Edinburgh Monarchs speedway legend Doug Templeton dies aged 91

Speedway legend Doug Templeton dies aged 91

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 10:15 am
Updated Monday, 23rd December 2019, 11:41 am
Doug Templeton captained the Edinburgh Monarchs in the 1960s. Picture: TSPL

Doug Templeton, the legendary former Edinburgh speedway captain, has passed away at the age of 91.

Considered one of Scottish speedway's all-time greats, Templeton captained the Edinburgh Monarchs for ten years and was influential during the team's Meadowbank heyday during the 1960s.

Described as a tough rider and likened to a "chunk of Scottish granite", Doug quickly became a hugely-popular sporting figure in Edinburgh and experienced success at national level, winning the Scottish Open Championship in 1960 and 1962 and making appearances in test matches for Scotland and Britain.

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Doug Templeton - former captain of the Edinburgh Monarchs speedway team. Picture: TSPL

Doug's first racing experience was on Scottish grasstracks, and after a recommendation from Larry Lazarus he was given a chance by Ian Hoskins, then promoter of Glasgow Tigers in 1953.

He improved quickly enough to do well for Scotland against New Zealand in his debut season, but with the Tigers closing after two home matches in 1954 he was trackless until turning out a few times for Motherwell late in that season. Then they closed too.

Motherwell returned in 1958 for a series of meetings at intermediate level and Doug was chosen as the captain. The team that turned out was in the main the one which lined up for the Edinburgh Monarchs on their return to the sport in 1960, including Doug's brother Willie.

He captained the Monarchs and retained that position through the eight sixties' seasons at Meadowbank and two at Coatbridge, until resigning his role during 1969 and passing the baton to Bert Harkins.

Ron Johnston and Doug Templeton discuss tactic in 1960. Picture: TSPL

Doug was one of the dominant riders in the Provincial League 1960-64 alongside team mate George Hunter, Ivor Brown, Ivan Mauger, Charlie Monk and others. These trilling days were the foundation of so many local supporters' love for speedway.

After Monarchs were forced out of the sport Doug did sterling work for Glasgow, Berwick and Coatbridge until he retired in 1976.

Despite ill health in recent years, Doug continued to watch the Edinburgh Monarchs race at Armadale in West Lothian.

His last appearance in the stands came last year, when Doug joined in the Monarchs' 70th anniversary celebrations.

Doug suffered the loss of his wife Margaret, also a highly respected person in Speedway circles, fairly recently.

According to Edinburgh Monarchs' website, Doug was the team's oldest surviving rider, having been born on 18 June 1928.