Civic reception for double title-winning Monarchs

Edinburgh Monarchs speedway team have been accorded a civic reception by Edinburgh City Council to recognise their achievement in winning the British Premier League title for the second time in a row last season.

The gathering, hosted by Lord Provost Donald Wilson, will take place at the City Chambers on Wednesday, February 3. Monarchs team manager Alex Harkess today says the club were delighted that their success is being rewarded. He said: “We were given a civic reception back in 2003 when we won our first-ever championship title and we were told then the council would love to have us back if we won it again. That never quite happened despite the fact we have won the league four times now since 2003. But, of course, we are delighted that the council has seen fit to give us another reception and it’s a fitting reward for the riders and everyone connected to the club for all the hard work that contributed to our triumph in 2015.”

Meanwhile, Harkess confirmed that Monarchs will begin their 2016 campaign at Armadale on Friday, April 1, but it might not be against Glasgow Tigers, who traditionally have provided the opening-night opposition in the past.

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“I would love to arrange a challenge fixture against Belle Vue Aces,” said Harkess. “Three former Monarchs, Craig Cook, Steve Worrall and Max Fricke all ride for Belle Vue and it would be nice for our fans to see them back at the Lothian Arena again. But nothing has been confirmed yet.”