come along for the practise.

The club then acquired permission from the local Parish Council to build a track on Bosworth Road Playing Fields. They then Received a grant from Leicester County Council, together with a substantial sum of money from the local Orion Airways. A sponsorship was then agreed with Nottingham based printing company Copystatic, including the supply of the new team shirts.

Unfortunately Donington was spelt as Donnington, a common occurance in these days, but the two are completely different places.

In 1982 Castle Donington were admitted to the English League Div 2, being only the second team to compete in just the Div 2(the other being Long Eaton). Their first three matches had to be raced away from home as their new track was not yet ready, losing all three, which was not great for moral. Their first home match was against Wolverhampton on the 23rd May, winning this by 62 - 57 points. Another great match that year was when Leicester came to Castle Donington. Both the Rawson brothers were on holiday, with junior riders taking their place in the team, which weakened Castle Donington somewhat. Leicester scored a 7-2 in heat four when a Castle Donington rider fell, and instead of remounting, walked in to the pits. The final score was Castle Donington 59 - Leicester 60, just proving how every point counts. Other home results during this first season were: Castle Donington 55 - Long Eaton 58; Castle Donington 56 - Halifax 63; Castle Donington 58 - Coventry 62, so things were certainly looking up for 1983.

Club Secretary: George Syme(1981).

Team Manager: Tom Lawton(1982).

Speedway Riders.

Peter Hallam rode at Long Eaton(1985-88).



  • Alan Barker
  • Andy Baxter
  • Ian Bradshaw
  • Andy Brown
  • Andy Buxton
  • Martin Cumley(1984)
  • John Dobson
  • Rob Fathers
  • Rob Green(1985)
  • Tom Green(1984)
  • Stuart Gregg
  • Peter Hallam(1984-86)
  • Chris Harrison(1984)
  • Shaun Hines(1983)
  • Darryl Holland
  • Mick Hughes
  • Lee Kemp
  • Tim Lamb
  • Tom Lawton(1981)
  • Craig Marchant(1983)
  • Rob Marchant(1981)
  • Paul McNish(1982)
  • Dave Rawson(capt)
  • Mark Rawson
  • Kevin Roberts
  • Nick Roberts
  • Alan Ryan
  • Andy Sawbridge
  • Jeff Smith
  • George Syme(1981)
  • Andy Toone
  • Jim Townsend
  • Andy Walsh
  • Neil Warren(1984)
  • Paul Warren
  • Darren Webster
  • Mark Wood
  • Pete Young(1981)